The "Titan of the Telecaster" Returns to Marietta

By
Mark Hellenberg

Dateline
Updated Mon, Nov 14, 2011 9:06 am

The Grammy-nominated, guitar-slinging singer/songwriter Bill Kirchen returns to The Adelphia in Marietta, Ohio, on Friday, Nov. 18 with his band Too Much Fun and special guests The Carpenter Ants.

Best known for his signature licks on Commander Cody's 1972 hit "Hot Rod Lincoln," Kirchen was dubbed "A Titan of the Telecaster" by Guitar Player Magazine.

The title track from his 2007 release Hammer of the Honky Tonk Gods pays homage to his main axe, the Fender Telecaster.

In that song, Kirchen lists a dozen or so other guitarists that are, like Kirchen, forever linked to that famous instrument, including "Waylon, Chrissie, Cropper and the Boss". He then extolls its virtues: "It was born at the junction of form and function/It's the hammer of the honky-tonk gods."

On his latest album, Word to the Wise, Kirchen performs with many of his colleagues with whom he has performed in his four-decade career. The title track features Dan Hicks singing and scatting a duet with Kirchen, while "I Don't Work that Cheap" conjures up a Bo Diddley groove and features rollicking piano playing by Commander Cody, his partner from the Lost Planet Airmen days. 

Nick Lowe, Paul Carrack, Elvis Costello and Maria Muldaur also make guest appearances on Kirchen originals and covers by Roger Miller and Merle Haggard. The project has the trademarks of a great Bill Kirchen album: witty songs rooted in honky-tonk, Western swing, rock and roll and boogie woogie, smooth vocalizing, and of course, that Tele-twang.

Friday's show time is 9 p.m. For more information, visit http://blog.thegalleymarietta.com/.

Mark Hellenberg talks with Bill Kirchen
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