If you’re a blues fan in Bradenton, you’re really lucky. You get to see Selwyn Birchwood perform live really often.
Birchwood is one of the hottest young blues musicians around. He won the International Blues Challenge four years ago — a huge competition that attracts musicians from all over the world — and that same year, he took home the Albert King Guitarist of the Year Award. Not long after that, he signed with Alligator Records, one of the most prestigious independent blues labels.
He lived in Tampa until recently, and now he lives in Orlando, so he performs around here a lot, at places like the Blue Rooster and at Bradenton Blues Festival’s events.
On Friday, he’ll be at Ace’s Live in Bradenton, playing a show and celebrating the release of his latest album, “Pick Your Poison.”
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Blues magazine describes the new album as “urgent” and “uncompromising.” The Washington Post calls Birchwood a “tough, indelibly modern next generation bluesman.” The Wall Street Journal says he is “fiery and original.”
Birchwood, is a lanky 30-year-old who plays scorching but fluid electric guitar and writes songs that are influenced as much by blues forefathers as they are by Jimi Hendrix. There’s raw emotion in his songs and his signing and polished virtuosity of his playing, and his live shows are always a treat.