”Defying labels, but demanding the attention of even the most casual listener”
Tiny Sparkles is a sonic journey of tonal resonance. See full review below (the infamous Astoria is features because Key headlined there when he was in England).
Tiny Sparkles was given to me by former Motel Kings guitarist Steve "Youngblood" Cooke, now to be found with his new band Honeygun. I mention this both as a thank you to Steve, but also as a recollection of a rainy night in Barnes when he pressed the above in my hand, mumbled something about this guy being the third greatest player on the planet (the other two? Don't ask!!!).
Two months later I'm hooked. This guy has presence, tone, psychedelic blues, passion raw gut emotion, and weighs in like a latter day heavy duty Steve Miller who blisses out like Bob Weir, and adds a psychedelic undertow like Love's Arthur Lee. Key has teamed up like many Austin based muso's before him with Double Trouble rhythm section. He's also added a little New Orleans courtesy of an association with producer Daniel Lanois.
Listen only to the sublime version of Season of the Witch , on which both Dr. John and Terry Reid, via Donovan are turned inside out, and given a guitar led psychedlic intensity that takes your breath away. This guy eats and breathes feel, blood curdling licks, and takes no prisoners along the way. On Bubba's Truck, he soars high on his slide over an incessant funky back beat. On Pagan Love Song, he's in Jim Morrison mode, and hey, Why not? This album rewrites the blues manual, tears it up and walks off with the very best elements into another stratosphere.
While resident in Austin, Key apparently used to play a set sandwiched twixt Chris Duarte and Ian Moore. I venture his material is way ahead of even contemporaries of their stature.
This is music for the new age, if this sounds pretentious, just tune in, drop out,
and feel those psychedelic blues!
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