Blues star Selwyn Birchwood performs at The Palladium

Blues star Selwyn Birchwood performs at The Palladium

Blues star Selwyn Birchwood performs at The Palladium

Selwyn Birchwood plays July 28 and 29 at the Palladium in St. Petersburg.

ST. PETERSBURG – Visionary young blues star Selwyn Birchwood will perform Friday and Saturday, July 28 and 29, 8 p.m., at The Palladium Theater at St. Petersburg College, 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg.

Tickets start at $19. Call 727-822-3590 or visit www.m­ypall­adium­.org.

Birchwood is currently celebrating the release of “Pick Your Poison,” his new Alligator album. On the album, Birchwood along with his band – saxophonist Regi Oliver, bassist Huff Wright and drummer Courtney “Big Love” Girlie – takes a major step forward, crafting visionary blues for a new generation of forward-looking fans.

With his fiery guitar and lap-steel playing, his trailblazing, instantly memorable songs and gritty, unvarnished vocals, Birchwood is among the most extraordinary young stars in the blues. His deep familiarity with blues tradition allows him to bust the genre wide open, adding new sounds, colors and textures, all delivered with a revival tent preacher’s fervor and a natural storyteller’s charisma.

Birchwood wrote and produced all 13 songs on “Pick Your Poison.” His richly detailed, hard-hitting originals run the emotional gamut from the humorously personal “My Whiskey Loves My Ex” to the gospel-inflected “Even The Saved Need Saving” to the hard truths of the topical “Corporate Drone” and “Police State” to the existential choice of the title track.

Birchwood’s high-octane blues, at once deeply rooted, funky and up to the minute, are played with passion and honest emotion. With his band feeding off his drive and exuberance, the striking 6-foot 3-inch young man with his trademark Afro roams the stage (often barefoot), ripping out memorable guitar licks with ease, his soulful, rocks-and-gravel vocals firing up the crowd. His ability to win over an audience – any audience – is proven night after night on the bandstand.

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