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Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen

http://dirtykitchenband.com

Since Frank Solivan left the cold climes of Alaska for the bluegrass hotbed of Washington, D.C., he’s built a reputation as a monster mandolinist — and become a major festival attraction with his band, Dirty Kitchen. Solivan and banjoist Mike Munford (2013 IBMA Banjo Player of the Year), guitarist Chris Luquette (IBMA Instrumentalist of the Year Momentum Award winner) and doghouse bassist Dan Booth simmer a bluegrass/newgrass stew from instrumental, vocal and songwriting skills so hot, they also earned 2012 and 2013 Best Bluegrass Band honors from the Washington Area Music Association. It flavors every note of their new album, On the Edge, which Engine 145 dubbed, “a fine sophomore release from one of the most exciting bands in bluegrass today.”

On The Edge (2013) FSDK - On the Edge (2013)

Buy On The Edge here

  • I Fell Short
  • Gone

From “Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen”

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  • Driftin' Apart
  • The Note that Said Goodbye

From “Selfish Tears”

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  • Selfish Tears
  • Screened In

From “I Am a Rambler”

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  • Day to Day
  • Dirty Kitchen

Video

Soundcheck: The Bluegrass Situation (September, 2013)

“Too Far Gone” at IBMA 2012 (October, 2012)

“The Letter” at IBMA 2012 (October, 2012)

“M-80″ at WAMU’s Bluegrass Country (June 22, 2012)

“Trouble, Trouble, Trouble” at WAMU’s Bluegrass Country (June 22, 2012)

 

The Scuttlebutt

With their second release, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen could now be reaching the kind of name recognition that puts them into any conversation about the elite contemporary bands. On The Edge might be the recording to do it. Certainly the intricate and precision-demanding arrangements coupled with the high caliber of musicianship necessary to make them work is much in their favor. Solivan, an immense talent as both a lead singer and as a mandolinist and fiddler, and founding member Mike Munford, who spins out some of the finest and stylistically-distinct banjo solos going, are known quantities and are at their best here. Newcomers Chris Luquette on guitar and vocals and Danny Booth on bass and vocals are more than equal to the task. -Bluegrass Unlimited (August, 2013)

In short, an inspired effort, this On the Edge, building as it does on the strengths of the previous album and giving fans reason enough to believe Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen are settling into a long-term run as productive as it will be influential. They’ve got it all, including momentum. - David McGee, Deep Roots Magazine (July, 2013)

On The Edge doesn’t let up, not even when it slows down. A good example of this is the album’s first two songs. While “I Fell Short” is a spirited and ferocious kick-off, “Gone” takes a step or two back from the edge, allowing its intensity to smoulder; it is within this type of song that Solivan shines as a vocalist. -Donald Teplyske, Lonesome Road Review

Frank Solivan has worn a lot of hats: a military issue one during his six-year stint in the Navy bluegrass band, a chef’s hat during his restaurant days and headgear that would combat the cold when he lived in Alaska. That’s probably why the singer, picker and songwriter is so comfortable shifting from the kitchen to the stage with his band Dirty Kitchen in a single night. It’s probably also why he can cover so much territory on his new album, On the Edge, and bring top-tier guests like his cousin Megan McCormick, Rob Ickes and Tim O’Brien along for the ride. -Jewly Hight, CMT Edge

Frank Solivan supplements his fine mandolin playing with some excellent fiddling; on several cuts, including Day to Day, he alternates between the two on the same number. Mike Munford’s banjo picking is imaginative, precise and lightning-fast, prominent in the disc’s first cut, I Fell Short, a classic country tale of a repentant cheater (“…I fell short on standing tall….”) That opening number is also an excellent example of the group’s tight three-part harmonies and the exceptionally balanced instrumental work. Each member is an accomplished virtuoso, and yet none overshadows the others. (Perhaps the well-disciplined teamwork has been influenced by the leader’s years with the U.S. Navy’s bluegrass band, “Country Current.”) Chris Luquette turns in really impressive flatpicking, most notably on another number in a traditional vein, Wild Unknown, and the instrumental M80. The latter, written by Munford, might be the single most impressive number on the album, with the lead passing smoothly from one instrument to the other. Munford’s melodic runs made my jaw drop, and the dobro playing of Rob Ickes, a guest artist on three cuts, had me looking forward to his HVBA concert with Jim Hurst this July. Also making guest appearances are Tim O’Brien (On the Edge of Letting Go) and Megan McCormick (Gone and Day to Day.) Rounding out the group with vocals and solid bass playing is Danny Booth, who also sings lead on Alaska-themed Wild Unknown. -Mike Foley, Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association

If Tim O’Brien and Alison Brown ever had a love child, it might just be Frank Solivan. This newgrass/bluegrass foursome spirals through skin-tight banjo picking, razor-sharp mandolin and jazz-tinged concentric circles – all with a degree of control that balances technical precision and improvisational virtuosity. The joyous musicianship is shot through with a lyrical warmth long associated with bluegrass. Solivan’s mandolin and fiddle are a force to be reckoned with as they go string to string with Danny Booth’s bass, Chris Luquette’s guitar and Mike Munford’s banjo. O’Brien’s guest vocals on Solivan’s The Edge of Letting Go bring further colour to what is a lovingly crafted, highly cohesive, marathon finger-pickin’ and effortlessly inventive debut. -Siobhan Long, Irish Times

The new CD on the edge by Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen is outstanding! You can look from now on and you will not find better musicians and tighter vocalists. From beginning to end this project is as solid as you can find. It will take you on a ride you will not want to end. This album only leaves you wanting to hear more – and I’m sure that we will be hearing a LOT more from Frank and this wonderful group of musicians.-Adam Steffey

Modern bluegrass can sometimes be a sanitized affair, with crystal clean recordings and slick arrangements taking most of the soul out of the mountain songs and traditional origins of the music. Frank Solivan isn’t a raw Stanley Brothers style performer, but he has left enough grit and substance in his music to keep it far away from mainstream mediocrity. Not being beholden to the traditional or the mainstream bluegrass scenes, Solivan has arrived at a middle ground that incorporates a little of both, with a few twists to keep things interesting. It’s a recipe that makes this ‘Kitchen’ more spicy than ‘Dirty’, no matter what the ingredients. -Kevin Oliver, Country Standard Time

This is not traditional bluegrass, though the purists will feel right at home with parts of this CD, especially the Solivan-authored Day to Day. But Munford’s work on the five-string keeps everything accessible to bluegrass lovers while still appealing to those who want to test the genre’s limits. …Don’t be surprised a few years down the road to find Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen among the best in the business, and to look back and see that On The Edge pushed them over the top. Read More… -David Morris, Bluegrass Today

Overall, this project is an example of what happens when you get four people together who truly enjoy what they do and take pleasure in creating music. The group’s ability to play all out on one song and then go into a slow and heartfelt ballad is what sets Dirty Kitchen apart from many other groups. Each song has a unique sound and underscores the best of each member’s contribution to the group. ON THE EDGE of great things is where you will find Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen. Read More…-Rita Small, Prescription Bluegrass

No sophomore slump here: On the Edge, the follow-up to Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen’s vibrant, self-titled debut record, finds the quartet serving up a musical feast, from “M-80,” the incendiary instrumental composed by banjo genius Mike Munford, to a soulful cover of The Box Tops’ 1967 hit, “The Letter.” Coming off an IBMA Emerging Artist nomination, the band—with additions Chris Luquette (guitar) and Danny Booth (bass) appearing for the first time on a Dirty Kitchen record—is poised to have a breakout year in 2013 when the acoustic music world gets an earful of the tight harmonies, strong songwriting, and deft picking found On the Edge. -Juli Thanki, Engine145.com

A modern day Newgrass Revival.-Brent Truitt

FS&DK is on the edge in many ways. The album’s title is a mini-manifesto about their place on the bluegrass spectrum: loving the core but offering something new to think about and grab onto in every tune. And I hope it describes Frank’s place vis-à-vis the acoustic music big time. Music fans who follow him will find more joie in their vivre.” -Craig Havighurst

My hope was to feature a new band sound with the new guys and throw ourselves out there without being scared of what the traditionalist might say. I think some listeners will hear influences of Earl and Lester, Sonny and Bobby, and the Father of Bluegrass, but we have a more up-to-date sound with our original songs and unique arrangements. The more one listens to the album, the more they will hear. There’s so much going on in there.-Frank Solivan

When Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen took the stage at Beartrap Summer Festival, nobody quite knew what they were in for. When Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen left the stage, nobody was quite sure what they just saw. All anyone knew was that their minds just got blown. These guys came on stage without much fanfare, but left with about1,000 more fans. They are the definition of a show-stealing band. With their melodies, harmonies, and incredible fiddle playing, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen came to Beartrap, saw Beartrap, and truly conquered Beartrap. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again- Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen stole the show at Beartrap. This four-man group tore the house down with their music. My favorite songs are the ones that come from stories. This band told a story with every song they sang. Here is just one of those stories that they performed at Beartrap Summer Festival 2012. -Nick Perkins

Solivan, who sings lead vocals and plays mandolin and fiddle, performed for six years with the U.S. Navy’s bluegrass group before leaving the service to play the civilian bluegrass circuit. The quartet began with a fast instrumental that allowed each player to present his musical bona fides. Solivan was particularly impressive with his amazing speed and precision on mandolin as the group tore through the unidentified tune’s modal chord changes. Banjoist Mike Munford was also impressive with his Scruggs-style picking on Ginger Boatwright’s “Somebody’s Missing You,” and both Solivan and guitarist Chris Luquette fired off lightning-fast 16th-note runs on the rock-flavored stomper “Too Far Gone.” -Glen Weiser

Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen could easily be described as a group of super-pickers. But that would be only half the story, because the vocals easily match the instrumental work. The result is a powerful collection of hard-driving, contemporary acoustic music. —Katy Daley, WAMU “Bluegrass Country”

Interesting, innovative, traditionally contemporary bluegrass! Great listening! —Rhonda Vincent

Ten Indie Albums Worth a Listen – “Solivan leads this ensemble with exceptional mandolin picking, engaging vocals and the strongest set of bluegrass originals I’ve heard in a long time. If I booked festivals, I’d put these guys onstage every afternoon. CMT.com

…this is a band that you will need to keep an eye on as perhaps the next big thing of bluegrass. Todayʼs Country Magazine

Wow… incredible music by a great combination of players. These guys have the whole package – they can sing, play and write extremely well! This is the best new bluegrass band… Rob Ickes

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