This exciting new Jeff Pitchell CD is entitled American Girl because (at the request of the film’s director, Oscar nominee James Woods) Jeff wrote a few of the tunes for the movie, “An American Girl.” The film, starring Kristen Stewart, should be released this year. And, it appears that American Girl, the CD, has almost as many players as a movie: Jeff Pitchell, Jay Geils, and Gerry Beaudoin, all lead-guitaring; Reese Wynans and Bruce Bears on keyboards; David Smith and Jesse Williams on bass guitar; Mike Durham on rhythm guitar; Marty Richards on drums; Lynn Williams on drums/percussion; Jim Hogan on sax and baritone sax; Rich Lataille on tenor and alto sax; Scott Heff and Scott Aruda on trumpets; with backup vocals provided by Etta Britt, Bekka Bramlett, Linda Casey Ransom and Nakita Walker. Phew!!!!
While Jeff wrote most of the tunes, there are several covers, including “T-Bone Shuffle” (by Aaron Walker). This version of the classic blues tune includes Jeff, vocalizing and playing lead guitar, with Gerry Beaudoin on 2nd lead guitar and Jay Geils on 3rd lead – 3 lead guitars add up to a bonanza of strings, making some amazing blues music!!!!! Definitely a special tune – listen closely and enjoy. Since Jay Geils contributed guitar support on the American Girl album, there are a couple of tunes from the J. Geils Band; “Homework” and “Hard Drivin’ Man,” with Jay again doing 2nd lead duty. All Jeff Pitchell albums are packed with rocking blues tunes; Lady K has them all, and she had fun playing bits and pieces of the other CDs, comparing the previous versions of the two earlier Pitchell tunes that were included here. “Out in the Cold” and “Prisoner of Love” are the do-overs – not because they needed to be, but because they are such good tunes. Two major changes to this version of “Prisoner” are that it has a swingier beat, and an additional player: Jay Geils, playing amazing slide next to Jeff’s lead (turns out it’s Lady K’s new favorite version).
“Every Day” is a mid-tempo, upbeat look at a good way to live life: “Make a stumbling block a stepping stone . . . every day will start again . . . every day is a chance to win.” The up-tempo, rocking “Saturday Night” features killer guitar, along with vocals proclaiming “I’m gonna hold ya, I’m gonna squeeze ya, gonna kiss you on Saturday night” (at shows this tune is going to have all of the ladies clustered around Jeff, up-close-and-personal while he rocks it out). “I Found Me” is terrific, a slow, humble love tune. He sings: “It goes to show we learn nothin’ from the things we know . . . that I was lost as I could be, but I came to see that I found you when I found me.” The title tune is funky, with a hip mid-tempo beat, and explains the appeal of an “American Girl.” With her “smile wide as the sky, her laughter sounds like the water . . . like those streams she passes by. American Girl, you’re free . . . a dream free as the breeze . . . beautiful woman – angel face.” The finale includes some compelling Pitchell guitar riffs.
“Step Up” is appropriately titled because hip-swinging is absolutely essential while listening to this tune – it begs for movement with its upbeat tempo and hard-rocking screaming guitars, while the lyrics challenge you to move: “What good does it do you just to twiddle your thumbs? . . . “Step Up,” show me your stuff!” More: “are you ready to roll? . . . I’m gonna rock your soul . . . you know you got it in ya, don’t ya . . .you know you gonna do it, don’t ya?” Rock away – the lyrics are catchy, the beat begs for dancers, and the guitar is kick-ass!
You probably wouldn’t imagine it from the title, but “My Jesus” is a slow, bluesy song about love (and life) gone right. This is probably Lady K’s favorite tune on the album because it’s an interesting take on love and how it happens (and also because the blend of guitar and organ is yummy). He’s thanking his God that falling in love and living his life all went so well: “When I first met you baby, I was thinking about a hit and run . . . look at us now, for years we’re havin’ fun . . . As I gaze into your eyes under the sweet moonlight, time was right, lovin’ you that night.” And to his lord, he’s thankful because he “stood by me while I have sinned . . . don’t know the reasons why I’ve sinned . . . I’ll just leave it to Jesus in the end.”
“Seriously” is a seriously fun, finger-snapping, toes-tapping blues tune, warning us all not to take life (or ourselves) too seriously. There are serious things happening all the time: “healthcare, warfare, hurricanes, crack cocaine, earthquakes, poison snakes, headlines” (just to name a few). You should live life according to Bogie’s philosophy that nothing is really serious, because “the world is always three drinks behind” whatever is really happening. Go have a good time tonight.
“Beautifully Broken” is a slow-tempo love tune. “Feel like your dreams just came and went . . . somehow you have to be strong enough to bend . . . keep your eye on the prize, keep moving forward. Through my eyes you would see that you are perfect to me . . . if broken, then beautifully broken.”
The rock and rolling “It Comes to Me Naturally” is Jeff’s modern-day take on the life of what would seem to be a very popular gigolo and braggard! He’s is warning women that he’s really no good – except at sex. These lyrics are a riot: “all around town my name is mud, I can’t help it ‘cause it’s in my blood . . . it comes to me naturally . . . I jump on any woman who looks good to me. I like this one here and that one over there, bring me 20, then another 20, bring me a 100 . . . when I’m finished and all out of breath, bring me your mother and I’ll thrill her to death!!!!”
Jeff Pitchell’s music isn’t back-porch blues, it’s rocking, rolling, guitar-heavy electric blues and Lady K predicts that American Girl will be another winner for Jeff.