(09 October 2002) Issued in extremely limited numbers to support her west coast tour, Kristy Thirsk's debut solo recording is entitled BootLegs (self-released, 2000). Kristy writes, "So here's the deal, it seems to be taking forever for me to put out a real record. So in the meantime, while I'm working on it, I've put together, with the help of my band, a collection of various demos, first time acoustic versions and live songs, to whet your appetite." The timing of our review could not be better since Kristy's first full-length solo album release is due in early 2003. Read our interview or visit Kristy's website for further information on the the new album.
BootLegs is comprised of six tracks, five of which are written by the artist. The CD also includes Kristy's rendition of the Martin Gore song "Behind The Wheel" originally performed by Depeche Mode. Kristy plays acoustic guitar, electric guitar and provides all of the vocal work. The album also includes contributions by Johnny Savella (classical and electric guitar), Bill Arab (bass) and Shane Wilson (drums). Recording and mixing credits are shared amongst Johnny Savella, Vic Levak, Kevin Hamilton and Shane Wilson.
BootLegs opens with "Souvenir," a sensitively performed solo demo track that many of Kristy's fans have heard via download from her website. Sparse electric and acoustic guitar arrangements support Kristy's soaring lead vocal that explores her vast range. The bridge combines vocalise with various guitar excursions. Additional harmony layers and guitar arrangements underpin Kristy's unique banshee-style lead in the stunning "Second Fiddle."
A live version of the gentle rocker "Imagination" includes even richer arrangements, this time with the Kristy's powerful lead vocal thoroughly accompanied by bass and drums. It gives us a hint into how wonderful a live Kristy Thirsk performance would be and demonstrates that she can deliver her vast vocal excursions on stage. "Something Spilt" is a tenderly delivered ballad supported by acoustic guitar. Lyrical passages blend perfectly with layers of Kristy's lovely vocalise.
Classical guitar arrangements underscore the edgy ballad "Behind The Wheel," which like several of the others feature Kristy's sensually soaring vocalise segments and contrasting lyrical passages. The EP concludes with "Giant Pedestal," a live track also available for download at Kristy's website. Like "Souvenir," the version on the CD is of substantially better audio quality than the downloadable mp3 version. "Giant Pedestal" is a tremendously memorable rocker--the vocals are clearly the strongest, most widely ranging and most powerful on the EP!
Unfortunately BootLegs is no longer generally available so interested readers will have to comb second hand sources to find one for their collection. Clearly an outstanding tribute to one of our (soon to be) featured vocalists, this recording is a must listen!