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At closing time on Garnet Avenue in San Diego, Daniel Kirkpatrick strummed an acoustic guitar, offering impromptu sidewalk performances to couples and passersby. A full-time busker at age 22, Kirkpatrick earned enough as a street musician to afford residence in a tiny 10-by-8-foot laundry room.
The Longview, WA native joined a band called As We Speak in 2004. Their songs aired on over 200 international radio stations- in addition to being featured on XM Radio- and they played some respectable Southern California venues, but a substantial fan base never materialized.
Kirkpatrick decided to change course. In 2006, he moved to Seattle and landed a corporate job. That eventually led to misery and he quit after four years.
Newly liberated, Kirkpatrick wrote a few songs and contacted two old friends: Jordan Cassidy, the As We Speak bass player who had since relocated to Port Orchard, and Spencer Booth, a drummer whom Kirkpatrick had played with while growing up in Longview. The trio started rehearsing on a weekly basis in spite of serious logistical hurdles.
Booth, who lives in Bellingham and isn't licensed to drive, would commute to Seattle via train, bus or by posting ads for rides online. Then, he and Kirkpatrick would board a ferry to Port Orchard for practice at Cassidy’s house, crash on couches and repeat the process in reverse. This went on each week. For a year.
They finally raised enough capital to book time at Robert Lang Studios, the legendary Seattle recording house boasting clients such as Nirvana, Death Cab for Cutie and Nada Surf. Kirkpatrick promptly recruited Kristen Palmer to sing backing vocals after overhearing one of her solo sessions at the studio.
Now, Daniel Kirkpatrick and the Bayonets have an album of their own. Alibis, their 10-track debut, is set for release in January, 2013.
Citing musical influences like Cream, Elvis Costello and Tom Petty, Kirkpatrick puts a premium on composing songs people can sing to. For him, melody is king.
“For this album, I wrote ‘60s- influenced pop songs, because that’s always what I’ve gravitated towards as a listener. Staying true to that is what makes the album what it is.”
Alibis is a confident and diverse body of work that ties together quite nicely. While the title track brings to mind the ease and vocal styling of the Everly Brothers, Kirkpatrick’s guitar playing on “Emerald Blues in A Minor” is reminiscent of early Clapton and the influence of Petty and Costello is evident in his singing throughout the album.
Booth’s drumming stays in the pocket, artfully supporting each tune with tasty, simple grooves that get downright danceable on “Cynthia.” His understated approach is surprisingly compelling. Cassidy’s bass playing brings a more contemporary melodic style to the band’s vintage rock sound, but he stays true to form by delivering his lines with classic Fender tone.
The keys stay organic and low in the mix; the B3 organ and Fender Rhodes played by Seattle jazzman Tim Kennedy. Additional percussion was added as evident in “Don’t Leave Me Waiting,” where a glockenspiel accents the outro, and “All I Can Take” with vibraphone featured in the intro. String arrangements by Phillip Peterson- a Seattle cellist and composer who’s performed with the likes of B.B. King and Blues Traveler- added another rich, velvety layer to the mix. “I Knew You Then” may be the best example, with lush counter-melodies reminiscent of 70’s-era Beatles, and Palmer’s vocals are also prominent on the track.
Teaming up with Chris Rahm (Allen Stone, The Young Evils) for production and engineering supported the British Rock roots with access to a library of vintage gear, highlighted by the use of a handwired Vox AC30 guitar amplifier on a number of tracks and numerous 50’s and 60’s era tube microphones throughout.
The album is available for purchase exclusively at their shows prior to the official release through Rock Ridge Music in early 2013.