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Offbeat Magazine

Keith Burnstein, transplanted New Yorker and lead singer-songwriter of this smooth PBR&B jam band, sings a lot like Dr. John in his classic early-’70s salad days, but that’s really just his way of being sly: Wisely introducing themselves with a live set, Kettle Black are a synthesis of most of what made both New York and New Orleans so tight in the ’70s. Rolling piano, exploratory guitar solos, a strong enough pop sensibility, light and almost tropical funk grooves not heavy enough to drag down those smooth electric-piano glissandos or disturb the surface of those shimmering, exquisitely jazzy chord changes, and most notably, a mellow approach to the pain of romance that suggests that in the game of love, just being alive and fully yourself is enough. Turns out being sly is a bit of subterfuge; most of the time, just having emotions is wondrous enough for Keith.

“Gorgeous” is the word to describe where the group sound usually ends up; no matter what Keith is going on about, it sure sounds nice. Is “False Paradise” about Cuba? Why the minor key on “Brio”? Is his swamp-pop waltz “Cherry Red” celebratory or wistful or resigned? In the end, it doesn’t matter. Raja Kassis’ solos and Keith’s happy-wanderer vibe are an unbeatable combo, and the climax, a gently epic 12-minute jam called “Wishing Well,” feels like a hot tub full of oxytocins. And hey, maybe the mission statement is in there too: “Awash in the beauty/ Alive in the noise.” Or is that “her beauty”? Damn.

Seven Days Vermont

"Combining the bedroom intimacy of a singer-songwriter with the expansive musical prowess of a seasoned jazzer, Burnstein is one to watch."

Offbeat

"Mile wide hooks and songwriting strong enough to hold all of its influences"

Secret Sound Shop

"A knack for writing songs that are instantly familiar while being very much their own creations. It's this little knack that makes songwriters into superstars"

Time Out New York

"Songs in the key of partying down"

Offbeat

"A songwriter with muscle, these {tunes} sing out and move places... A touch of the Big Apple and Crescent City--smart arrangements that wail like the best back of town blues"