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Kill Devil Hills

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Album Review

Don't be misled by the liner photos — this is a folk-rock group. Kittyhawk's context is defined as much by the geographical references of its band name and album title as it is by the gritty urban street scenes, leather accoutrements, and tough-guy postures that you see on the CD insert. Not that they sound country at all; on the contrary, they rock out in fine, gutsy style on their debut full-length. But the story-songs, the slide guitars, the acoustic-wielding lead singer, the gentle angst nestled in muscular but very straightforward grooves and progressions — this is folk-rock. And there's nothing wrong with that at all. Bandleader and songwriter Jennifer Zablocki's voice is a joy, assured without cockiness and solid without bombast. She belts it out with refined passion on "Do You Remember" and the anguished twang-a-thon "Really Over Now," while on the gospel-flavored "Touch" she evokes Elvis Costello with a better instrument. At times the melodies rise and fall just a bit too gently; there are a few opportunities for timelessness here that go wasted. But, overall, this is a very impressive debut from a young band that bears watching.

Biography

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s

Following in the tradition of such bands as Cowboy Junkies and the Indigo Girls, New York's Kittyhawk is a mixture of folk and roots rock. The four-piece band includes singer/songwriter Jennifer Zablocki, guitarist/bassist Pier Giacalone, backing vocalist Rena Gray, and drummer/pianist Rick Cutler. Formed in 1997, Kittyhawk gigged steadily, landing gigs at such N.Y.C. hotspots as the Bitter End, CBGB, and Arlene's Grocery, among others. October 2000 saw the release of their debut album on the Curious...
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Kill Devil Hills, Kittyhawk
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