Kevin Tihista's Red Terror - Judo

By liz

I'm a sucker for Farfisa and Hammond organs. Add in a bit of harmonized vocals and intricate arrangements, and I'm a goner. Chicagoan KEVIN TIHISTA apparently has my number. I must be honest, Kevin plays my favorite bar quite frequently and yet somehow I never managed to go check him out. It wasn't until an acquaintance in London went on about him that I realized there might be something actually going on here in Chicago. What a shame that it takes a Brit to make me appreciate my own musical backyard. I must have seen Kevin's previous band "Triple Fast Action" at least half a dozen times during the mid 90s yet never had their "rock" show given me any indication that their might be more to their silent, smoking guitarist.

Who's going to let me cry on their shoulder?
Who is going to dust me off when everything's over?

- Come On Now

Swimming in a sea of melancholy and guitar picks, this album leaves me slightly breathless. While he adds a bit of alt-country swagger to songs like 'You Don't Have To Be Sorry', overall this is grandiose, orchestral pop at it's finest. Is that a genre? As I stare at my cd racks to attempt to find anything similar in my collection, and the best I can come up with is a few Pernice Brother's albums, the Smiths, Rufus Wainwright, Bart Davenport and a Ken Stringfellow cd. Somehow jumble all of that together... and you will still be nowhere close to Kevin Tihista, but it's a start. The sound is soul bearing, lonely and addictive.


"Judo" is only one part of Kevin's epic "Back To Budapest"

. The first disc "Don't Breathe A Word" is also available on Parasol. Don't worry, I'll be picking it up tomorrow. ;-)