Review: Bad Company Drummer Simon Kirke Simmers on 'All Because of You'

Our take on the percussionist's third solo album

Simon Kirke's third album is 'All Because of You.' Credit: Larry Marano/Rex

The term "busman's holiday" refers to a vacation spent doing more or less the same thing you do to make a living. Simon Kirke is best known as the drummer for two of England's most venerable rock outfits, Free and Bad Company, so All Because of You, his third full-length solo LP, qualifies as an escape – with a catch: The hard-grooving percussionist spends most of his time in front of the band, crooning into a microphone while strumming a guitar or ukulele. Though he's hung his hat in New York City for years, Kirke shows an enviable rapport with bandmates Josh Solomon, Erika Brett, Nate Bellon and Danny Rosenthal, members of polished yet rootsy Chicago outfit Empty Pockets. Kirke's likably scruffy voice and earnest delivery ideally suit sentimental, easygoing songs that attest to clearing life's hurdles with the help of a higher power and a good woman's love. Apart from "Trouble Road," brought to a boil by Gov't Mule guitarist Warren Haynes, All Because of You maintains a bubbly simmer throughout – even on a uke-driven cover of the earthy Bad Company anthem "Feel Like Making Love" that wouldn't sound out of place on a Collective Soul LP.