The buzz around the debut of Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen is well-earned. A lot of what makes the quartet special is found on the first track, the hard- charging Solivan original, “Driftin’ Apart.” The musicianship is impeccable and fiery—banjo man Mike Munford’s incessant rollin’, tumblin’ banjo lines are electrifying and both Lincoln Myers (guitar) and Solivan himself (mandolin) serve up tasty, driving solos, while bass man Stefan Custodi keeps the bottom anchored solidly—the harmonies keening and affecting, and Solivan’s plaintive tenor warm and brimming with feeling. Then the literacy of the lyrics begins sinking in. Solivan doesn’t go for easy rhymes or conventional scenarios of love and loss, but rather looks deeper for root causes of dysfunction, disenfranchisement, or despair. The high-stepping “Tarred and Feathered” is an unsparing portrait of the wandering troubadour’s lonely way, and the foreboding minor key lament, “Left Out In the Cold,” chronicles a psychologically damaged war veteran’s struggles. Frank Solivan believes in engaging the world, making you listen, and better yet, inspiring thought. Even the clear, clean sonics, with striking presence on the vocals and harmonies, acknowledge the import of Solivan’s messages. This is one memorable introduction.