Thursday, March 4, 2010
Sean CHAMBERS - Ten Till Midnight 2009
If the first note on the first cut, which is also the title cut, does not instantly whip you to the heyday of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Luther Allison, and BB King, then the second or third note surely will. His style is also reminiscent of Stevie Ray, and of Luther Allison, as well. He’s learned well, and it was almost entirely by ear.
Once he had those licks mastered, Sean Chambers went on the road with Hubert Sumlin, touring the world to sellout crowds for five years, getting his passport stamped throughout the US, Canada, Japan, and Europe, with the pair building a solid fan base. Sumlin, of course, already had a hefty resume, and had begun touring in Europe in the 1960s with the Legends of the American Folk Blues Festival with a number of other stellar Chicago bluesmen and women including Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Koko Taylor, Jimmy Reed, and many, many others.
Chambers’ voice reminds me a little of James Solberg, a lot of SRV, and his styling and phrasing brings them, and other influences to the fore. Although a studio album, the sound and feel of this disc are of a live recording, with all the momentum and excitement of a satisfied crowd. The second cut, “Blues And Rock ‘n’ Roll" was originally written and recorded as an instrumental. Chambers’s vocals and Gary Keith’s harmonica were laid down on top of the other tracks, giving us a real powerhouse vocal rocker. Gary’s harp was also laid down on top of another previously recorded instrumental that day. That evening, Sean wrote the words to the song, recording it the following day, and it became “I Don’t Know Why,” the closing cut on the CD.
An exceptional slow-burner is “In The Winter Time,” the 5th cut, and is a real Chicago-style, gutbucket, blues tune with blazing guitar work by Chambers.
Ten Til Midnight is a high-energy, pedal-to-the-metal, blues rock album that will leave you plastered against your seatback. Remember that speaker ad a few years back showing the guy sitting in a chair in front of his speakers, his hair blowing back? Yeah! That’s it, that’s the one. And that’s this CD, too. Ten cuts, 41 minutes of rockin’ blues.
I checked Chambers’s website for his tourdates, all but one of which is in Florida. But, hey! Club-owners! There’s also a phone number and an e-dress there. What? You haven’t called yet? This guy’s the real deal!
The former musical director for Hubert Sumlin, blues guitarist and singer Sean Chambers' third CD, Ten Til Midnight, showcases the powerful style which earned him critical plaudits from a host of magazines, including Europe's Guitarist Magazine, which listed Sean as 'one of the Top 50 Blues Guitarists of the last century.' On Ten Til Midnight, Sean Chambers and co-producer Tim Blair wanted to go for a live sound similar to their incendiary concert shows; so most of the tracks were recorded with few overdubs. Sean's aggressive, yet fluid blues guitar approach is evident throughout the seven originals, as well as covers of songs from ZZ Top (Brown Sugar), Luther Allison (All the King's Horses) and Eddie 'Guitar Slim' Jones (You're Gonna Miss Me). It's that combination of reverence for tradition along with his special jolt of energy that makes his sound so unique.
There's a reason people turn away from music at a certain point in their lives. It no longer talks to them. It's juvenile, simplistic and not relevant. My friends and I talk about this all the time, "where did our music go. How come no one's making great music anymore?"
Just when I'm pretty sure I need to take up gardening or something, along comes Ten Til Midnight by Sean Chambers. You listen and you remember everything. The bar you were in when you heard your first blues band. The first harmonica and how it sent voltage through your body. A vocalist who's so expressive you wonder how someone could feel so deeply.
This cd is going to make you a believer again. You won't be disappointed.
By Andrew Clayman.
Sean Chambers- Guitar,Vocal
Tim Blair- Bass
Paul Broderick- Drums
01. Ten Til Midnight 3:35
02. Blues and Rock 'N' Roll 4:12
03. All the Kings Horses 4:46
04. You're Gonna Miss Me 3:56
05. In the Winter Time 6:06
06. Too Much Blues 3:37
07. Make It Go 3:19
08. Brown Sugar 4:00
09. When I Get Lonely 3:14
10. I Don't Know Why 4:09