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Music Review: Sean Chambers – Ten Til Midnight

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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!

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About Lou Novacheck