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The Sean Chambers Band – Live From The Long Island Blues Warehouse

Blue Heat Records

10 songs: 45:09 minutes

Touring with Hubert Sumlin from 1998-2003 was guitarist/vocalist Sean Chamber’s education on playing the blues. Since striking out on his own, Chambers has forged his own style of blues playing that has gathered steam as he plays at clubs scattered about Florida with sojourns to the Northeast.

His last studio release Ten To Midnight was clearly his best effort as he merged the styles of Walter Trout, Stevie Ray and Jimi Hendrix together to produce a worthwhile package of songs. Now with the release of Live From The Long Island Blues Warehouse, Chambers is intent on capturing the essence of these songs in a live setting recorded in front of a studio audience. It’s a concept that can work or fall flat on its face. But Sean has no problems in pulling it off. Aided by drummer Paul Broderick , bassist Tim Blair and harp player Gary Keith, Sean lays the grooves down thick and heavy. It’s blues rock played at its best with festival and club audiences being satisfied by the songs catchy riffs.

Ten songs are featured with a few covers thrown in to make things interesting. Though Elmore James’ “Dust My Broom” has been played often enough, Chambers still makes it a welcome choice with Keith’s harmonica playing driving the song to new heights of boogie.

Obviously the acknowledgements to the power trios of yesteryear are in evidence. However if you are fan of the Hendrix Experience, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Cream, then there is no problem in falling in love with music like this.

Chambers works the pedal hard in opening cut “Dixie 45” which owes as much to the Voodoo Chile but clearly comes stamped with Sean’s indelible logo. Sean’s pedal gets a work-out in other tracks, particularly “Danger Zone,” a high energy blues rocker. The tempo gets shifted into overdrive with the band charging at full gallop through rocker “Too Much Blues.” And if a Chambers song can live up to its name, then the honor should go to “Hip Shake Boogie,” a boogie blaster with Sean introducing band members after short solos. It’s a sweat-drenched mutha with Sean pulling out his best Stevie and Jimi licks wrapped in gooey chords and wah-wah nirvana.

Rather than putting several slow blues tracks on the cd, Chambers waits till the last song to for a listener to catch a breath. Being that “In The Winter Time” clocks in at a little more than ten minutes doesn’t mean it overstays its welcome. Far from it. It’s a great opportunity for Sean to display the prowess he has with his instrument. Slowing the momentum down gives Chambers a chance to slow-burn on the fretboard and despite the song being long things never get boring with Chambers turning up the heat in a slow sizzling blues track.

Altogether this music clocks in at 45 minutes. Nothing wrong with that as there is no filler to stretch the CD format to a time that it doesn’t need to be. Sometimes it’s best to leave a listener wanting more then to go for maximum overkill with extra tracks that don’t need to be there on the first place. If that’s Sean’s philosophy than it’s a pretty cool business move. No doubt as he makes his tour stops, selling this at the merchandise table should be no problem. Listeners catching his first set won’t mind shelling out some bucks for a piece of blues-rock played honestly and raw. And Sean can work those conditions carte blanche.

Reviewer Gary Weeks is a contributing writer. He resides in Marietta, GA.

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