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Sean Chambers Trouble & Whiskey

By Richard Ludmerer
In CD Reviews INDIE Blues
Mar 12th, 2017

Sean Chambers

Trouble & Whiskey

American Showplace Music

In the early 1990’s Florida’s Sean Chambers fronted a Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute band. In 1998 he released his debut recording “Strong Temptation” on the Vestige imprint. Some called the album “the most impressive debut since SRV’s Texas Flood”. While in Memphis Chambers was asked to sit in with former Howlin Wolf guitarist Hubert Sumlin. Chambers wound up spending the next four years touring with Sumlin as his musical director. His follow-up recording “Humble Spirits” was released in 2004.

In 2009 Chambers issued “Ten Til Midnight” on the Blue Heat Record label. His live album recorded at “The Long Island Blues Warehouse” followed in 2011. Then in 2013 Chambers enlisted Reese Wynans, the former keyboardist for SRV, to be his producer on “The Rock House Sessions” with Tom Hambridge playing drums.

Chambers continues to grow as a musician and for his sixth cd he signed with American Showplace Music. The band on “Trouble and Whiskey” includes Chambers, guitar and vocals; Todd Cook, bass; Kris Schnebelen, formerly with “Trampled Under Foot”, drums; and Michael Hensley, Hammond B-3 and piano. The album is produced by Ben Elliot.

Opening with the first of seven originals Chambers strong vocal and guitar chops are augmented by percussionist Andrei Koribanics on “I Need Your Lovin”.

Chambers switches to slide guitar on “Bottle Keeps Staring at Me” which is a great lead in to the slow blues of the title track, “Trouble & Whiskey”, co-written with Jimmy Bennett. Also written with Bennett are “Handyman” and “Gonna Groove”; on the former Bennett sits in on guitar.

“Traveling North” co-written with John Ginty features Ginty guesting on the B-3. The result is fantastic. I would definitely like to hear more of them together.

The first of three covers is “Cut Off My Right Arm” from Johnny “Clyde” Copeland. It first appeared on Copeland’s 1990 album “Boom Boom”.

Credited as traditional, “Bullfrog Blues”, was written and recorded in 1928 by William Harris. It was covered by Canned Heat in 1967 and again by Rory Gallagher in 1972. I gather that any Copyright has expired. Chambers credits the arrangement to Gallagher. It closes with a drum solo by Schnebelen.

“Sweeter Than a Honey Bee” is from B.B. King. Featuring Hensley on piano; this version rocks.

Chambers has never sounded better. If you like blues rock Chambers is at the top of his game.

Richard Ludmerer




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