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Big Road Blues Discussion Forums 2010-12-25T22:34:06+00:00 2010-12-25T22:34:06+00:00 <![CDATA[Re: Chicken Shack - The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions]]>
On a quick personal note, what are the odds that I would give a cab ride to a British keyboard player I had long admired (Raymond) one morning here in San Jose, California? Yep, probably ten or fifteen years ago.

Statistics: Posted by Justin Case — Sat Dec 25, 2010 10:34 pm

2007-07-16T18:07:08+00:00 <![CDATA[Chicken Shack - The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions]]> Chicken Shack
The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions
Blue Horizon (2007) 90009


56 tracks, 3 CDs, 194 minutes. Excellent. This is another one of those 'excellent with reservations' reviews. There's little question that Chicken Shack has had a long and storied history in the annals of British Blues and it's doubtful anyone could question Stan Webb's accomplishments as a guitarist. But if this outfit never garnered the respect many think it deserved, that lack of recognition could stem from the fact that Webb's blistering guitar efforts have always been overshadowed by his disturbing desire to be a vocalist. Some singers seem to have God-given abilities while others develop over time, but in Webb's case, he never should have been allowed to step up to a microphone. Producer Mike Vernon's liner notes mention his vocals as being "a bit on the histrionic side" but Vernon also figured that was a minor kink that could be worked out. It wasn't. On the plus side this set includes over three hours of solid blues, sizzling guitar and an early look at Christine Perfect, who went on to fame and fortune as Christine McVie, an extremely talented contributor and longtime member of Fleetwood Mac. Webb's fiery guitar work shows the influence of Freddy and B.B. King on San-Ho-Zay, Lonesome Whistle Blues, Sweet Sixteen, The Letter and Remington Ride, and the previously unreleased version of Hideaway on disc three is superb. Buddy Guy's strong impression on Webb displays itself on When My Left Eye Jumps, First Time I Met The Blues and Stan's fine Worried About My Woman. It's just a shame he had to sing. Christine Perfect's vocals add much-needed relief and she proved herself well in her young years with When The Train Comes Back, I'd Rather Go Blind, Mean Old World (with Walter Horton's harp) and It's Okay With Me Baby. As a band, Chicken Shack went through numerous changes in personnel, but its one unifying characteristic was the blazing guitar Webb provided, whether the rapidly-clustered phrases that still defy accurate description, or the beautifully mournful solos he constructed. A 24-page booklet with Mike Vernon's detailed notes includes full session information and vintage pictures plus there are a handful of previously unavailable tracks as well as single versions of When The Train Comes Back and Maudie. Based on the music, the arrangements and instrumentation, this receives high honors indeed. If it weren't for the distracting vocal efforts Webb added to the mix, it would come highly recommended.

Blue Horizon Records

© 2007 by Craig Ruskey

Statistics: Posted by blueswriter — Mon Jul 16, 2007 6:07 pm