That’s What I’m Talkin’ About – Sean Chambers pays tribute to Hubert Sumlin

I was late gettin’ on the Sean Chambers blues train which has been rollin’ along since his first recording back in 1998. It was his 2017 album, Trouble and Whiskey, that grabbed my attention with a blistering guitar style that reflects what he learned playing with Hubert Sumlin for over 4 years and puts him in the company of guitar virtuosos Gary Moore and Alvin Lee. Sean also has just the right amount of gruff in his voice and conveys an honesty that makes him a natural born bluesman.

As a special tribute to Hubert Sumlin, long time band member for Howlin’ Wolf and one of the most influential blues electric guitar players of all time. Sean records 10 songs that he regularly performed with Hubert as part of the band from 1998 to 2002 and contributes one original about his life and times with the great bluesman, Hubert’s Song. The title for the recording, That’s What I Am Talkin’ About, reflects a phrase that Hubert loved to use according to Sean.

The tune on the album that best epitomizes why some organizations have rated Sean as one of the top contemporary guitar players on the planet is Rockin’ Daddy. He attacks this blues standard by Chester Burnett with gusto and the guitar solo right near the end is incredible. As many of you know, I love music with a beat you can dance to and Do The Do and Hidden Charms fill the bill nicely. Sean can also get into the lowdown and dirty blues as he did on Goin’ Down Slow. I have to believe that Hubert hearing Sean wear out the guitar on this song back in 1998 helped get him the permanent gig with Sumlin.

Also included on the album is a great version of the Roosevelt Sykes song, Forty Four, that was a mainstay of Howlin’ Wolf’s performances with Hubert back in the 1950’s. The martial cadence of the snare drum on this classic song is the perfect backdrop for Sean’s vocals and features some sweet guitar playing. Seans cranks out some badass roadhouse blues on the tracks Taildragger and Sitting on Top of the World. And Sean has the perfect voice to pull off a rousing version of the Howlin’ Wolf classic, Howlin’ for my Darling.

Throughout the recording, there are delightful performances on the Hammond B3 Organ by Bruce Katz and a favorite keyboard player of mine, John Ginty. John contributed to Sean’s last album and now is a mainstay of the Allman Betts Band. Drums and percussion are handled by Andrei Koribanics. And the insistent bass is played by Antar Goodwin.

The album closes with another Chester Burnett song that was a featured song for Hubert Sumlin’s shows, Louise. (The suggestion to include the song along with Taildragger came from none other than Kim Simmonds of Savoy Brown!) From the first song on the album, an instrumental entitled Chunky, to the last one Sean provides an intense and artful rendering of tunes that are truly classic blues music that should please both blues purists and blues rock and roadhouse blues fans.

On a sad note, the producer of the album, Ben Elliot, passed away sometime after its recording in the spring of 2020. It was the last production by one of the greats of the blues rock genre. Ben had recorded or produced songs and albums by Leslie West, Rory Gallagher, Savoy Brown, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and…..Hubert Sumlin.

Sean dedicates the album to the memory of Hubert Sumlin and Ben Elliot. It will serve as a lasting tribute and is certainly one of the finest roadhouse blues albums released in 2021.

Sean Chambers – That’s What I’m Talkin’ About (Tribute to Hubert Sumlin) (2021 Quatro Valley Records)


Ben Vee started out spinning songs on terrestrial radio and at nightclubs back in the 1970’s in his home state of Louisiana. After a career in the construction business, he returned to DJing in 2011. He now hosts two shows each week on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com and writes about the blues at http://www.benveeblues.com from his home in Connecticut. He also has a 24 hour stream devoted to the Roadhouse Blues… WRHB

Savoy Brown – Ain’t Done Yet…and they damn sure aren’t!!

A chance meeting between two musicians at a record shop in England in 1965 led to the formation of one of the most enduring of all the bands from the Golden Age of music. And all these years later, Savoy Brown featuring Kim Simmonds is making an emphatic statement with the release of AIN’T DONE YET. Savoy Brown has been and continues to be a synonym for the term blues rock.

What started with the chance encounter between Kim Simmonds and harmonica player John O’Leary resulted in the release of Shake Down in 1967. They were then known as the Savoy Brown Blues Band and kicked out a mix of blues covers and a couple of instrumentals including High Rise, that I still love.

Over the years, a literal who’s who of rock and blues artists have spent time with the band including bluesmen Hubert Sumlin, Paul Oscher, and Duke Robillard. For the latest album, long time band members Pat DeSalvo (bass) and Garnet Grimm (drums) help flesh out a tight trio of rhythmic sound that is a perfect compliment to the vocals and both harmonica and guitar playing by Kim.

On this, their 41st recording, the band continues a hit run of releases in the last ten years. Voodoo Moon (2011), The Devil to Pay (2015), Witchy Feelin’ (2017), and City Nights (2019) are all great blues rock albums. AIN’T DONE YET is a bit more introspective with the title cut, Borrowed Time, All Gone Wrong, and Devil’s Highway addressing Kim’s blues rockin’ observations from a long life. I loved the guitar tones and easy rhythms of Feel Like a Gypsy. Jaguar Car is some badass boogie about how men identify with their cars.

Rocking In Louisiana is about my birthplace and long time home and Kim’s love for the state where the music he loves was born. He plays a steel dobro to give it a “down the bayou” feel and it works to perfection! To close out the album, Kim chose an instrumental, Crying Guitar. All of Savoy Brown’s albums have included at least one instrumental and this one is another blues rock jewel.

Savoy Brown featuring Kim Simmonds damn sure aren’t done yet! And I, for one, am mighty pleased!

Savoy Brown featuring Kim Simmonds – Ain’t Done Yet (2020 Quarto Valley Records)


Ben Vee is an internet DJ and writer from New Orleans that now lives in Connecticut with his wife Annette. He started spinning records back in the 1970’s and has been writing about the roadhouse blues since 2011. He does two roadhouse blues shows each week on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com and he writes about the blues when the urge strikes on http://www.benveeblues.com.

The Mid August Roadhouse Blues on BMFR

Join me today at 3 pm EST on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com for some mid August Thursday afternoon roadhouse blues on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com.

Here is the intended playlist:

ArtistTITLE
Mindi AbairHaute Sauce
24 PesosI Am The Blues
Robin TrowerComing Closer to the Day
Rudy RottaNo One Cares
The Weary TimesAnymore
Amnesia Blues BandChampagne & Reefer
Altered Five Blues BandDon’t Rock My Blues
Dave AlvinEast Texas Blues
The Teskey BrothersMan Of The Universe
Ryan Foret And Foret TraditionHarry Biscuit And The Jam
Tab BenoitMedicine
Tiffany Pollack & Eric JohansonBlues In My Blood
Shane DwightLevy Girl
Luther AllisonBad Love
Hubert SumlinBring Your Love To Me
Z.Z. HillDown Home Blues
Freddie KingHoochie Coochie Man
Albert KingAngel Of Mercy
B. B. KingBlue Shadows
Etta JamesCigarettes & Coffee
Big Daddy WilsonAint Got No Money
Sugaray RayfordDark Night of the Soul
Frank BeyWhere You Been So Long
Michael LeeGo Your Own Way

A Fierce Shot of the Rockin’ Blues – Sean Chambers

Sean Chambers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With a great roadhouse blues voice tinged with the spirit of Johnny Winter and a  guitar style reminiscent of both Gary Moore and Alvin Lee, Sean Chambers is my first nominee for rockin’ blues artist of 2017.  His new album, Trouble & Whiskey, is an intense display of virtuoso guitar work and inspired vocals.  He does a great job of covering B.B. King’s “Be Careful with a Fool” and absolutely tears up Canned Heat’s “Bullfrog Blues“.  And “Cut off my Right Arm” features some bad ass guitar licks.  “Gonna Groove” is funked up blues perfect for dancin’ to on a Saturday night at your favorite juke joint.  “I Need Your Lovin‘” is just incredible blues rock and “Sweeter Than a Honey Bee” is some fine swamp blues..appropriate for this Florida based artist.

Sean truly shines on the grindin blues title cut, “Trouble and Whiskey” and the sultry blues rocker “Handyman” (with Jimmy Bennett).  And I absolutely loved the instrumental “Travelin’ North” featuring New Jersey’s bad ass John Ginty on keyboards. The slidin blues cut “Bottle Keeps Staring at Me” conjured visions of Johnny Winter and is sure to be a hit.

I seldom recommend every song on a CD but this is a pleasant exception. (My second in a row!) His talent should come as no surprise since he honed his skills playing with the great Hubert Sumlin starting back in 1998 and he has been payin his dues ever since…hopefully it will now pay off in a big way!  This is my first exposure to Sean and I intend to go back and listen to some of his other albums including “The Rock House Sessions” which was produced by Reese Wynans.

Sean will be touring the rest of June in Florida and then wander up to Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts in July!  I can only hope he will add a date in Connecticut so that I can get a shot of his bad ass rockin’ blues live!

Sean Chambers = Trouble and Whiskey (2017 American Showplace Music label)

https://www.facebook.com/seanchambersmusic/