‘Tis Rock Music
British Blues-Rock Just Got a New Princess
After hearing exciting rumours from Livingstone Brown’s London studio; I’ve been sitting nervously waiting for this album for nearly three months now. Was the wait worth it?
I first stumbled across Ms. McGregor not long after her debut album in 2011, and was reasonably impressed by her singing and definitely her guitar playing; but nothing suggested she was any better than any of the other hot shot guitar slingers (male AND female) on the scene at that time.
I’ve managed to miss every concert she’s played in my vicinity over the last four years (not by choice I hasten to add) and the stories of her concerts are rapidly becoming the thing of legend around these here parts.
That said; not every musician can take their live act into the studio; hence my nervousness.
Chantel opens the album with Take The Power and her anthemic power-chords and Rock Goddess vocals throws down a marker to every Blues Rocker on either side of the Atlantic.
What a start; and things only get better!
Your Fever and Burn Your Anger quickly follow, and Chantel plays the notes from the dirty end of the fret board on her guitar and my head was now nodding in rhythm for the first time in nigh on forty years.
The production on this trio is superb; very American; almost Southern-Rock, but never ‘pompous’ and always showcasing her voice which just gets better and better.
Track four, Anaesthetize took my breath away the first time I heard and still sends a shiver down my spine. Chantel goes acoustic! With the addition of a cello and violin, the Yorkshire Maiden shows her tender; and slightly Gothic side on a truly beautiful song.
Jumping forward several tracks we find another two similar acoustic Folk-Blues songs called Home and later Eternal Dream; and boy; does Chantel McGregor have a wonderful voice? No one trick; noisy guitar Rocker her; she has depth and grace in ever pore.
Just to baffle the hairy rockers out there, Chantel was inspired by and has dedicated Eternal Dream to Jeff Buckley; and I can hear his voice and lyrics all the way through that song too.
The album closes with an epic worthy of Peter Green era Fleetwood Mac. Walk on Land builds and builds, adding layer after layer of majestic guitar and Chantel singing like an Angel. What a way to close an excellent album.
While I love these four songs; and would love to hear a whole album in the same vein; and….these songs could easily ‘break her’ in the Colonies btw; the most memorable song on Lose Control is, by far, Southern Belle and will surely go on to become her ‘signature tune.’
Opening with a Resonator guitar then Chantel playing and singing like the girl my Mother warned me against; Chantel creates three and a half minutes of Olympian Blues-Rock the likes of which you dream of hearing; but rarely do.
There you have it. Chantel McGregor has managed to surpass my hopes for this; her second album and with a fair wind and God on her side, Lose Control has the hallmarks of an album that will transport her out of the sweaty clubs and onto much bigger stages, very, very soon.
Released October 9th 2015