Some people, like me for instance, take the instrument, the equipment and the technical part of music and pay absolutely no attention to it. I can truly care less. I have no problem admitting that I am not at all concerned about what kind of guitar someone is playing, what kind of strings are on it, or what kind of amp I am hearing it through - let alone be concerned with the type of tube that is powering the amp. If you're putting out a good sound, and it has me groovin' and feelin' good, then that's all I want to know.
On the other hand, others - and of course musicians - take this type of stuff extremely more serious, and rightfully so. However, there are extremes. 6 V 6, a blues band from the Peoria, Illinois area, have actually named their band after a tube. In addition to that, they have named all three of their CD's after this tubes characteristics and/or recharging device. Their first CD was called "FIRE BOTTLE", their second was called "BURNING BLUE" and this, their third CD is called "TUBE REJUVENATOR". Very interesting. Either these guys have an intense fascination over this type of stuff or they are giving us a subliminal message about the blues.
6 V 6 consists of RUSSELL MILLER - who wrote the six original tracks on this CD - on guitar and vocals, his son AARON MILLER on bass and vocals, RANDY HOFFMAN on guitar and vocals and GENE DUNCAN on drums and vocals.
Four of my favorite tracks on "TUBE REJUVENATOR" all run in a row. The first, "BLUE TEARS", is one of the six originals. This track features lots of excellent guitar work and is sung with a real soulful feeling. Following is a very well done version of "AIN'T NOBODY'S BUSINESS" - which by the way, I have never heard anyone do a bad version of - and this track, once again, features some excellent guitar playing. Next is "LITTLE BLUE PILL", another original, which really rocks. More absolutely great guitar work on this track and a very noticeable tight rhythm section. Great cymbal work by GENE. The fourth track is "EMPTY ARMS", a song by SRV, in which the bass player excels and the song once again is very nicely sung. These four tracks kept me in one long constant groove.
"MILLER TIME", another original, catches the whole band at the top of it's game on a hot swinging track. Another track that I particularly liked was a song that was done by one of my favorite old bands from way back when - Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen - and the song is "SMOKE THAT CIGARETTE".
This CD by 6 V 6, which started out with a track called "5 O'CLOCK" and ends with one called "3 A.M.", was truly enjoyable listening. These guys know the blues as well as they know their tubes.
I've got so much I want to say about this CD - all of it good -- that I'm having a difficult time figuring out where to start. I guess a good place, would be to state that, with all due respect to all of the other reviews I have done, this is certainly one of the more enjoyable CD's I have heard this year. "CHAS", the self titled CD by CHAS COCHRAN is vocally and musically perfect. It features 15 songs, all originals and all outstanding. CHAS' voice, somewhat a blend of the soulful growling of DR. JOHN, the melodic mastery of VAN MORRISON and the suave softness of MICHAEL FRANKS is truly the perfect singing voice. Combine that with the music of 20 wonderful musicians and this CD is a masterpiece.
Typically, I like to pick out a few of my favorite tracks on a CD and mention a few words about each track. That may be totally impossible with "CHAS". The songs are all great and because of all of the different musicians used on all of the different tracks, I may just say something about every track.
The CD starts out with a real nice jazzy number called "MOONSHINE", which, coincidentally or not, happens to sound very much like the Van Morrison song "MOONDANCE". On this track, there is some excellent harmonica playing by CHAS COCHRAN and some very lively piano work by CRAIG KASTELNIK.
"SAVANNAH", is a funky New Orleans style song that really rips. The great Dixieland piano playing by DAN MC KINNEY and slide guitar work by TODD WOLFE are extraordinary on this track. The background vocals by KASSI FURMAN and VENESSA LOVELL were also a highlight on this song. I swear, I was scratching my head in puzzlement wondering who the clarinet player was when all the time it was CHAS on the harp. Amazing playing!
"TOO BLUE TO BE TRUE", is a very up tempo song that highlights the rhythm section of "WILD BILL" TANNER on drums and RANDY SMITH on bass, along with more very good vocals by CHAS, KASSI and VENESSA. Also, MATT COCHRAN does such a great job on trumpet, and along with TYRONE FREDERICKS on sax they form a very formidable horn section. "CHICAGO" CARL SNYDER also tears it up on piano. This was one hot track, I can't count the number of time I replayed this one.
"HOPING ENDLESSLY", changed the pace a bit and slowed things down with a very tasty percussion filled, Latin flavored, bosa nova. CHRIS GANNON on triangle, CHAS on percussion and RON BYRNE on vibes all excel on this track. Here is where the Michael Franks sound is also very evident. This is mood music at it's best right here. Later in the CD there is another similarly sounding track called "THE VISITOR" which highlights the trumpet and the vibraphone. Another very smooth jazzy sound.
"KIMBERLY" is another track that highlights RON BYRNE playing some great vibraphone and TYRONE FREDERICKS on sax. RANDY SMITH also shines on electric guitar. This track had an uncanny resemblance to "ROUTE 66".
"ONCE IN A LIFETIME" has CHAS pretty much doing it all. The highlights on this track are the splendid vocals, the excellent harmonica, and the smooth acoustic guitar -- all played by CHAS COCHRAN.
"POND SCUM" is one of the bluesier songs on the whole CD. There are several nice long piano solos by DAN MC KINNEY and CHAS rips it up on harmonica. This track is followed by "C. E. O", which IS the bluesiest song on the CD. TODD WOLFE tears it up on electric slide guitar, DAN MC KINNEY hits all of those far right blues keys just right on piano and CHAS is real sharp on vocals.
"WHEN A GOOD LOVE GOES AWRY", features CRAIG KASTELNIK tearing it up on the Hammond Organ and CHAS on just about everything -- on this track he plays acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harp and sings.
Other fine musicians performing on this CD that have not been mentioned yet are JAKE HECK on electric guitar, DEREK COLLINS, MITCH SHELLY and BETH GUERREO on bass, CRAIG "CJ" COYLE, DAVE FERRERA GARY RISSMILLER and MARK TOMLINSON on drums.
'CHAS", by CHAS COCHRAN is a clearly, at this point, one of the top three contenders for the 2004 BLEWZZY AWARD that is given out each year by this website.