The Dark and Light Sides of Chantel McGregor

The Dark and Light Sides of Chantel McGregor

By Wes O’Neill

There simply is not enough women guitarists that get the same acclaim that their male counterparts do and even when it’s deserved. It’s a male-dominated world and something needs to change – doors need to be kicked in by ladies with amps cranked up and playing that can go from a scream to a whisper with just as much force and subtlety.

Fortunately, there are players that can hold their own with the “big boys” in Samantha Fish, Nita Strauss, Joanne Shaw Taylor, Orianthi and others…along with Chantel McGregor. There’s no top of the guitar magazine polls here, ladies doing their thing and damn well at that.

One of my guitar students, a young lady in fact, when I first asked her a couple of years ago what she wanted to get out of learning excitedly proclaimed “I wanna learn to shred and not just play to typecast in acoustic songs or on a fucking ukulele.”. That brought warm feelings to my heart and a sense of hope…

Chantel McGregor is such a lady to inspire such aspirations that are not beyond reach with self-belief and dedication. Ahead of playing a blistering show at The Tunnels Bristol, we sat down with Chantel for what’s been happening, her advice on being a woman in what some archaically view as a man’s world and what’s coming next. It’s about to get dark but with a light side also…

 

It’s been a couple of years since your last album “Lose Control” What have you been up to?

We’ve been on tour for 2 years since the release of “Lose Control”. It’s been constant, we’ve played in a whole load of countries in Europe, we’ve just got back from 3 weeks in Germany in fact, so it’s been tricky to get time to do another album. But…that’s now sort of in the process of coming to a head with writing nearly done and us heading into the studio in the next few months to get that down and releasing it hopefully next summer.

 

“Lose Control” was quite gothic, taking inspiration from a variety of sources you were in to at the time. What kind of musical direction are you taking this time?

It’s dark. Darker than before, in the way that it’s more personal than the last one. The last one was southern USA gothic themed, dark but not personal in any way that I wrote about dark things from my life – I’ve now been doing that. It’s a bit of a personal trip and a gamble as I’m really trying to dig deep with the emotions I have and stories to tell, it’s quite hard, to be honest with you.

 

Are you finding that’s helping you come to terms, and not to pry, with whatever has gone in your life?

No! Hahaha! No, it’s horrible! It’s like everything that I’ve put into a box, you know every bad relationship, every self-doubt, every moment that hasn’t been right all coming at me at once. Opening that box opens old wounds and it’s like ‘Oh my God, why I am trying to sing, play and write about this kind of stuff, why didn’t I just leave it be, why did I think of doing this?’.

 

In that case, what’s the idea behind putting yourself through that instead of writing in a third person or about other things?

As in taking the easy option? I don’t know, ‘cos I’m stupid or something! Seriously though, I think I’m at that point where I should really write about something that is really my own with my own feelings and emotions rather than relying upon other peoples. It’s easier to write songs about other things and other people than it is about yourself. When you’ve locked emotions away, revisiting them is hard but I did feel that I needed to do that as you know, we all have to do it at some point really. Either that or I’m just a bit sadistic, masochistic…or just weird!

 

How is this going to come through on the new album, in the guitar or in the lyrics?

Probably more towards in the lyrics as the music bit with the riffs, changes, grooves and all that isn’t really difficult for me to play. If I’m writing about a telly show, then it’s easy as you’re not digging deep, but when it comes to writing about how a relationship ended and how it’s made you feel then it’s really tricky.

 

As you mentioned, you’re looking at a summer release (it’ll be a dark summer by the sounds of it!), any specifics on production you have in mind that you can share with us?

Well, assuming everything runs to plan, but in my world, you never know, but yes, summer is slated for it. Production wise we’ll be down to London probably, the same producer that I use as it always seems to work out with him and he’s great…probably just that. We’ll have to see what we come out with when tracking, and that’s all you’re going to get on that for now!

 

Moving on from the new album, how important do you think music education is or are there other routes that you can take learning and playing?

I started playing when I was 3 and started having lessons when I was 7 until I was 16 and then I went on to do a degree in music a bit after that. To be honest with you, most of the things I have learnt, the really valuable and meaningful things have been from improvisation and jamming around with people more than the strict educational side of it. Lessons are good though, as long as you’re getting something out of it and always. It’s important to have the educational side of it in some ways but I don’t think it’s necessary for everyone.

 

Being a woman in the guitar world, what would be your advice be to other women playing guitar or thinking of doing so and to those in bands already?

For me, I think, and it’s taken me all this time to get to this point where I realise I’ve probably spent years wasting time being fragile and worrying about what people think…You know, all the stupid stuff like what do people think, how am I perceived, do they really care, do they like my playing, how I look, my singing, are they just here ‘cos I’m a girl, what are they saying in the bar after…all that rubbish. I’m now at a point where I can stop worrying about what other people think and for women that’s essential. Not that blokes don’t have feelings and all, but for women we can be a bit more sensitive than men and we do bother about what people think of us whether that’s image or musicianship, and we spend so much time thinking about it, tearing your life and thoughts up that you end up not concentrating on what you love doing. You need to get strong, really quickly and just sort of say “Stuff everyone else, I’m gonna do what I want to do and I’m going to enjoy it”. That’s the hardest bit – it’s not learning the scales, chords and how to play, it’s having strength in who you are and what you do being a female in the music industry.

 

Wes, thanks to Victoria Tyrer for helping put this together for Bluesdoodles

 

Bluesdoodles Review of Lose Control – HERE

 

Bluesdoodles In Conversation Across The Years

It is always fascinating, hence Bluesdoodles In Conversation Across The Years. Read about the thinking behind making albums, producing albums and who would be in their fantasy band.

Bluesdoodles Interviews – 2016

JD SIMO – SIMO
Eric Johnson
Fee Waybill – The Tubes
Paul Bowe – Federal Charm
Walter Trout
Debbie Bond
Sari Schorr
Coleen Rennison – No Sinner
Jared James Nichols
Joe Louis Walker
JJ Grey 
Wayne Proctor
Kaz Hawkins
Dan Patlansky 
Dan Reed 
JD Simo

Bluesdoodles Interviews – 2015

Laurence Jones – In Conversation February 2015
Dan Patlansky – In Conversation April 2015
Alan Nimmo – In Conversation May 2015
Julian Moores – In Conversation May 2015
Chantel McGregor – In Conversation October 2015
Erja Lyytinen – In Conversation October 2015
Rob Richings – In Conversation November 2015

Blues is back in Sheffield HRH 2017

 

Blues is back in Sheffield HRH 2017

 

Blues is back in Sheffield HRH 2017

 

HRH Blues 2016 was superb read what we said HERE

 

New Jersey’s Billy Walton Band join King King, Ten Years After, Stan Webb, Simon Mc Bride & Dan Patlansky to complete the cycle 3 line up of HRH Blues.

What a line-up this not just promises to be exciting it will be with scintillating guitars, powerful voices as blues is twisted, turned creating a rainbow faceted jewel of every shade of blue. will be rocked, amazed and excited by the music from the first to the last note.

HRH Blues are proud to fly in yet another incredible talent for its 3rd round of Blues rock infused fun in Sheffield.

The Billy Walton Band compliment an already stellar Blues Rock line up and with under 90 tickets remaining, it looks like it will sell out even earlier than last year.

 Ten Years After and Bernie Marsden performing at last year’s HRH Blues 2

 Ten Years After

Bernie Marsden

HRH CEO Jonni Davis praised the band by saying  “ Walton’s talents are no secret among everyone in the Jersey shore music scene and with the founding of the Billy Walton Band, there’s little doubt his reputation will grow far beyond the Garden State. The Billy Walton Band’s sound is a combination of hard blues reminiscent of Hendrix, Clapton and Vaughn mixed with a healthy dose of Warren Hayes and Derrick Trucks.

“Live, Walton has always been an explosive performer with Jaw dropping talent but with the addition of bassist William Paris, Richie Taz on sax and drummer Johnny D’Angelo the Billy Walton band churns out a singular brand of funky blues that has deep roots in both the jam band musical tradition as well as the Jersey shore Walton has cut his teeth on. We can’t wait to see him perform next year in Sheffield.”

 

HRH Blues 3 takes place on 15th & 16th April 2017 @ the 02 Academy , Sheffield and the last few tickets can be booked online HERE  or by ringing Lisa on 0207 097 1521

 

 

Bluesdoodles Dozen Albums of 2015 & more…..

Bluesdoodles Dozen Albums of 2015 & more…..  Album 2015 – Live Album 2015 and Artists & Bands to watch out for in 2016!

Having reviewed numerous albums this year Bluesdoodles has listened to Blues, Americana, Rock and so much more – more importantly the music has been fabulous.

Bluesdoodles picks of 2015 HERE – Forty Three Albums that stood out from the crowd. The albums will be on my play list long into 2016 and beyond…

Bluesdoodles Album of 2015

album

King KingReaching For The Light


Bluesdoodles Live Album of 2015

IanSiegal_OneNightInAmsterdam

Ian Siegal – One Night In Amsterdam


 

Bluesdoodles Dozen

 rafgged

Devon Allman – Ragged and Dirty

 

PromoImage

Danny & The Champions of the World – What Kind Of Love

 

BornToPlayGuitar_CoverArt

Buddy Guy – Born To Play Guitar

 

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Joel Hoekstra’s 13 – Dying To Live

 

album

King King – Reaching For The Light

 

CL - CD Cover-1

Connie Lush – Renaissance

 

lose_control

Chantel McGregor – Lose Control

 

Danni Nicholls - 'Mockingbird Lane' - cover (300dpi)

Danni Nicholls – Mockingbird Lane

 

danpatlansky cd

Dan Patlansky – Dear Silence Thieves

 

album-hr

Joe Satriani – Shockwave Supernova

 

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Guy Tortora – Bluesman In A Boneyard

 

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Walter Trout – Battle Scars

 

 

Bluesdoodles Quartet of Live Albums

 

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Babajack – Babajack Live

 

erja_lyytinen_live_in_london_cover_sm

Erja Lyytinen – Live In London

 

IanSiegal_OneNightInAmsterdam

Ian Siegal – One Night In Amsterdam

 

Layla

Layla Zoe – Spirit of 66

 

 

Bluesdoodles One’s To Listen Live & Recorded

 (alphabetical order)

Catfish

Rebecca Downes

Della Grants

Husky Tones

Inglorious

Jar Family

Kaz Hawkins

LaVendore Rogue

Elliot Morris

Tristan McKay

Red Butler

RavenEye

 

 

Bluesdoodles – Pick Of The Bunch 2015

Pick Of The Bunch 2015 ~
The order is random all are brilliant and in with a shout for the Bluesdoodles Dozen of 2015..

These are from the albums I have listened to and reviewed throughout 2015 – this is my subjective collection happy for others to disagree. Bluesdoodles wants to thank every artist who has submitted music to be reviewed I listen and will always be honest and fair

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Fish – A Feast Of Consequences
Joel Fisk & The Breakdown – The Well
Dan Patlansky – Dear Silence Thieves
John Mayall – A Special Life
Giles Hedley – Rain Is Such A Lonesome Sound
Lisa Mills – I’m Changing re-mix
Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman – Tomorrow Will Follow Today
Ian Siegal – One Night In Amsterdam
Dani Wilde – Songs About
Joe Satriani – Shockwave Supernova
Guy Tortora – Bluesman In A Boneyard
Danny & The Champions of the World – What Kind Of Love
Gill Landry – Gill Landry
LaVendore Rogue – Light Up With
Mark Pontin – Textures
Aynsley Lister – Home
Samantha Fish – Wild Heart
Little Devils – The Storm Inside
Erja Lyytinen – Live In London
Beth Hart – Better Than Home
David Phillips – If I Had Wings
Karen Lovely – Ten Miles of Bad Road
Micke Bjorklof & Blues Strip – Ain’t Bad Yet
King King – Reaching For The Light
Devon Allman – Ragged and Dirty
Joe Louis Walker – Everybody Wants A Piece
Danni Nicholls – Mockingbird Lane
Layla Zoe – Live at The Spirit of 66
Joel Hoekstra’s 13 – Dying To Live
Chantel McGregor – Lose Control
Babajack – Babajack Live
Jar Family – Family First
Craig Finn – Faith In The Future
Buddy Guy – Born To Play Guitar
Delta Deep – Delta Deep
Kaz Hawkins – Get Ready
Groanbox – Groanbox
Jimbo Mathus – Blue Healer
Eddie Martin Big Red Radio- Live in Tuscany
Mike Zito & The Wheel – Keep Coming Back
Connie Lush – Renaissance
AndersonPonty Band – Better Late Than Never
Walter Trout – Battle Scars

Chantel McGregor back at The Tunnels

Chantel McGregor-1933

Chantel McGregor back at The Tunnels
16th December 2015

Chantel McGregor back at The Tunnels in Bristol on her current tour promoting her sparkling guitar playing and her current album Lose Control. Chantel tonight, despite back pain was full of smiles and a shimmering determination to play loud, hard and with her twist of Gothic Southern Rock with a glimmer of blues.

 

Chantel McGregor-2146The set list was full of guitar twists and turns full on riffs and licks that delight the ear with a selection of firm favourites and new music that certainly got the Tunnels in a party mood. The tone was set from the off with Freefalling that got the phalanx of fans in the mood to partake in spangly rock from Chantel. The sound was definitely rockier overall and this does suit her guitar style and her vocals poured out above the guitar like a cooling waterfall, a wonderful combination.

 

Having heard and reviewed her latest album I was delighted to hear the tracks live they really work on a stage up close to a crowd that what to hear every note played and lyric sung.  Burn Your Anger was really impressive as was Southern Belle, Gothic Southern rock with a tinselly trail of the blues running through the whole number.  Tonight she hit Bristol with power chords that slur and grind out a melodic sound with her feminine vocals full of purity this is a combination that wins every time.

Tonight Colin Sutton on Bass rocked the rhythm section and held amusing conversations with Chantel, it was definitely a first for any conversation or gig to have Unicorns, Haggis and Otters in the same conversation. This had to be the warm up act for Chantel going progressive with the closing track of Lose Control, Walking On Land – what a land of imaginative guitar playing that Chantel took us too.  I believe in unicorns when the music is this good. This was an instrumental that added a new facet to the show, Chantel’s guitar playing is virtuoso and her style is distinctly hers as she blends and shapes her influences into her own guitar story.  The title track Lose Control is a winner once again Chantel controls the energy of the guitar bending the strings to play her tune.

The tempo and tone changed as Chantel took up the acoustic guitar and we heard Anesthetise transporting you into a different reality no-one would have been surprised if an unicorn stepped on the stage to keep her company as Colin and Andy had left the stage. This is a song driven by lyrics full of haunting tones delivered by her Taylor acoustic. Then Home also from Lose Control suits this format perfectly and closing this segment with Eternal Dream inspired by her hero Jeff Buckley.

 

Chantel McGregor-2062The rest of the band returned to the stage with the tempo going up to eleven and the electric guitar rules once again with Your Fever and Killing Time amongst the closing numbers. No wonder the encore, has had lots of airplay across the radio stations and especially Planet Rock as Take The Power is what Chantel does every time her fingers hits the six strings!

Anyone who hadn’t already purchased Lose Control was now hooked on this new sound that Chantel was playing with a new sense of maturity, control fizzed up with the effervescent energy that is Chantel McGregor.

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Chantel McGregor In Conversation with Bluesdoodles

Chantel McGregor - The Beaufort - Jan 2015 - 5 - _0023l

Chantel McGregor thank you for sparing the time in your busy tour schedule and the exciting launch of your new album Lose Control and it was fun chatting with you.

 

 

While reading this listen to the the first single from Lose Control – “Take The Power”, is released on Monday September 28th, and is accompanied by a promo video filmed on location in Edinburgh, produced by Sine Wave Media and directed by Richard Weston.

BD: Chantel tell us a little bit about the journey from your debut album to now, your music has changed Lose Control is testament to a pit stop on the road of your musical development?

CMcG: My debut album, Like No Other was a response to demand for an album and was a collection of songs some first written when I was fourteen. Since the release of my debut album I have played a lot and thought a lot resulting in Lose Control – a cohesive, concept album the songs all made sense together and yes some of the lyrics and songs are very dark. I have always been attracted to the dark side of art, novels and films, life is disturbing plus being frothy is not me and it is hard to write about love when not in love…

BD: Lose Control – the difficult second album has a cohesive feel and a different tone and feel. How have you achieved this mature sound?

CMcG: In a way this feels like a first album, it really is my baby, I wrote all the songs with a little help from some friends on a couple of tracks. I had input into the album every step of the way it was in my control before and in the studio I had a clear vision of the shape and sound of Lose Control.

BD: Are there any particular songs you play that have a special meaning to you?

CMcG: Actually it is the reverse I don’t play Eternal Dream live, it needs space and can’t do this number with the number of people who talk at gigs especially when it is a quieter song.

BD: Talking at Gigs!

CMcG: Yes, why do people go to a live music then talk, it is not in my personality to tell them to shut UP!

BD: I see that you have created your own independent boutique record player Tis Rock Music; what made you decide to go down this route?

CMcG: I recorded my debut album on Tis Rock Music as well. I made the decision to set up my own label, so I had the freedom to pay what I liked, wear what I like be my own musician.

BD: So created own record label to have control over your own art?

CMcG: Yes, absolutely there were too many people telling me how I should play, and not to wear dresses on stage. I love wearing my dresses, and did not want to wear jeans on stage, I make an effort to dress up for stage performances so that I feel different. People are always surprised if they see me before a show in jeans and a jumper. So Tis Rock Music simply allows me to be the Chantel McGregor I want to be.

BD: You are back on tour can you buy the album at shows?

CMcG: The release date is 9th October – and it is available to pre-order along with some snazzy T-shirts.. check out the web-site

BD: Talking about the new album and sound have you used different strings/ guitars Amplifiers?

CMcG: No I haven’t similar to the set up on the last studio recording. What I have done is lots of experimenting, exploring the idea of sound it was self-produced at home initially the domo’s shaped the finished studio product. There are more layers of sound and distortion this is an album played at 11.

BD: Do you consider yourself as a guitarist first, vocalist second or they equally important

CMcG: I started off playing a guitar it was a natural thing to pick up the guitar, by the age of eight I was the youngest to pass a Rock School Exam, and at 12 I was jamming. Whilst jamming I realised that I also need to learn to sing so started to sing Corrs and Cheryl Crow songs. The next challenge was learning to sing and play guitar at the same time, once mastered I know I was seen as a guitarist who sang a bit. On the first album I had had my wisdom teeth out and could open my mouth properly but that didn’t help. Now I have a mature stronger voice and Lose Control I see myself as both aspects of my music are equal the singing of the lyrics are as important as the guitar chords.

BD: Do you consider yourself as a rock or blues guitarist or do music boxes not matter once you pick up your instrument of choice?

CMcG: Boxes shouldn’t matter but there is always public perception, personally like to be seen as ‘she plays music’ and hopefully they think it is good. In reality I have never said I play the blues, or a blues guitarist to me it is Chantel music. Blues has evolved into rock, and yes people like putting your music into boxes.

BD: As an award winning guitarist do you still come across the male naysayers – girls can’t/shouldn’t play guitar?

CMcG: (Laughs, and sighs) All the time it is totally insane I get this all the time, there is no physical reason, yes I have tiny hands but so do men – look a Prince. It is a pre-conception and it is a conception that belongs to the stone-age that women should be tied to the kitchen sink, sadly seems like it will always be the case why? It’s tradition! The gender gap is closing women are doing their own thing I’m here I play guitar, I sing get used to it. My message to men is No I am not a bitch I am a musician.

BD: What are you looking forward to on this tour, is there going to be an opening act and I see that in between the UK dates you are off to Europe.

CMcG: Yes, love it so exciting Europe during November and December, and yes Europe is different. It is going to be fun, German audiences are always very vocal and into going to see live music at their local venue. UK lots of new venues, many are theatre style so a different vibe from standing venues and will be mixing up the sets as many people come to see more than one night, it is amazing that people travel so far to see me play. Love audiences meeting different people and the improvised solo on Walk On Land the final track of Lose Control will be different every time I play.

BD: Who has influenced you the most in your music writing and playing?

CMcG: Not one person or even one style of music though the guitar playing by Richie Kotzen is inspirational as is Ryan Adams.

BD: When not playing your own music who do you listen too?

CMcG: Lots often just listen to random on Spotify, Jazz, Dubstep what has just been released. If you only listen to Rock, Blues, acoustic you will never be the best you can. Form your own opinion on music for me it is about keeping an open mind listen to varied styles and absorb what you like.

BD: What advice have you had and what advice will you pass on?

CMcG: I have had loads advice some good and some bad; I have even listened to bad advice you learn more if you step back and make your own decision. I have had brilliant advice support from Joe Bonamassa and so many others it is brilliant how artists share. It is so important to be business-minded and astute if offered a deal is it the right one for me. It is scary how easily it is to be taken in by people you trust. In reality it is a hard business despite loads of gigs you have even more expenses and you have to love what you are doing and keep on working and be true to your own convictions.

BD: If you were putting together the perfect band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing

CMcG: (Laughing, a moment’s thought) The band I have now they are totally insane she says with a beaming smile! It is what it is a three piece rock band; myself on guitar and vocals then the most amazing Rhythm section Keith McPartling on Drums and Colin Sutton on Bass giving me the space to create yes cello’s are great in the studio where you can have everything and the sound is balanced and there is space. Live it is different the three of us are perfect more and it can be hard to get space.

 

Bluesdoodles thanks Chantel for her time and catch her on tour and listen to Lose Control –  I know  you will not be disappointed. Read what we said about Lose Control HERE

Thursday 1st October 2015 – Birmingham: The Institute, The Temple
Friday 2nd October 2015 – Ruislip: The Tropic
Friday 9th October 2015 – Halifax: Playhouse
Saturday 10th October 2015 – Southport: The Atkinson Blues Festival
Friday 16th October 2015 – Doncaster: The Dome
Saturday 17th October 2015 – Retford: The Elms – Box Office: 07737 130534
Wednesday 21st October 2015 – Sheffield: Greystones
Thursday 22nd October 2015 – Edinburgh: The Caves – Box Office: 01472 349222
Friday 23rd October 2015 – Glasgow: Nice N Sleazy
Saturday 24th October 2015 – Carlisle: The Venue
Monday 26th October 2015 – Salisbury: Arts Centre
Tuesday 27th October 2015 – Exeter: Phoenix
Wednesday 28th October 2015 – Bridport: Arts Centre
Thursday 29th October 2015 – Brighton, Komedia
Saturday 31st October 2015 – Lincoln: Engine Shed
Saturday 12th December 2015 – Ripley, Town Hall
Sunday 13th December 2015 – Newcastle, The Cluny
Monday 14th December 2015 – Morecambe, The Platform
Tuesday 15th December 2015 – Leeds, The Brudenell
Wednesday 16th December 2015 – Bristol, The Tunnels
Thursday 17th December 2015 – Derby, The Flowerpot

Pick Of The Bunch July – Sept 2015

The Cream of the 31 CD’s Bluesdoodles has reviewed in the third quarter of 2015; what amazing talent there is out in the world musicians playing from pubs to arena’s all willing to record the music to be judged, download and purchased. Bluesdoodles is the first to admit the scoring is subjective there will always be music that just means that bit more to you so albums not included on the lists are still excellent; definitely worth listening to and purchasing especially go see music live at venues near you support music and the artists who travel the roads so we can hear it in the flesh.

This is the first list of 2015 and all of these will be in with a shout for the Bluesdoodles Dozen of 2015..

Joel Hoekstra’s 13 – Dying To Live
Chantel McGregor – Lose Control
Babajack – Babajack Live
Jar Family – Family First

Craig Finn – Faith In The Future
Buddy Guy – Born To Play Guitar
Delta Deep – Delta Deep
Kaz Hawkins – Get Ready

cover

Groanbox – Groanbox

CHANTEL McGREGOR RELEASES VIDEO FOR NEW SINGLE – “TAKE THE POWER”

CHANTEL McGREGOR RELEASES VIDEO FOR NEW SINGLE – “TAKE THE POWER”
TAKEN FROM THE NEW STUDIO ALBUM “LOSE CONTROL” (RELEASED FRIDAY 9 OCTOBER)

Guitarist and singer-songwriter Chantel McGregor will release her new album, “Lose Control”, on Friday 9th October 2015 on her independent boutique label Tis Rock Music – her first studio album since her critically acclaimed 2011 debut, “Like No Other”. The first single, “Take The Power”, is released on Monday September 28th, and is accompanied by a promo video filmed on location in Edinburgh, produced by Sine Wave Media and directed by Richard Weston.

Chantel returns with a vengeance with ten new songs that not only salutes contemporary rock, but shows her gradual transition from conventional Blues to a harder, bigger and bolder rock sound with progressive influences. The album was recorded, mixed and mastered at Livingstone Brown’s studio in Brixton. Livingstone Brown, (Ed Sheeran, Bryan Ferry, Robin Trower), played the majority of the bass on the album, with Chantel playing small parts, with Keith McPartling on drums.

“I’m keen on Southern Gothic literature, artwork and media,” says Chantel. “I wanted to create an album that reflected the imagery and themes of that genre. I drew inspiration from the TV shows True Detective and True Blood and studied the literary works of Tennessee Williams, Carson McMullers and Mark Twain. “I also surrounded myself with imagery from artists and photographers such as Walker Evans and Clarence John Laughlin, all to immerse myself in the sinister, dark world of depravation, magic and voodoo, writing most of the songs from the perspective of the disturbed flawed characters.”

Bluesdoodles said this “Chantel explores what she is capable of, with her sparkling talent as guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. Lose Control – never lets Rock on and relish listening to the talent that is Chantel McGregor.

Thursday 1st October 2015 – Birmingham: The Institute, The Temple
Friday 2nd October 2015 – Ruislip: The Tropic
Friday 9th October 2015 – Halifax: Playhouse
Saturday 10th October 2015 – Southport: The Atkinson Blues Festival
Friday 16th October 2015 – Doncaster: The Dome
Saturday 17th October 2015 – Retford: The Elms – Box Office: 07737 130534
Wednesday 21st October 2015 – Sheffield: Greystones
Thursday 22nd October 2015 – Edinburgh: The Caves – Box Office: 01472 349222
Friday 23rd October 2015 – Glasgow: Nice N Sleazy
Saturday 24th October 2015 – Carlisle: The Venue
Monday 26th October 2015 – Salisbury: Arts Centre
Tuesday 27th October 2015 – Exeter: Phoenix
Wednesday 28th October 2015 – Bridport: Arts Centre
Thursday 29th October 2015 – Brighton, Komedia
Saturday 31st October 2015 – Lincoln: Engine Shed
Saturday 12th December 2015 – Ripley, Town Hall
Sunday 13th December 2015 – Newcastle, The Cluny
Monday 14th December 2015 – Morecambe, The Platform
Tuesday 15th December 2015 – Leeds, The Brudenell
Wednesday 16th December 2015 – Bristol, The Tunnels
Thursday 17th December 2015 – Derby, The Flowerpot

Read what Bluesdoodles thought about her new album Lose Control HERE – release date 9th October

 

CD Review: Chantel McGregor ~ Lose Control

lose_controlChantel McGregor
Lose Control
Tis rock Music Ltd
Release Date Friday 9th October 2015

For many the wait has been far too long, her fans have been impatient for a follow-up album to her critically acclaimed debut album Like No Other – the wait is over Lose Control has a release date and we have a very different Chantel. Lose Control sees a maturity a confidence in the music Chantel wants and can deliver – rock with melodic attitude and the gentle but powerful soprano vocals acting as a counterpoint to the gritty riffs and licks she draws from the guitar. The songs are all new, full of rock anthems, and explores the dark side of Southern Gothic Literature and beyond; this may be about losing control, but Ms McGregor remains in control of the shaping of every chord, lick, beat of the drum and rise and fall of her vocals. We have a Chantel who believes in the music and will be noticed for her unique combination of rock guitar, vocals of an angel and the ability to write songs that have something to say, as demonstrated in the ten tracks that forms this modern rock album.

The signature riffing guitar combo opens the album as a new voice of Chantel falls from the speakers and across the room, hello I am grown up and I rock she says Take The Power this is a song drenched in emotion the torture that you have to go through to have control of your own destiny. By the end of the track she has you in the palm of her hand. Her guitar playing is throughout sublime as the six-strings are bent to her will with a gravelly, deeply textured tone this is rock with the spirit of Stevie Nicks in control. Your Fever is heavier and the guitar is dirty and the voice pure a combination that intoxicates and blisters the skin and melts the ice. The we have an acoustic take on rock a gentler tone and a lullaby texture with Anaethetise, as you are transported into an ethereal world where the haunting tones act as a cleansing balm, why Love, Hate, Memory, Paint, Guilt, Shame, Redemption, Blame all elements collide in the shade behind the eyes she sings with the cello playing a lament that pierces the soul. Wow what a track to throw into a rock drenched album, the next track Southern Belle is back to searing rock, full of debauchery again painted by both the guitar and vocals this is once again emotionally charged and draws you with no resistance into the title track with the instantly recoganisable Chantel shaping of the guitar. Then we have acoustic Chantel with a song that is personal to her, the cello adds a mournful tone as you think of memories of Home a beautiful song crafted with empathy and again a confident artist including this stripped back number in an album that is rock; yet here Chantel finds her way home creating he music she wants us to hear demonstrating the depth of talent that is Chantel McGregor. Killing Time is the heaviest and raunchiest track on the album you can hear the influences of contemporary rock from the likes of Royal Blood and The Black Keys. The vocals are not the dominant force here it is the powerful combo of guitar and rhythm section and it works. Closing the album Walk On Land is progressive music full of textures, tones, beauty and varied approaches in delivering emotionally drenched lyrics we have a completely different sound lots of interesting backing instrumentation as the backing vocals allow Chantel to build the mood as she explores how despite time moving on somethings never change they remain the same whatever the season. This is a thoughtful track that leaves us wondering what the third album will bring as Chantel explores what she is capable of, with her sparkling talent as guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. Lose Control – never lets Rock on and relish listening to the talent that is Chantel McGregor.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

TRACK LISTING – Chantel McGregor – Lose Control

1. Take The Power
2. Your Fever
3. Burn Your Anger
4. Anaesthetize
5. Southern Belle
6. Lose Control
7. Home
8. Killing Time
9. Eternal Dream
10. Walk On Land

Chantel is on extensive tour of the UK check out dates and venues HERE