The Chicago Kingsnakes | Blue Mosaic

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Blue Mosaic

by The Chicago Kingsnakes

The band chose the Blue Mosaic title, because the music reflects their origins in Chicago blues as well as R&B influences. “we came up playing the blues, but were listening to artists like Curtis Mayfield, Al Green, Booker T on the Jukebox at the clubs"
Genre: Blues: Chicago Style
Release Date: 

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1. Take Your Time
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2. Come Back Home
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3. Blues Gone Uptown
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4. Tell the Truth
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5. Sick and Tired
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6. So Cold in Chicago
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7. Hip the Gip
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8. Stop Drop and Roll
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9. Lefty
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10. You Don't Want My Lovin'
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11. Mary Jane (Acoustic)
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12. Mary Jane (Electric)
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Celebrating 28 years making music, The Chicago Kingsnakes are proud to release, Blue Mosaic, their 10th album on their own MusicKing Records Label.

The CD features 12 original songs penned by the band’s leader, James “Ang” Anderson. He states, “The new lineup has very strong vocal harmonies, and we wanted to capture that sound on this disc.” The Chicago Kingsnakes consist of Anderson on guitar and lead vocals, Nelson Keaton on harmonica, Mike Bailey on bass, and Gus Gotsis on drums.

The band chose the Blue Mosaic title, because the music reflects their origins in Chicago blues as well as R&B influences. Anderson says, “we all came up playing the blues, but were listening to artists like Curtis Mayfield, Al Green, Booker T & the MG’s and James Brown on the juke boxes at the clubs.”


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Pasi Tuominen

Kuningaskäärmeille kymppi täyteen
Kuningaskäärmeille
kymppi täyteen
10.1.2012
The Chicago Kingsnakesin kymmenes levy "Blue Mosaic" ei ole aivan napakymppi, mutta melko lähelle taulun keskustaa Tuulisen kaupungin harmoniset matelijat tähtäävät.

The Chicago Kingsnakes on orkesteri, joka vannoo kotikaupungilleen ominaisen bluesin nimeen. Bändi, jonka aikajana venyy pian 30 vuoteen, pullautti ulos omalla Music King Records -levymerkillään kiekon "Blue Mosaic" viime syksynä. Pitkäsoitto on Kuningaskäärmeiden kymmenes.

Mies The Chicago Kingsnakesin takana on James Anderson. Anderson (tunnetaan lempinimillä "Jim" ja "Ang") muistaa lämmöllä pienen Suomenkin. Hän soitti Järvenpäässä Byther Smithin joukoissa kesällä 1992. "Esiintyminen Puistobluesissa on yksi musiikkiurani kohokohdista", Anderson kertoo
Blues-Finland.comille.

Andersonilla on vahva blues-miehen tausta, onhan hän Chicagon rajuna tunnetun South Siden kasvatti. Kotinurkillaan hän oli tekemisissä Chicagon isojen nimien kanssa ja päätyi ennen pitkää legendaarisen Little Miltonin bändiin. The Chicago Kingsnakes ja Byther Smith löysivät toisensa 90-luvun alussa; heidän yhteislevytyksistään merkittävin on "I'm a Mad Man" (1993). Monet pitävät albumia Smithin uran parhaana.

Kukaan on tuskin puulla päähän lyöty, kun selviää, että The Chicago Kingsnakesin "Blue Mosaic" -levyllä pääosassa on perustavanlaatuinen Chicago-blues. Mukaan on toki haettu monipuolisuuttakin. "Musiikki kuvastaa paitsi bluesin juuria myös vaikutteita rhythm 'n bluesista. Koko nykykokoonpano on kasvanut bluesin tahdissa, mutta olemme aina kuunnelleet myös Curtis Mayfieldin ja James Brownin kaltaisia artisteja", Anderson huomauttaa.

Mies puhuu asiaa. Kahdentoista kappaleen levy olisikin ollut hölmö rakentaa pelkästään perusbluesin varaan. Soul-ainesta on tarjolla "Tell the Truth"
-kappaleella. "Blues Gone Uptown" puolestaan edustaa bluesin jump-osastoa. Ero jazziin on yhtä olematon kuin merkityksetönkin. Anderson laulaa: "Well, they call it jazz, sure as you're born"! "Hip the Gip" -instrumentaali vastaa levyn funkaavimmasta menosta.
Laulutyöskentely erottaa The Chicago Kingsnakesin useimmista muista saman tyylin bändeistä. Kaikki levyllä esiintyvät viisi muusikkoa ovat äänessä. Solistina toimii Anderson, ja muu nelikko hoitaa harmoniat. Parhaimmillaan kokonaisuus on raikkaalla avausbiisillä "Take Your Time" ja hölkällä "Stop, Drop and Roll".

Perusblueseista parhaiten toimivat "Take Your Time", tukevasti polkeva "Sick and Tired" ja hienon, tremolosoundilla äänitetyn kitaran komistama "Come Back Home".

"Lefty" on levyn 'pakollinen' Elmore James -tyylin ränttätänttä. "You Don't Want My Lovin'" taas on ties-kuinka-mones kopio Otis Rushin kuolemattomasta
kappaleesta "All Your Love (I Miss Loving)".

"Blue Mosaic" -levylle on keksitty jännittävä lopetus. Kuullaan kappale "Mary Jane" ensin akustisena pohdiskeluna ja heti perään sähköisenä revittelynä. Biisipari toimii oivasti, varsinkin kun Andersonin laulusoundi on purkitettu sähköversiolle albumin muita kappaleita raaempana.

Yhtyeen koko nelikko (entinen vakiobasisti Ron Berry on nyt vierailevassa roolissa) esittäytyy vankkana. Komppiosasto – basisti Mike Bailey ja rumpali Gus Gotsis – ei jätä mitään sattuman varaan. Nelson Keatonin huuliharppu on alati läsnä, mutta osaa ottaa tarpeen mukaan myös sivuroolin. Andersonin kitara soi verevästi, ilman hienouksia. Laulajana hän ei valloita maailmaa.

The Chicago Kingsnakesin tuorein levy on mannaa niille, joille instrumenttiakrobatia ja pitkälle tuotetut teokset eivät maistu. Kappaleet (kaikki
Andersonin originaaleja, bravo!) on äänitetty autenttisen tuntuisella olohuonesoundilla. Soittajat eivät rehentele, vaan soittavat konstailematta omalla
tavallaan. Yllätyksettömyys vaivaa paikoittain, joten aivan nimen mukaista mosaiikkia albumi ei sentään ole. Kappaleissa on kuitenkin jokseenkin riittävästi kirjoa. Mukava kokonaisuus rehellisen Chicago-tyypin bluesin ystäville.

PASI TUOMINEN Blues-Finland.com
.

B.B.

Sur La Route de Memphis n°106 FRANCE
Sur La Route de Memphis n°106

CHICAGO KINGSNAKES
Blue mosaic
(Music King MK 60659)
* * * *
Ce groupe, formé il y a une vingtaine d’années, a
déjà sorti plusieurs albums. Parmi les 12 compos
figurant ici, la majorité relève du blues de Chicago.
Mais, comme le titre et la pochette originale du
CD le soulignent, il s’agit d’une mosaïque de
styles, et on trouve aussi des traces de soul et
de rhythm’n’blues. On note une progression dans l’album, puisque les trois
titres marquants, le rhythm’n’blues néo-orléanais sautillant "Stop drop and
roll", et les rockin’ blues carrés "Lefty" et "Mary Jane" (version électrique) se
trouvent à la fin. B.B.

This group, formed some twenty years, has
already released several albums. Of the 12 compounds
shown here, the majority falls within the Chicago blues.
But as the title and the original cover
CD point out, there is a mosaic of
styles, and there are also traces of soul and
R & B. There was an increase in portfolio, since the three
shares outstanding, the rhythm and blues from New Orleans hopping "Stop drop and
roll ", and rockin 'blues square" Lefty "and" Mary Jane "(electric version) is
at the end. B.B.

Joe Ross

A lot of contrast, both in color and statement
As with any album I review, it’s usually the cover that first catches my eye. The Chicago Kingsnakes chose some artwork by modernist painter Marc Chagall to grace the cover of their new CD, “Blue Mosaic.” Like Chagall's work in which his colors attract and capture attention, The Chicago Kingsnakes blend tones and graduated perspectives into new, living forms that become integral parts of the music on their tenth MusicKing label album release. The cover artwork is a good representation of this band’s cohesive personal Chicago blues vision with R&B and soul influences. Thus, the musical mosaic on this album conveys plenty of striking images and vivid impressions. The songs are all-original, written by guitarist and lead vocalist James “Ang” Anderson. The rest of the band is Nelson Keaton (harmonica), Mike Bailey (bass), and Gus Gotsis (drums). They all sing and that contributes to the band’s well-executed charm that has grown a legion of fans during its nearly three decades in existence. The album presents a lot of contrast, both in color and statement. “Sick and Tired” might have the band wanting to go back where they belong on the south side of Chicago, but “So Cold in Chicago” has them stranded on Lakeshore Drive in a car that won’t start. The Chicago Kingsnakes’ music doesn’t give me that “chill right down to my bone.” Some lyrics come off as a little awkward, and their instrumental work is almost too clean and arranged at times … lacking some of the guts, grit and grease we come to expect in the blues. On the other hand, some of their burning music is pretty hot too, and a few of the cuts might get you to “Stop, Drop and Roll” right into their fire. These guys are clearly an energetic and talented working band with many devoted fans. I only wish they’d take on a few more elements that remind me of Howlin’ Wolf. (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)

Tom Lounges

Top 10 of 2011
"A solid set of songs, played from the heart"
2011's Top Ten Regional Albums -Tom Lounges, NWI.com
.

Matt Marshall -American Blues Scene

Blue Mosiac by The Kingsnakes is Classic Chicago Blues
The Kingsnakes have been playing and touring for over 20 years. The musicians in the band come with a laundry list of credentials, from touring across the world with Little Milton and Junior Wells to Byther Smith and Jimmy Witherspoon. Their latest release, Blue Mosiac, is filled with twelve original tracks in their most comfortable setting; Chicago blues. The band is tight, with a top notch rhythm section and Nelson Keaton playing blues harmonica that dances in between the original lyrics sung by James “Ang” Anderson. Mike Bailey holds down the bass.

“Lefty” is a fun, upbeat song with a danceable and familiar groove. The last two tracks are two different takes of the same song, “Mary Jane” — one a haunting, hypnotic style acoustic jam with a finger picking guitar and harmonica as Anderson sings in veiled references. The electric version kicks up the pace with stinging electric and heavy snare drums, courtesy of Gus Gotsis, for a danceable rhythm.

Overall, the songs are original and the music is easy to listen to. Fans of Chicago blues will enjoy the album and it’s numerous references that will be instantly recognized by Chicagoans. There’s nothing particularly ground breaking in the album; it’s got a traditional sound that’s well known and often played to blues fans. It is, however, simply good, easy to digest music. There are mixed influences in the album, from soul to R&B, but on Blue Mosiac, the Kingsnakes are largely doing what they’ve done best for over two decades: Chicago Blues.

Mick Rainsford - Blues in Britain

Chi-Town blues as it should be played!
The Chicago Kingsnakes were formed in 1983 by guitarist / vocalist James Anderson and since then have become a fixture on the Chicago blues scene releasing seven of their own recordings and accompanying Byther Smith on his Bullseye release “I’m A Mad Man”.

The experience of playing with the likes of Smith, Buddy Guy, Albert King, Lefty Dizz, Son Seals, James Cotton, Junior Wells, Koko Taylor and Little Milton has given Anderson’s playing the authority and authenticity required to replicate the true essence of Chicago blues, a trait that is echoed by the talents of harp maestro Nelson Keaton whose playing is steeped in the traditions of all of Chi-Town’s great harp players. To this potent mix you can add the tight but swinging rhythm section of Gus Gotsis (drums) and Mike Bailey (bass), ensuring the band have that wonderful ensemble sound that permeates all of the classic Chicago blues records, and makes you realise why they are so popular on the Chicago blues scene and why they have lasted for so long.

The band open with the “lowdown and greasy” grooves of “Take Your Time” with it’s snakey guitar, mellifluous harp and harmony vocals, before dipping into Jimmy Rogers’ influenced territory with the brooding “Come Back Home” where the harp mines a menacing Big Walter Horton feel whilst Anderson’s guitar is permeated with shades of Magic Sam and Willie Johnston.

“Blues Gone Uptown” is a swinging jazz inflected blues that brings to mind the Aces in their Junior Wells period – “Stop Drop And Roll” is pure Little Walter reminiscent of “My Babe” – whilst “You Don’t Want My Lovin” gives a strong nod towards Otis Rush’s “All My Lovin’”. But if two tracks can sum up the talents of this band, it has to be “Mary Jane” which is delivered in both acoustic and electric formats. The acoustic version has a brooding Sonny Boy II feel accentuated by a laidback underlying menace, whilst the electric version is permeated with a rawer Cyril Davies feel. Chi-Town blues as it should be played! Rating 9

Simon M - http://www.leicesterbangs.co.uk/

The Chicago Kingsnakes are some of the best and most respected blues players aro
Their first proper album since 2003’s “Grass Roots”, though they’ve busied themselves over the intervening years touring the world with Byther Smith and playing shows with Junior Wells, Jimmy Witherspoon, Cash McCall, etc. When added to the fact that Kingsnakes leader, guitarist-vocalist James Anderson, has played with everyone from Buddy Guy and Albert King to Son Seals, James Cotton and Koko Taylor, It’s probably safe to assume that The Chicago Kingsnakes are some of the best and most respected blues players around.
That’s certainly the impression I get from listening to “Blue Mosaic”. Their style, unsurprisingly, is Chicago blues, and they play it slow and heavy, and tight and upbeat, and whatever way they play it, they play it well. Opening number “Take Your Time” is measured and intense, and highlights all their strengths, primarily great musicianship. When they’re aiming to get feet moving on tracks like “Blues Gone Uptown” and the Sonny Boy Williamson(esque) “Lefty” – the latter with harmonica courtesy of Nelson Keaton – they sound like the ultimate blues bar band. It’s another track, “So Cold in Chicago”, that I find myself returning to. Another upbeat number, it’s what they used to call a toe-tapper, but it’s a bit more than that, and seems to be stuck on repeat.
Simon M. http://www.leicesterbangs.co.uk/

Rainey Wetnight - Blues Blast Magazine

This is Chicago blues at its finest!
Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines a “mosaic” as “a surface decoration made by inlaying small pieces of variously colored material to form pictures or patterns.” That's a mouthful to say, but a sight to behold! The Chicago Kingsnakes, for the cover art of their tenth release on Music King records, have aptly chosen a mosaic. It depicts a man playing guitar, and one can easily guess its most prominent color. “Blue Mosaic” is an intricately-crafted work, offering a predominance of Chicago blues, but also containing colorful sparks of gospel-influenced and acoustic numbers. One of the defining characteristics of mosaics, the quality that causes many art fans to revere them, is this: Each stone is absolutely unique, yet contributes smoothly to the overall image. Such is the case with the twelve original, “inlaid” songs here. Some brilliant highlights:
Track 4: “Tell the Truth”--Hearing the Kingsnakes' choir-like call to honesty, one might imagine strolling into church. However, if the “baby” mentioned in this song doesn't come clean, she'll be strolling out the door! The band's leader, James “Ang” Anderson, states, “The new lineup has very strong vocal harmonies, and we wanted to capture that sound on this disc.” Here, with the help of long-time cohort Ron Berry on bass and backing vocals, they have done so with sweet, smooth artistry.
Track 6: “So Cold in Chicago”--For anyone familiar with the Windy City, this swinging selection is a real treat! Winning this CD's award for funniest lyrics, it features a frustrated James “Ang” Anderson bemoaning the temperature: “Wind shot me like a .45—I'm stranded on Lake Shore Drive. Lake Michigan's frozen. All the schools are closin'!” As listeners chuckle (and shiver), they'll quickly warm up to Nelson Keaton's breezy harp and Anderson’s tasty guitar runs anchored expertly by Gus Gotsis on drums and Mike Bailey on bass. The only thing it lacks is a decisive closer: perhaps the sound of icicles shattering, or that of a car that won't start, followed by a choice word!
Track 9: “Lefty”--Despite its unassuming title, this is Chicago blues at its finest. The Kingsnakes go all out on this rip-roaring stomp, with each instrument red-hot in the middle of their “Blue Mosaic.” Anderson proudly reminisces about his early days: “Blue Monday at the [original] Checkerboard [Lounge]—it's my time to jam. All of these Monday nights made me who I am!” Purists will delight, and everyone will dance, once they hear the opening notes of this number! The title refers to Chicago legend “Lefty” Dizz, who graciously allowed “Ang” to play his guitar.
The band chose the title “Blue Mosaic” for their latest album because the music reflects their origins in Chicago blues as well as R & B influences. “Ang” Anderson explains, “We all came up playing the blues, but were listening to artists like Curtis Mayfield, Al Green, Booker T. and the MG's and James Brown on the jukeboxes at the clubs.” One thing's for sure: out of varied and seemingly-unconnected fragments comes a cohesive whole, a mosaic made of notes and chords instead of stones. The Chicago Kingsnakes realize this, finding joy in their creation!

Kelley Simms

Chicago Kingsnakes Deliver
Celebrating 28 years of making music, The Chicago Kingsnakes delivers its 10th album, Blue Mosaic. The dozen tracks mix Chicago blues and R&B with strong vocal harmonies, twangy guitar licks, and happy-wailing harmonica. Slide guitar and blues-harp go hand-in-hand on “Take Your Time,” while the laid-back groove of “Come Back Home” fits nicely within the blues family. (chicagokingsnakes.com)
– Kelley Simms - Illinois Entertainer

Bernard Boyat

Another group who are a credit to Chicago Blues!
Blues Magazine number 63 (France)
La pochette de ce CD est, pour le moins, originale, et dénote une
créativité et inventivité certaines. Les Chicago Kingsnakes se sont
formés il y a un peu plus de 20 ans et ont déjà plusieurs albums à
leur actif. La formation actuelle compte en son sein Nelson Keaton
(hca), James Ang Anderson (voc, gtr), Mike Bailey (bs) et Gus
Gotsis (bat). Parmi les douze originaux proposés ici, la majorité se
réfère à leur influence principale, le Blues de Chicago. Mais, comme
le titre le souligne, il s’agit d’une mosaïque, et on trouve aussi
des traces de Soul et de Rhythm’n Blues. Il y a aussi une certaine
progression dans la construction de l’album, puisque les trois titres
marquants, le Rhythm’n Blues néo-orléanais guilleret Stop Drop
and Roll, et les Rockin’ Blues carrés Lefty et Mary Jane (version
électrique, celle acoustique se traînant un peu) se trouvent en fin
de parcours. Encore un groupe à ajouter à la liste, déjà longue, des
représentants qui font honneur au Blues chicagoen.
By: Bernard Boyat
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