Chicago Kingsnakes | Grassroots

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Blues: Acoustic Blues Blues: Delta Style Moods: Featuring Guitar
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by Chicago Kingsnakes

American Roots Music. Nine songs written and performed in an all acoustic setting by the Chicago blues band, the Chicago Kingsnakes. Recorded outside of the city in a rural setting at "the Spot", a state of the art studio
Genre: Blues: Acoustic Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Downtown Train
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2:46 $0.99
2. Best Friend Blues
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5:11 $0.99
3. Goodbye Louise
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3:07 $0.99
4. Chili Con Queso
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5:07 $0.99
5. Wolf In Sheep's Clothes
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4:24 $0.99
6. I Remember
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5:10 $0.99
7. One Turns Into Two
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4:57 $0.99
8. Morning Booze Flu
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4:25 $0.99
9. Tonti Train Wreck
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3:11 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
Kingsnakes Digging Up the Roots

The Chicago Kingsnakes are proud to announce the release of their new all acoustic CD entitled "Grass Roots". This disc contains 9 original songs written by the band.

The blues-based quartet describes this release as "American roots music". Kingsnakes leader, James "Ang" Anderson explains, "we were in between drummers and had been playing some acoustic gigs in coffeehouses. We discovered that we liked the vibe, and that some of our electric material took on a different life in this setting. We also wrote some new songs for this format. We enjoyed hearing the nuances of the music as well as the three part harmonies. "

Anderson plays guitar and sings, Ron Berry plucks the bass, Nelson Keaton blows the harmonica and Tom King bangs out percussion.

The band utilized a collection of vintage instruments for the recording, including a 1929 National resonator guitar, a 1952 Gibson SJ acoustic guitar, and a 1960's Supro resonator guitar. The sessions were held at the Spot studio in Schneider IN. The Spot is a unique recording studio as it is located on the Huber Ranch Sod Nursery. The facility is not only a new state-of-the-art digital studio, but it also offers bed and breakfast accommodations for the musicians.


to write a review

Lex Shuler

Way Good!
Great album and the "Tonti Train Wreck" track is special to me. I was one of first people on the scene . I live only a couple miles north. It was tragic.


The CD Takes Me Home for FUN!!
I grew up in Dolton, IL. I know these guys are from Riverdale across the train tracks from where I lived. Even so, I would leave home an hour early to catch their gig.

I think their music and style is first rate. This CD shows that their tunes are written to cross from electric to acoustic. That tells me that they play and think about lyrics like I do. Too cool. A band has to cross venues to be successful. This band does it with this CD.

The harp adds a new flavor. I thought I heard a violin, but do not see it in the credits. This diversity is rarely heard anymore. The bass is well done. Ang is, as usual, exemplar on guitar and vocals. I sure wish they would tour to our area.

Illinois Entertainer - Kevin Toelle

A Fine Downhome Effort
Grass Roots accurately describes the contents of the new all-acoustic CD by the Chicago Kingsnakes. Utilizing vintage guitars and bass, the band presents a program of all-original material that ranges from country blues to old-timey tunes with strong vocals and impressive instrumental work. For a change of pace, the group also includes a compelling harmonica-led instrumental entitled “Chili Con Queso,” which brings a Latin flavor to the proceedings. The whole affair is a fine downhome effort from a decidedly urban combo.

Blues On Stage - Craig Ruskey April 2004

This unplugged gem has plenty for fans of acoustic blues and roots music
Recommended. This has all the elements of a Southern afternoon front porch jam and party with everything but the sound of friends whooping it up while dancing around the yard. The Chicago Kingsnakes may not be known far outside of their territory, but their latest, Grass Roots, is a follow-up to Blues Island and another winner. Consisting of James Anderson's superb guitar work and potent vocals, Nelson Keaton's solid harp, and Ron Berry's bass along with Tom King's uncluttered drumming, this stripped-back. all-acoustic affair is without a blemish (unless you consider the short playing time). Anderson dishes out fine work, whether on his National, Gibson, or Supro, and vocally, he's got a relaxing style. The Delta feel of Wolf In Sheep's Clothes is stunning while the instrumental, Chili Con Queso, works off a romping Latin groove, and Berry's Morning Booze Flu is a stark reminder to the after effects of a bit too much of the night before. Whether the hand-clapping fun of Downtown Train or the backwoods dirt of
Best Friend Blues, this unplugged gem has plenty for fans of acoustic blues and roots music.


One Turns Into Two
This is an awesome song, as is the band. It is even better live! If you get the chance to see the Kingsnakes, do it. You won't be dissapointed!
Get show last night Ang, great to see you again after 20 plus years!

Melanie Kallal

Johnny Cash Meets the Blues!
Johnny Cash Meets the Blues!

Blues Revue - Tom Hyslop

Kingsnakes sound like naturals at the acoustic-combo thing
BLUES REVUE – Tom Hyslop April/May 2004

The Chicago Kingsnakes who last crawled in with the tough, Blues Island, are back with an all-acoustic Grass Roots (MusicKing 60654). Guitarist James Anderson turns in crisply rhythmic leads that work well in this setting. Ron Berry’s bass and Tom King’s percussion are just right, and Nelson Keaton draws excellent tone out of his harps. “Chili Con Queso” is a tasty, meatless variation on Kenny Burrell’s familiar con carne recipe; “Best Friend Blues” and “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” make serious slow blues impressions; “I Remember” hits a solid gospel groove. Too often a band unplugs without adapting, but the Kingsnakes sound like naturals at the acoustic-combo thing.


Wow! I can't believe they're singing about Salem!
Track nine (Tonti Train Wreck) is about my hometown! Except they pronounce Tonti as "Tontee" not the correct way "Tontie".


This CD is One of My Main CD's!!!!
I grew up in Dolton. There was always a bit of a battle of the bands...These guys have original tunes that can not be explained unless you were there. I listen to this CD to get my ohm level down to a point that so I can hear the Tele's and equipment like we did it in the old days. "Tell me who is to blame??" These guys jam!!!

Tom Lounges - Midwest Beat Magazine

Tasty Acoustic Blues
This is tasty acoustic blues by one of the Chicago area's best blues bands of the last decade. Full of original tunes written or co-written by band leader and guitarist James "Ang" Anderson, this is a salute to the music that first inspired the band members to pick up their instruments.

Its best and darkest cut, "Tonti Train Wreck," sounds a bit like "Nebraska"-era Springsteen meets Johnny Cash, and features fiddle player Annie Kincaid.
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