***NEW CD RELEASE**
Chicago 9: Sugar Your Own – Zero Fat, High Energy
We thought it was high time we recorded a ‘proper’ album. You know, one that comes pre-wrapped in cellophane with lovingly crafted artwork, rather than one you frantically burn off 5mins before leaving for a gig and slip into a plain white sleeve just so you’ve got something if someone asks. Not that there’s anything wrong with the latter, we just thought we owed it to ourselves to do a proper job and showcase the band for what it is.
So with that in mind we piled the gear into ‘Tracy’ and set off for two 9 hour sessions at Perry Vale Studios and a cheap hotel in South London (so cheap if fact that the basement rooms had no windows, just imitations framing prints of Tower Bridge. Classy!) And one beery night in Crystal Palace, a Sunday morning Fry-up and 18 hrs in the studio later, 13 tracks lovingly recorded, mixed and mastered for your delectation - if only the artwork was as simple!
All tracks were recorded live in 1 or 2 takes on day one with a guide vocal; anything that didn’t work immediately (I only recall one track) got binned and we pulled another one out of the repertoire. Day 2 was mainly lead vocals, the odd embellishment and mixing as we went. We chose audience and band favourites, a couple of originals and tried of stay clear of the more ‘well known’ songs from our repertoire. Not that there’s many of those.
Styles? Well, it’s all R’n’B to us, apart from maybe the last track (Goodbye Jane), but the influences are many and varied and include Pre-War Country Blues, Swamp Blues, Doo-Wop, British Blues from the 60s & 70s, Soul and dare I say Punk Blues.
All in all we’re very pleased with the outcome, regardless of the limited time available. Elrad got to sing, Ian fixed harps on the fly (to varying degrees of success), Melv learnt how to play the xylophone and Steve made the tea and told us all to ‘sugar your own’.
Do yourself a favour and see them soon !!
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