The Chase Walker Band rocks! Anyone who reads this stuff already knows that. Now, however, you can listen to them anytime and anyplace as this tuneful teen trio has just released their debut disc Unleashed. Mind you, while your rockin’ reviewer might put a bit too much emphasis on their youth, this band know more about the blues than some folks twice their age, mmmkay?
They’ve done their homework and they’re out their earning their chops wherever they can. For those not familiar with the boys in blues the band includes: Chase Walker (songwriting, guitar and vocals), Matt Fyke (drums and vocals) and Randon Davitt (songwriting, bass and vocals). Unleashed is their initial effort and includes 13 tracks of both originals and covers.
The lead-in is a cover of Gino Matteo song “Coming Clean.” This is an honest introduction to what the band is all about. They are a musical threesome who has already spent a significant portion of their lives studying the blues. There’s no guest artists and no multi-million dollar studio polish. It’s just three young men who enjoy playing the blues.
The second selection is “Buffalo Bayou.” Davitt takes the lead on vocals here with a song he also wrote. It’s a nice change of pace and honest too since they switch it up like this when they perform live as well.
The next number is a cover of David Grissom’s “Good Day For The Blues.” This is perhaps one of their most familiar and more popular adaptations. While one might wonder how these young men would have any reason to actually have the blues, they manage to work it as Walker and Davitt share the mic.
“Too Many Days Ago” follows. This is an award-winning original by Walker. It is also the only track on the CD that features a guest artist. Here John Miladelaroca provides ever so subtle keyboards. It’s a soulful song and perhaps one of the best on the album.
Then Davitt leads the band through his song “Fall From The Ground.” Again, it’s nice when they switch things up every so often. It’s a good way to showcase their individual abilities. Then it’s back to covers as they adapt Jeff Beck/Jeffrey Rod’s “Blues Deluxe” which is an early fan favorite.
“Need You Tonight” is another Walker original. At first one might think he couldn’t pull off a song like this and yet studying the blues has added something to these guys that helps them pull it off. (Besides, they may be young but they aren’t that young. It’s easier than one would initially think to pull off a song about need.)
“DIY” is the first instrumental on the album. It’s a group composition that no doubt came about in part just from their jamming. It’s interesting and allows listeners to focus on just the instruments.
“Into The Darkness”, while an original song by Walker, seems much like something by Led Zeppelin. Here is where their youth work for them. You cannot call the track derivative because Walker is not old enough to have studied Led Zep enough to make it derivative. Instead it is perhaps more of a tribute . . . intentional or unintentional . . . and what’s most important is that they make it work for them.
“Who Will’ is another Walker tune. This is one of those songs that every band needs. Every group needs an anthem that is both positive and youthful. It’s one of those empowering a generation songs and fleshes out their repertoire.
“The Night” is Davitt’s last composition here. It’s mellow and serves as a good aural pallet cleanser with noteworthy vocal harmonies to boot. It’s quickly followed by “Blues Is Here To Stay”. It’s their version of a song by Tal Mahal, Norman Caesar and Cyril Garrett Neville.
The closing cut is also the last instrumental on the disc. It’s titled “STB”. Again, it allows listeners to hear what the guys can do when just sit and jam. (It’s unclear why it was used as the album’s end-note but it’s not worth obsessing about really and it’s fun.) Check out the Chase Walker Band’s Unleashed and you just might find it really is a “Good Day For The Blues.”