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CHESS MASTERS CD
17x 1x statements and reviews until August 31, 2000
heard "Chess Masters" and it is great, the Feelgoods really blew
me away with this very bluesy CD. My respect and admiration to the boys.
I think this is one of the best projects they've done, if not the best.
The Mastering, the sound, the new singer... the groove. Wow!!!
Fito de la Parra, Canned Heat's drummer, from California USA / May 14, 2000 (Via e-mail to website)
now that Gabi has some MP3s of the new CD on her web site, I can at last
hear the "new" band, as frankly, I've been holding off, being
disappointed with "On The Road Again". The new incarnation sounds
really good and has that echoey but close chess sound (hard to describe
but I hope it makes sense). Kane's vocals are a little more mannered than
Lee's gruff authority. Harp is better than I expected too. Yep, this ones
going on my "to be ordered" list.
Mark, member of the R&B Circle / May 16, 2000
describtion of "Chess Masters"? It's powerful. Energy and speed
go hand in hand with the original blues. Lots of dynamic, feeling and atmosphere.
Brilliant playing by anyone involved, great interpretations by singer Robert,
perfect arrangements and an excellent production work. I'd like to say,
the impossible happened: To catch the spirit and live energy of the Feelgoods
Back to the roots in an enjoyable fresh way! A hell of an album. - WAKE UP media world!!!
Gabi Schwanke, Feelgood friend & fan, member of the R&B Circle, from Germany / May 18, 2000
had the CD in the car all week and, I have to say, I think it's teriffic!
There's loads of variety (Nadine to Help Me to Send For The Doctor) with
(hopefully) enough "spirit of Wilko" guitar (The Walk) to keep
the diehard Feelgoods fans happy. And, as a Pirates fan, I'm not sure who'd
win a "shootout" between their "original" version of
Talkin' Bout You and this current one! (I can't believe that the Feelgoods
got this direct from Chuck Berry!!!)
Robert Kane's voice sounds excellent throughout and surely Steve Walwyn is THE best RnB guitarist in the UK at the moment. Additionally, the occassional use of harp and horn section livens up proceedings nicely. This album really deserves to be a success, and to get some airplay in this country (are you listening Mr. Jones, Mr. Harris etc.). I'm sure it could even do well in the US with the right kind of push.
I saw them the other week at the Army and Navy in Chelmsford and they really were great. But (moan time), where were the people? Although full, the A&N wasn't exactly heaving. This line-up appears to have given the old name a new lease of life and it's a crying shame that they're not pulling bigger crowds. And, to my way of thinking, the promotion of this album (in the form of a nationwide tour for example) seems non-existent. This seems like a real missed opportunity although someone who's more in the know may be able to put me right on this one.
Anyway, good luck to the band and I'm looking forward to seeing them next chance I get.
PS Go out and buy it!
Kevin, member of the R&B Circle / May 19, 2000
have to agree with the previous (R&B Circle members')
comments about the album with the exception of The Walk. Not because
of my affection for The Inmates, but I just don't personally like this
version. The rest of the album is excellent and I do believe it deserves
more promotion from EMI in this country. I believe it's on the Grand label
elsewhere and I hope Whitey's (note by Gabi: Chris Fenwick, Dr Feelgood's
manager) advertising budget allows him to give it more of a "push"
elsewhere. John is probably best placed to answer this.
Interestingly though, my local branch of Andy's Records in Grimsby has the album featured on a seperate shelf within the CHART section..... God, I hope it DOES chart !! This will only happen with more media exposure though. WAKE UP EMI !!!!! (Although we all know that is "unlikely!!!)
Steve, member of the R&B Circle / May 20, 2000
this Chess Masters CD on Thursday, took it away with me for the weekend,
just couldn't stop playing it. Nadine and The Walk (so, so Wilko; heard
this on Paul Jones show the week before last, and thought it was Wilko
until the singing started). IMO, this is a return to the top form of "The
Feelgood Factor". A real classic UK R&B record through and through.
I haven't seen the Feelgoods since the days of Wilko, and much regret not
seeing the other line ups, but really want to see them now.
Ian, member of the R&B Circle / May 22, 2000
TO TOP OR MENU
so great album
- 3-4 songs have same riff
- Kane's not Blues singer (as Gage and Brillo)
- Not original stuff
- Kane's like little kid playing with record player on his CD - especially You Gotta Help Me sounds like Burdon singing - Eric still lives
Only good things are rough mixing and Steve's guitar playing.
Please let them find better singer and fast!
Petri Aarnio, 18 earlier CD's owner, fan about 20 years, from Finland / May 26, 2000 (Via e-mail to website)
stuff! Great version of 'Hoochie..', better than the Hendrix or Allmans.
Also smart re-workings of 'Nadine' and '29 Ways' - I doubt Paul Jones will
air them as they make his mob's versions sound tired. The arrangement of
'Suzie Q' sounds like the boys have broken into John Fogerty's house and
stolen his Creedence demo - it's good.
John Alderdice / May 2000 (Via e-mail to Dr Feelgood Info Service)
ordered Chess Masters by mail order and have been listening to it for a
couple of weeks now. It is great!! Nadine is the first track and has a
vintage Feelgood sound to it. The other 13 tracks get the same Feelgood
treatment and Robert's vocals are superb. Go get it now!!
Neil Morgan - Message at Newsgroup: alt.music.dr-feelgood / June 3, 2000
Easily a real big return to form in the "Feelgood Factor Style".
BTW, anybody read the Saturday Telegraph (!) re Canvey Island walk/musical sites?
Ian Clarke - Message at Newsgroup: uk.music.rhythm-n-blues / June 4, 2000
Should have also said how similar to Wilko's sound Steve is now getting, eg "The Walk".
Ian Clarke - Message at Newsgroup: uk.music.rhythm-n-blues / June 5, 2000
bought the CD 2 weeks ago and am very impressed... The content reminds
me of a number of previous Dr. Feelgood styles... just when I thought the
feelgoods could do no more.
The CD is being marketed in HMV (Cheltenham UK store) as 'Recommended'... The last time this ever happened to my knowledge was for 'Stupidity'!!!
Good listening for anyone who has ever been into the Feelgoods at any stage during the last 25 years or so.
Nick Mason - Message at Newsgroup: alt.music.dr-feelgood / June 7, 2000
really do think the new album is a cracker. I was a little sceptical at
first when Robert joined the band, but its a real good CD - a true Feelgood
Ian Fawkes from the UK / June 14, 2000 (Via e-mail to website) - Ian's full review is published below
listened to the MP3 files of Chess Masters. Walwyn out-Wilko's Wilko! This
is the first time I've listened to the Feelgoods post Lee. They sound great
- I'm off to buy the CD. The singer's a bit too clean for my liking but
I dig the band.
I bought the vid a while ago and felt the Feelgoods were relying too much on extended guitar solo's - this put me off a little and I was a bit disappointed. With CM they are right back on track and I hope they continue to soldier on.
I'm a big Wilko fan but his latest CD GBH was a big let down with only three tracks worth listening to. Thank God for the new Feelgoods.
'A delighted Andy' from Liverpool UK / June 22, 2000 (Via e-mail to website)
Brilleaux was obviously going to be a very hard act to follow, but we felt
you couldn’t have made a better choice than Robert Kane, he was excellent.
We felt compelled to write because we have just bought “Chess Masters”
and think it is a fantastic album - more please.
Steven & Janet Cooper / June 2000 (Letter to Dr Feelgood Info Service)
"Chess Masters" of course and I think it's a total classic. I
particularly like the sound, you're really "in the room"
with Robert on this one. Great performances all round too. Mighty, Mighty,
Leigh Heggarty, guitarist with Informers, Flame, and Reservoir Ducks / June 2000 (Letter to Dr Feelgood Info Service)
first contact with Feelgood was in 1978 (10 years old) when a friend played
Down at the doctors. How could I resist? I hope I don't offend someone,
when I say that Chessmasters is one of the best Feelgood records ever.
Mattias from Sweden / July 7, 2000 (Guestbook entry)
at Gabis excellent web site and also reading between the lines of John's
Feelin' Good it seems there has been somewhat
of a hot and cold responce to Chess Masters and more importantly Robert
Kane the new Feelgood frontman. I suppose this really is understandable
as Robert is nothing like Lee or Pete
Gage, he's a total sea change, dresses different and sings in a different
style, higher. So who's to say he can't be a Feelgood? Cast your mind back
to Wilko's departure from the
band, I remember Gypie coming in
for some right stick when he joined and yes people did go off the band
when Mr. Johnson left because of course he was a great but eventually Gypie
was accepted and chart success etc. followed. And what of the Johnny Guitar
line up? I for one was not knocked out by that at all and yet it was fronted
by the great Lee Brilleaux. Of course these days the Feelgoods have settled
into a workmanlike routine, those were heady days back then.
I've only seen Robert with them once so can't make a full opinion, some of the set I liked and some I thought Robert was a little uncomfortable with, like Sneakin Suspicion and Mad Man Blues, you see he sings higher up than the previous men, but it ain't easy taking over the frontman role there ain't nowhere to hide or ease off the gas for a while. Looking at the general reaction though I really think the Feelgood fan base have not got over the loss of Lee and who is to say they ever will, I don't think I will you see he was and always will be the best, say no more. Maybe people feel they've got to get something off their chest and Gabi, John and now Robert are there to have it.
So what have we here in Chess Masters? Well as the title suggests it's a covers album so no point in dissecting each song, but I think it's fine, the guitar is cranked up the bass and drums kick and Mr Kane puts in a good performance. I must admit I was a little nervous about it but now it's OK. Yes it plays safe a bit being a covers album and so it's not the greatest the band have ever recorded but it's got balls! I remember when Let it Roll came out I was a little dissapointed in that in its laid back style but over the years it has fitted in nicely to the collection and I think this will as well, in short its got the Feelgood Factor.
And what do I think of Robert Kane? Well with a seventy odd date tour coming up I will reserse judgement until after that you see there is nothing like a long stint on the road for properly breaking a new member in. You know many years ago I once very naively asked Lee if he would like a copy of an old recording of the band that I had and he said ''No thanks old boy, I'm not interested in what we sounded like ten years ago. I live for today!'' That's what we have to do, you know.
Ian Fawkes from the UK / July 4, 2000 (Via e-mail to website)
Not what I expected!
Garry Kasparov (Chess Monthly)
TO TOP OR MENU
is the first album to be released by Dr Feelgood since the untimely death
of their original vocalist, Lee Brilleaux, in 1994. Brilleaux has been
replaced Robert Kane, whose credentials include a stint as frontman with
the Animals. As the album title suggests, the band have raided the archives
of the Chess label and recorded their own versions of legendary R&B
While the tracks here are pretty much note-by-note covers of the originals, this is a worthy collection, with songs such as "If Walls Could Talk" and "One More Shot" sounding particularly fresh. Despite not being a classic Dr Feelgood album, it is reassuring that the kings of the 70s pub rock scene are still in existence, and it leaves you craving for new and original material from the band.
Rich Wilson, Record Collector UK / June 2000
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