Chesterfield Kings 'Live Onstage…If You Want it’ Jan 25, 2010 17:16:09 GMT -5
Post by on Jan 25, 2010 17:16:09 GMT -5
The Chesterfield Kings ‘Live Onstage…If You Want it’
Label: Wicked Cool Records
Review by Bucky
The Chesterfield Kings have been around since 1979 on the Rochester, NY music scene & though the band has gone through several members over the years the 2 founding members Lead Singer Greg Prevost & bassist Andy Babiuk have remained together. The 2 members were also longtime associates at Rochester’s ‘House of Guitars’ which is an amazing place. I’ve only been their twice (in the 90’s) but the place has everything. The place is loaded with guitars on the ground level but for me the real treat was going down to the basement which is full of CD’s & Rock & Roll Memorabilia. I think I was in that section for 2 hours both times. Anyway, The Chesterfield Kings style is the result of the Stones, Yardbirds, Johnny Thunders, NY Dolls, Dogs D’Amour, London Quireboys, Paul Revere & the Raiders, Faces, Georgia Satellites & all of the other garage & psychedelic bands of the 60’s being put in a blender. The Chesterfield Kings received mainstream publicity in the mid 2000’s when tunes from their 2003 ‘The Mindbending Sounds of the Chesterfield Kings’ were in regular rotation on Little Steven’s Underground Garage Radio Show. Little Steven soon signed them to his Wicked Cool Records Label & the band rereleased the 2003 album on Wicked Cool Records in 2006 & went on tour with the Underground Garage Tour opening for the NY Dolls. I happen to catch the tour when it came through the Buffalo area & the Chesterfield Kings put on a hell of a performance. In 2007 the band released their 2nd album on Wicked Cool Records: ‘Psychedelic Sunrise’. Both of these albums would’ve fit in perfectly in the late 60’s.
‘Live Onstage…If You Want it’ was released in 2009 & is a great combination of songs from their previous 2 albums along with a few standout tracks from their 1994 album “Let’s Go Get Stoned” (which the cover resembled the Stones Aftermath album & the songs were mostly original songs that are very similar to classic Stones tunes. They Cover “Street Fighting Man” & the Yardbirds “I’m Not Talking” on that album). Anyway, what’s great about this CD is that you also get a DVD of the show which was recorded in Rochester. The CD & DVD both contain 16 songs that rock the house. The band’s current line-up is Greg Prevost who has the look of Johnny Thunders from his days as a NY Doll on Vocals, harmonica, tambourine, & high kicks, Andy Babiuk with kind of a Brian Jones look on Bass & guitars, Mike Boise on drums(he’s an awesome hard hitting rock & roll drummer), & Paul Morabito on guitars (This guy is kicks ass). The band also features Zachary Koch (rhythm guitar), Paul Nunes(Keyboards), Chris Wicks (Saxophone), & Lonnie Bennett (pedal Steel) on various tracks throughout the performance.
The influence of the Rolling Stones is apparent throughout the album beginning with the album’s title ‘Live Onstage…If You Want it’. The Rolling Stones first live album which was released in 1966 is titled ‘Got Live…if You Want it’. The band is introduced as the 2nd Greatest Rock & Roll Band in the World before launching into a Stones sounding rocker called “Up & Down”. “Sunrise (Turn On)” has a psychedelic feel revisiting the late 60’s. “Transparent Life” is an unbelievable song which combines “Paint it Black” with the explosive “7 & 7 Is” by Love featuring a short ripping solo by Paul Morabito. “Non Entity” has a 60’s garage band feel similar to the Standells. Greg Prevost wails on the harmonica & the highlight of the tune happens near the end when the band turns the tune into a high energy jam which Prevost is blowing away on the Harp & shaking maracas in his other hand. “Flashback” is a tribute/rip off of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” but whatever you consider it it’s a great tune featuring some great guitars. As the song nears its end Prevost is singing “Flashback…it’s a Gas”. “Dawn” is similar to “Non Entity” with a cool garage feel & a fast high energized jam.
Up next, the band is all seated at the front of the stage in a set up like an unplugged session. They open the short acoustic set with their single from their 2006 release “I Don’t Understand” which has a Yardbirds feel to it. The next 3 tunes “Gone Psychedelic”, “Sing Me Back Home”(the Merle Haggard 1968 hit), & “Drunkhouse” all have the feel of those great Stones acoustic numbers such as “Salt of the Earth”, “Dead Flowers”, “Sweet Virginia”…etc.
The band is back on their feet & rocking the house once again starting out with raw power of “Stayed too Long”. The next song is from their ‘Let’s Go Get Stoned’ album & is a tribute to Johnny Thunders called “Johnny Volume” (which incidentally was Thunders previous name he used before going with Thunders). The tune is a Kick ass rocker which uses a lot of NY Dolls song titles in its lyrics similar to “Little Boys Playing with Dolls” by Stiv Bators & the Lords of the New Church. The band continues rocking out with garage Rock at its best on “Outtasite” & continues rocking with one of the coolest tracks on the album “I Walk in the Darkness” which kind of musically revisits “Green Onion” by Booker T & the Mgs. “Rock & Roll Murder” is a high energy rocker in the same vein as the Stooges “Raw Power” which leads to another garage rocker titled “I’m So Confused, Baby” which is the final tune on this unbelievable album.