Chickenbone Slim | The Big Beat

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Blues: West Coast Blues Blues: Harmonica Blues Moods: Type: Lo-Fi
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The Big Beat

by Chickenbone Slim

All original blues songs recorded at Greaseland Studios by Chickenbone Slim with "Big" Jon Atkinson, Scott Smart, Marty Dodson and Kid Andersen mixing and mastering.
Genre: Blues: West Coast Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Big Beat
4:12 $0.99
2. Long Way Down
5:10 $0.99
3. Hemi Dodge
3:08 $0.99
4. Vodka and Vicodin
3:10 $0.99
5. Long Legged Sweet Thing
4:41 $0.99
6. Do You Like It?
2:43 $0.99
7. Me and Johnny Lee
6:11 $0.99
8. Man Down
4:06 $0.99
9. Break Me off a Piece
3:37 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Chickenbone Slim is from a different egg. Hatched as the alter ego of Larry Teves, the San Diego-based musician possesses a unique view of the world that is often a beat ahead, or sometimes, just lagging a bit behind. That perspective allows him to compose and perform songs that tap into the humor of our foibles, and, at other times, gnaw down to the gristle of everyday life. In short, the music has a heart and soul that can only by Chickenbone Slim’s.
For years, Chickenbone honed his guitar playing, singing and songwriting skills in a variety of blues and rockabilly bands. He was letting his feelings and the music simmer as he played with some of San Diego’s best musicians, knowing that it would eventually come together as his own.
And, that time has clearly come. The Big Beat is seasoned just right, with doses of reality and humor that create modern-day blues. It might not always paint the prettiest picture, but it is one that is real and reflects years of passion. All Chickenbone Slim can ask is for you to listen, and join his dance if you like.
The CD project “The Big Beat” was primarily recorded from April 10, 2017 to April 13, 2017 and final recording on July 10, 2017 at Greaseland Studios in Hayward, CA.

The songs were recorded live, including solos, generally in 2-3 takes during the first two days. The first song recorded as a warm up was “Koo Koo Baby”, a cover not intended for the album. Of the subsequent 11 original songs recorded nine were used for the album.

This album would not have happened without the hard work, advice, instrumentation, backing vocals and ears of Kid Anderson. Greaseland Studios is a creative, comfortable studio, and it felt like home throughout the sessions.

Mixing instruments including diatonic and chromatic, bullet miced and acoustic harmonica, guitar, bass, Jon Atkinson’s versatility and musicianship is self evident and his career is accelerating forward. His harmonica playing is muscular, demanding and inspired, and his guitar playing is soulful and greasy. With a deep knowledge of traditional blues and an ability to adapt it to modern material makes Big Jon a talent that cannot be ignored.

Scot Smart’s rock solid bass throughout the bulk of the recordings and highlight solo guitar work on “Long Way Down” is also a taste of current ability and expanding talent by the other kid in the room. Scott has developed a unique west side Chicago blues and soul style on guitar that is tasteful and explosive, and his interplay with Jon Atkinson on “Man Down” is inspiring.

Finally, Marty Dodson is both the coolest cat and every blues drummers favorite drummer. From his encyclopedic knowledge of grooves and blues interpretations to his impeccable meter to his artistic talent in bringing out the best feel for each song. A highlight of the album is Marty’s performance with the 11/8 to 3/4 time changes and tension building drum fills on “Long Legged Sweet Thing”. Marty is the soul of this recording.

Every attempt was made for each song to be recorded live and with a natural feel. Each song on the album was written by Chickenbone and is outlined below:

The Big Beat

This song was written as an homage to blues musicians and blues dancers in local juke joints. With the seductive moves of blues dances (think tango but more down low), every show is better eye candy and obvious heat. Come on down to the Chicken Shack! This song features Big Jon blowing harp with serious attitude and CB’s rhythm and lead guitar work.

Long Way Down

This song is about love at first sight. CB wrote this song several years ago, and was almost used on CB’s first album but didn’t come across right until this session. With CB on rhythm guitar, Scot Smart shines with his intuitive guitar work responding to the vocals and lays down a dynamic solo. Recorded live, the band follows Scot as he lays down an extended vamp on the one, building tension and groove. Big Jon lays a fat bass line and Marty drives the groove in a rock feel, punctuating the solos.

Hemi Dodge

A country song featuring Kid Anderson on guitar, CB on bass, Jon Atkinson on campfire harmonica and a two beat by Marty. CB never thought this song would ever get recorded with it’s odd chord changes and dubious blues heritage. A story about moonshine running and personal morality had to be on this blues album, especially with the performance of Kid. Recording this song may be the most amazing musical performance CB has ever been involved with. Kid’s guitar playing makes this song, and after the second take, which was the keeper, CB had to stay seated because he got dizzy.

Vodka and Vicodine

CB strumming acoustic alone on a nice Guild Kid Anderson had in his studio. This song was recorded early on day 2 before the rest of the crew showed up. The character is one of a hundred hard working men CB has known, and is about the daily struggles we all have. Kids, don’t do drugs. In case you are wondering, a D-9 is a very large Caterpiller Tractor.

Long Legged Sweet Thing

It took Marty a minute to figure out the time signature(s), and after a brief run through, recorded in two takes. Jon Atkinson’s powerful harp and the ear worm groove of CB’s tele make this a unique addition to the album. Written with a Howlin’ Wolf influenced disdain for regular time signatures, it still retains a version of the traditional 12 bar blues form, with a (mostly)3/4 waltz time.

Do You Like It?

This stop time shuffle was written by CB years ago, and just clicked in this setting. The lyrics are obviously sexual, in a traditional double entendre form. Marty’s stripper groove and Big Jon’s harp are on center stage.

Me and Johnny Lee

Obviously, a song about having the blues and listening to John Lee Hooker. A recent composition by CB it features harp by Big Jon and lead by CB.

Man Down

This was the last song recorded on the session, and possibly the most profound. After recording “Hemi Dodge” Cb still had his bass plugged in and CB threw out a funk grove. The original lyrics were reworked with only “Man Down” as the hesitated chorus. The groove supports the intricate interplay between the guitars of Jon Atkinson and Scott Smart and they play off each other and the vocal for a forceful, socially relevant song.

Break Me Off a Piece

This Lightning Hopkins/Jimmy Reed style shuffle is the perfect cap to the album, with Jon Atkinson’s acoustic harp and shout at the end “That’s It!”



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