Hans Chew: Life and Love (Proper/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Hans Chew: Strange Love
Hans Chew: Life and Love (Proper/Southbound)

This is interesting, odd and unexpected.

On the inside cover Chew -- shaven head, bearded -- looks pretty hardcore . . . but he plays grand piano.

And he doesn't play the classical repertoire but rocks out in a Southern boogie style with a tough little band (which includes Dave Cavallo on guitars, including slide). The result is an enjoyable meltdown of blues, country, soul and rock which sometimes places him close to a young Leon Russell (and we're not saying that because this shares a title with an earlier Russell album).

Although at times when the band really fire off you can hear echoes of the Allmans and Elton John around the Tumbleweed Connection era. 

Chew is from Tennessee, played ragtime piano with guitarist Jack Rose and his debut album Tennessee And Other Stories from 2010 scored him four stars in Rolling Stone and lots of plaudits. Uncut considered it in the top 25 releases of that year. The Guardian recently likened his voice to Kurt Cobain's (which I don't hear myself).

But he occupies a rollicking rock'n'country territory . . . except when he gets into folk ballad mode (Goodnight) over acoustic guitar or let's loose his boogie-boogie spirit (Junker's Blues).

A surprise. but a good one. Although you know this really needs to be enjoyed live . . . because it would be doubly more so then.

Check it out. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Bill Lake and the Right Mistake: As Is Where Is (Melrose)

Bill Lake and the Right Mistake: As Is Where Is (Melrose)

If Bill Lake had done nothing else he would still be a hero in this happy household for his witheringly accurate Banana Dominion (about the Muldoon years) on the album 8 Duck Treasure by the... > Read more

Luke Jackson: . . . And Then Some (Popsicle)

Luke Jackson: . . . And Then Some (Popsicle)

After a mention of the late Robert Kirby's string arrangements in a review of the Magic Numbers' The Runaway, this Canadian singer-songwriter with a well-stamped passport got in touch: he too had... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Lauren Thomson

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Lauren Thomson

Auckland-based singer-songwriter Lauren Thomson released her excellent debut EP Our Love is Due in the closing days of 2007 and on the back of it toured frequently, often with Canadian Tami... > Read more

Bon Jovi: Having a bar of it

Bon Jovi: Having a bar of it

My knowledge of Bon Jovi has always been limited, and even more so back in the early Nineties when all I could conjure up for a pub quiz would have been "New Jersey, the cover of their... > Read more