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McGregor, Chantel: Like No Other

Don't be fooled by the album artwork, Chantel McGregor is a young blues rock guitarist that is mature beyond her age. "Like No Other" is her debut album, an album that was produced by Livingston Brown, who has worked along side and as a session player with the likes of Robin Trower and Bill Withers.

I bought the album on spec having witnessed her virtuosity and guitar pyrotechnics which are all on offer here, which sometimes can be very subtle.

There are twelve tracks presented, three of which are covers, Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon", Sonny Boy Williamson' "Help Me" and Robin Trower's "Daydream". Let's just stay with these three tracks for a moment, "Rhiannon" is an acoustic guitar version featuring cello where Chantel more than matches Stevie Nicks, really making the song hers. "Help Me" catches all the dirtiness of the song, tonally making the hairs on the back of your neck stand-up. The piece de resistance though is the fourteen minute plus version of Robin Trower's "Daydream", which by all accounts was nailed in three takes, a version that really does the song justice which more than confirms her ability as a guitarist. I dare you not to be impressed with this version.

The other nine tracks here create their own identity allowing Chantel to breathe, retaining her own sound and not just emulation of others. "Fabulous" with its infectious groove and "Happy Song" are both radio friendly songs which could open up the mainstream market for her. The blues are soon brought to the table with "I'm No Good For You" featuring some very nice guitar work, which is where it is all at for this lady. Harmonies are abound with "Like No Other" where as "Freefalling" introduces some really nice string harmonies, both tracks being highly memorable, tracks that will have you singing along in no time.

"Caught Out" a song with attitude and eastern tones has a rockier side which offers another view of her musical personality. "Cat Song" the albums only instrumental really demonstrates Chantel's ability, another showcase piece, a layered guitar soiree than one can only be but impressed with. "Screams Everlasting" a beautiful acoustic piece that lays bare her soul, offering fragility with her vocal presentation, ends with a stunning electric solo that really creates an emotional musical passage. "Not Here With Me" the penultimate track follows the same acoustic route as "Screams Everlasting" finding the perfect balance with the cello and layered vocal harmonies.

All in all this is a very good album that is worth very minute you spend with it. This is a lady that has played alongside Joe Bonamassa, being a guitarist he highly rates which says it all really. This is a guitarist with a bright future.

Still doubting what I'm saying take yourself off to youtube and try before you buy.

Track Listing
1 Fabulous
2 I'm No Good For You
3 Like No Other
4 Freefalling
5 Rhiannon
6 Caught Out
7 Daydream
8 Cat Song
9 Screams Everlasting
10 Happy Song
11 Not Here With Me
12 Help Me

Added: August 11th 2011
Reviewer: John OBoyle
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Hits: 1741
Language: english

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