As Good as It Gets

Category: music 391

Hometown acts win the night.

by Matt Carter @m_j_c73
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Full house at The Barracks

Last night was a celebration. Two Fredericton acts took to the Barracks Stage with brand new albums. Strong albums, at that.

The Grey is the debut release from Kill Chicago.  The album was released digitally on September 7 and last night, just in time for their Harvest appearance, the vinyl arrived.

Recorded ‘in a basement’ with engineer/producer Brad Perry, The Grey is an undeniably strong record highlighting Greg Webber’s song writing, with a wide mix arrangements that could only come from an experienced group of players.

On stage, the band is big and bold and incredibly dynamic, pairing some serious rock and roll with a heavy mix of blues, and Kill Chicago were able to capture a great deal of their live energy on this recording.  Each track on the album is a stand-alone tale of life on the East Coast in all its beauty and tragedy.

The Grey is a big album and one that delivers something new with each listen.

And then there’s Keith Hallett.  A Harvest veteran.  A local favourite, as authentic as they come. This week Hallett released his first album in four years, Hell West and Crooked. You can hear him talk about the album here.

Between sets last night a friend of mine summed up this local pairing perfectly by saying, “They just killed Chicago and now Keith’s going to rebuild it”.

Hallett holds a unique position among many who chose the blues – no shtick and no gimmicks.  No fake accents or personas.  Like the pillars of 50’s era Chicago blues, he is the same guy on and off stage; the same guy he was 10 years ago and the same guy he’ll be 40 years from now.  There’s no one like him.

And his music is taken to a whole other level when paired with the rhythm section of Ray J. Jr on bass and Chuck Bucket behind the kit. Together, these three can conjure a Zeppelin-esque groove so thick it must be felt to be properly understood. There are no words to do it justice.

While Halifax rocker Matt Mays headlined the evening and delivered a top-notch performance, hometown pride definitely won the night.

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