‘One Fine Morning’ from Chris Chambers(January 20, 2012)
How do superb musicians remain hidden from me either by time, distance or accident? One such is Chris Chambers. I’ve listened to this powerful folk-Americana album for hours now; and I remain enthralled. Apparently, this is his fifth album. Where has this guy been hiding? After all, Leicester is not the other side of the world. No matter, he’s on my radar now and likely to remain there. ‘One Fine Morning’ from Chris Chambers is complex, multi-layered and involving, with depth and power. The album employs a myriad of instruments to convey its message - including dobro, mandolin, lap steel, harmonica, piano, organ, tuba and accordion. It also benefits from Chris’s rich, tempered and eminently listenable voice.
This album lives in multiple worlds – the verdant landscape of English folk, the tight-woven golden threads of acoustic Country and the eternal essence of deep-moving Americana – the mix combines to create a heady blend. Add to the mixture the laid back, almost laconic vocal delivery, which belies the intensity of the lyrics - until they reach out to catch your soul.
The self-penned songs range from the tender deliberation of ‘One Fine Morning’ through the echoing, time-eroded messages of ‘Summer’s End’ to the simple rapture of love liberated through ‘Moon on the Water’ – this man can definitely write a fine song. You only need to immerse your ears in the powerful depths of ‘Give Some Love’ to soak up Chris’s talent for searching mood-filled songs. He can hit it with a good cover too. As well as seven of his own songs, Chris delivers inspired covers of Kate Wolf’s ‘Across the Great Divide’ – an absolute gem - and Ian Tyson’s ‘Four Strong Winds’.
Playing on the album with Chris Chambers (vocal, dobro, acoustic and lap steel guitars, harmonica, mandolin, shaker) are Wayne Morris (strings, bass and electric guitars, keyboards, organ, percussion, brass arrangement) Jerry Davis (tuba) and Kenny Wilson (accordion).
Reviewer: Tom Franks