Sean Chambers is proud to share that Howlin’ Wolf’s “faithful squire”, the legendary blues guitarist Hubert Sumlin is more than his mentor and reference for a lifetime. Chambers worked as part of Sumlin’s solo career for four years. Chambers is now releasing That’s What I’m Talkin About – Tribute to Hubert Sumlin. This is his eighth album. The songs embody a handful of Chambers’ musical influences, starting from SRV and several others musicians who he played with like Jeff Healey and Leslie West, just to cite a few. It’s worth noting that his previous album Welcome To My Blues (2018) spent one week at # 9 in the Billboard Blues Albums Chart in November 2018.
The album starts with “Howlin For My Darlin”, a powerful blues rock track a la Gary Moore. The birth of the song “Sittin On the Top Of The World” remounts to the 1930s with Mississippi Sheiks band. There have been tons of versions throughout numerous recordings. But Chambers “unexpectedly” choose Howlin Wolf’s version, surely adding his killer guitar tone. I had to admit that the first time I heard the “Hidden Charms” intro, I thought that my device inadvertently started playing some tracks from the Band Of Gypsies. Apart from that resemblance, it’s one of the best songs, bringing a fresh and joyful climate to the album as well as new clothes to that Willie Dixon’s tune (also recorded by Wolf, by the way…).
“Rockin Daddy” is a direct tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan since it’s an ode (or parody) of SRV’s “Shake For Me”. In “Goin Down Slow” Chambers distills brilliant guitar lines either between the parts or solo. This track also has detached Hammond harmonies going throughout it. “Fourty-Four” has an unusual drum pace making this track a little bit different, in spite of the melody and bluesy guitar solo. The blues rock is back with “Do The Do”, where the guitar riffs make one unison and highlight the slides.
“Chunky” is a powerhouse blues where the vocals yield the spot to the Hammond. “Louise” and “Tail Dragger” are closer to a slow blues with the keys assuming all the work from behind the scenes, letting the guitar shine. Chambers uses “Hubert Song” to properly express all his gratitude towards Hubert Sumlin’s mentoring and friendship. A nice acknowledgment as well as a great song.
I think the greatest virtue of That’s What I’m Talkin About is that it brings a pleasant air that exalts the brighter and more peaceful side of blues rock. This kind of approach was rarely observed in the albums made or released during the pandemic. It’s a great achievement and milestone in the Sean Chambers discography and sounds like a new sunrise for blues rock.
The Review: 8.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Howlin For My Darlin
– Hidden Charms
– Hubert Song
The Big Hit
– Hidden Charms