Hector Anchondo: Let Loose Those Chains Review

Fresh from the agricultural slurries of a Missouri farm upbringing and much more recently the 2020 International Blues Challenge (IBC) winner in the solo/duo category, Hector Anchondo takes us back to the root and branches of the blues with a dozen acoustic originals that represent his love for past and present masters (think Taj Mahal, Keb’ Mo’, etc).

The culmination of over two decades of life on the road, Let Loose Those Chains is a liberating insight into Anchondo’s musical education, as he opens the window to his soul on the highs and lows of his life so far. A model student of the genre with a healthy obsession to shape his own authentic sound, the Omaha-born bluesman actually moved to Chicago for an entire year without listening to any style of music to ensure he soaked up all that magic and mystery.

Let Loose Those Chains kicks off the shackles with the title track, unveiling a smooth passionate voice and powerful imagery (“my back is aching in so much pain”) that heralds the field shouts and hollers of workers toiling together on the cotton plantations. “I’m Going To Missouri” picks up the tempo with a chirpy shuffle, while “Just Forget It” resummons serious matters with another strong melody and lyrics submerged in troubled waters.

“Sometimes Being Alone Feels Right” follows the ballad formula with more subtle fingerpicking to complement the delicate touch of Khayman Winfield on drums. The fretwork on “Candy Shop” most certainly hits the sweet spot, with “Momma’s A Hard Man” covering the parenting school of hard knocks in typically expressive fashion.

Anchondo also brings flavors of Americana and folk to this easy listening release, not to mention the swing feel and gypsy jazz of “Strike It Down”. Sensitive and soulful, the roots-orientated blues fan is sure to find something to dig here.

The Review: 6.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Let Loose Those Chains
– Candy Shop
– Momma’s A Hard Man

The Big Hit

– Momma’s A Hard Man

Buy the album: Amazon | Amazon UK

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