MusicDish e-Journal - November 12, 2019
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Legendary Chick Willis Delivers The Best in Blues, R&B & Jazz
"The Don of the Blues" Chick Willis and band's musicianship are of the highest caliber on every track of this CD
By Mi2N
(more articles from this author)
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With more great artists both gaining and maintaining success in the music industry than in any other point in time before in music industry history, the burning question is this... What is 'the stuff' that makes a truly great artist a legend? From a marketing perspective, the answer is relatively simple. The secret is this... Create outstanding music, (and be able to perform it live with exceeding amounts of showmanship), with a very distinct and signature sound, and the ability to appeal to as broad a spectrum of music lovers as earthly possible - otherwise known as broad audience and/or marketing appeal.

The best way to achieve that is not only to be able to master one's craft as a musician/performer, but to master one's distinct sound in as many genres as possible. After all, the bottom line in the music industry IS, CD sales and concert ticket sales. And thus, more CD and concert ticket sales can be generated by appealing to a larger spectrum of listeners.

Pulling it off however, is no easy feat. It takes an immense amount of talent, creativity, and the brilliance to both out perform the vast amount of competition that exists in the music industry today, as well as the creative fortitude to do so, (coming up with fresh, new material), for long periods of time in a number of genres. Some of my long time personal favorite examples of this are The Allman Brothers Band, (legends of rock, jazz, blues, jam, and sometimes a 'down home' country sound, as well as being founding forces of the Southern rock movement); Eric Clapton, (one of the world's most respected performers in the genres of rock, blues, jazz, country, reggae and beyond); Gov't Mule, (rock, blues, jazz and jam, with the ability to perform anything and everything in between and more). And of course, the always prolific Chick Willis, known and respected worldwide for decades for his very distinct sound, as well as exceedingly tight and exceptionally dynamic live performances in an unparalleled array of genres.

Though Chick Willis quite deservingly hails the title as "The Don of the Blues", as Chick has reigned as one of the world's most respected blues performers for a number of decades by both fans and by many of the music industry's performing elite; however, even that title cannot even come close to describing Chick Willis' astounding finesse at delivering nothing less than incredibly smooth and dynamic performances, (both live and in the studio), in an amazing array of genres crossing over from blues to classic style R&B, rock, soul, stroll, country, Americana, American roots music, funk, jazz and even a bit of big band at times and more. Considering the vast amount of versatility that Chick has mastered musically, and the broad spectrum of people his music appeals to, when it comes to what's cool, Chick Willis rules as the reigning 'King of Cool'.

Even beyond Chick Willis' ability to deliver exceedingly tight musical performances in all the genres Chick, (and his band), performs in, and delivers it with style as classy as it comes, Chick has been known to add yet another crowd pleasing element to his music. That extra element is perhaps what is best described as 'grown folks' humor. This contrast, not only in the versatility of Chick Willis' music, but also the contrast of his renowned classy style mixed with adult humor, is nothing short of brilliant; and that 'extra something something' is part of what sets Chick Willis apart as a great entertainer and as the great American legend he is.

To add to the many credits and the numerous albums that Chick Willis has either recorded, produced or has been featured on, spanning decades as an American legend, Chick Willis has released yet another 'must have' blues CD in July of 2008 appropriately titled, "Don of the Blues" on CDS Records.

As always, "The Don of the Blues" Chick Willis and band's musicianship are of the highest caliber on every track of this CD.

I must add though, for a legend that specializes in the blues, Chick Willis sure knows how to get the party started to let the good times roll, as this CD is a mix of Chick's famously smooth, classy style with a funky edge that is jam packed with groove to burn, that is sure to compel everyone within listening distance, (and with any sense of rhythm at all), off their seats, and get their booties moving with a quickness, from the very first notes of the first track, "Bootie Call", to the ending notes of the last. (Telling it like it is, you just won't be able to help yourself! If someone hasn't got their groove going on through this CD, better check their pulse. ...Seriously.)

Chick may be "The Don of the Blues," but his music is 'the stuff' that defines 'rhythm' in rhythm & blues, and 'The Don' makes that point exceedingly clear all throughout this CD.

This CD is definitely one of the best albums for entertaining adult guests at any party, regardless of age, race, or geographical origin, social or economic status in many a moon. This CD also can be considered as one of the best 'great date' albums possibly ever. Oh yeah, it's one of 'thooose' CDs that are perfect to lock the doors, pull the shades, light a candle, and enjoy with one's 'very special friend'. As Chick Willis himself would say..."Lawd have mercy!" And of course, besides excellent musicianship, Chick has packed into this CD, plenty of his signature brand of funny for your money.

On this CD, "The Don of the Blues", Chick calls in a few favors from some very heavy hitting 'hit men' (and women), such as tightly executed performances by: 'Big Royal' Joiner and Rick Gallon on keyboards; Ben Irvin and John Khaleefa on drums, Reggie Ward and Rick Gallon on rhythm guitar, Barney Poindester Evan, Hashid Abdul and Chris Edwards on bass, Stanley Booker on flute, and of course, Chick Willis is known as one of meanest 'ax men' in the business, on lead guitar and lead vocals.

More notable credits on this CD are outstanding performance by: 'The Stoop Down Horns' consisting of Jacques 'Saxman' Johnson on tenor and alto sax, Abel Melody on alto sax, Randy Skinner on trumpet, and Dean Martin on flugelhorn. 'The Stoop Down Back Up Singers' are also credited for a fine job on backing vocals. The Stoop Down Back Up Singers are: Barbara Ary, Shirley Clay, Jasmine Clay, Jimmy Robinson, Chantell Denny and Kameelah Wynn. Chick Willis also is credited for producing this CD along with Marlon Hunter.

Related News from Mi2N:
» Legendary Chick Willis Delivers The Best In Blues, R&B, Jazz & More On '09 Tour.

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