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4.7 out of 5 stars40
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 19 November 2012
This was the headline for Chantel who came to Spalding in Lincs to do a partner is into rock and blues and just on the off chance we booked to see her. We deliberately didn't look at anything about her, choosing to see what she was all about in person rather than having a pre-conceived idea.....
Stunning, doesn't begin to cover it - a tiny little thing, barefoot, floaty dress, but boy,can she play a guitar !! and sing and write songs - she is truly astounding !! My personal favorite song is based on Trueblood, a brilliant take on the theme tune but definitely all her own work. The acoustic version of riahnnon is outstanding but there is nothing on this album that doesn't stand up as a fine piece of work and a mark of her craftmanship.
Go see her as soon as you can - anyone that knows Jools Holland - get her on his show PLEASE !!!!!!
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on 29 July 2011
After spending the early years of her musical career balancing gigging in the clubs and bars of the north of England with studying for year music degree, Chantel McGregor was finally able to release her long awaited debut album in April.

The album consists of twelve songs. Nine originals and three covers. Robin Trower's Daydream and Sonny Boy Williamson's Help Me have both been cornerstones of the live set in recent years. The third of the covers, Fleetwood Mac's Rhiannon was introduced into the live set as a solo acoustic number at the end of last year. Of the twelve songs, five of them are acoustic.

It would have been easy for Chantel to make an album that is a showcase for her jaw dropping talent as a guitarist, but Chantel's playing is actually quite restrained for the most part. She does not succumb to any temptation to over-play, and strikes just the right balance between power and finesse. The focus is on the quality of the songs themselves. And it's here that she excels. As a writer and performer of classic pop songs, a great talent is revealed as a singer-songwriter where the focus shifts to Chantel's passionate vocals, and of course, as a rock/blues musician where Chantel has made her name through the electrifying full on rock of the live shows. There is a huge variety of songs on the album with Chantel seemingly having the ability to draw inspiration from anywhere within the vast universe of rock music. And sounding a complete natural at whatever she turns her hand to.

A few personal highlights would have to include the stripped down version of Rhiannon. Accompanied by special guest Jocasta Whippy on the Cello, it's a stripped down, atmospheric, acoustic take on the song. And with a vocal of stunning beauty. Screams Everlasting is another beautiful acoustic song and has a heart melting vocal. It ends with a smouldering slow burning solo which climbs and rises like a phoenix as Chantel switches to electric guitar to close out the song. Freefalling has a great chorus and middle eight and sounds even better with the addition of string harmonies. And Daydream, with a long instrumental closing section is a mesmeric piece of playing. The bass, drums and organ taking you down into deep alpha, holding you there, and then Chantel's guitar takes over as she puts you under a spell and leads you on a musical journey for the remaining ten minutes of the song. The solo builds, oscillates, and then swirls into a crescendo of sound as Chantel shifts gears and cuts loose as she unleashes some blistering soloing before slowing it down again and bringing a true epic to a close.

Chantel McGregor is a proper vocalist. She has a pure, distinctive voice full of passion and a real natural warmth. Her delivery is crystal clear throughout the album.

Chantel has assembled some high quality musicians to help make this album. Robin Trower's bandmates Livingstone Brown on bass and keyboards, and Chris Taggart on drums. And credit to Livingstone Brown for his outstanding production work.

Clocking in at nearly 64 minutes, Chantel McGregor has set a very high standard with this album. It will appeal to a very wide audience of all ages. It's very radio friendly and full of catchy, melodic hooks and choruses. There is something there for everyone to enjoy, and lots for most people to enjoy.

This is an album that will stand the test of time, a timeless classic that is sure to be judged as one of the great debut albums.
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on 25 August 2011
Chantel McGregor - Like No Other

This is the long-awaited first album from Chantel , an enormously talented and likeable young musician from Yorkshire. She started playing guitar at 3 and by 12 was playing alongside much older and more experienced players. She has spent the last couple of years with her band building a strong following on the UK and European blues rock circuit and has now released her first self-released album.

And it's both much better and rather different to what I was expecting. On stage the `wow' effect occurs when this small pretty girl in a long floral dress wanders casually onto the stage, plugs in and then lets rip with some of the most fluid, melodic and downright loud electric blues guitar this side of Hendrix's Little Wing. Seeing her on stage is truly astonishing, the music just seems to flow through her. She's really that good and her playing has won her a strong following largely, it has to be said, with an older beer drinking, blues rock loving crowd who also love people like Joe Bonamassa, the late Gary Moore etc . And nothing wrong with that, although it does perhaps limit her appeal.

And now, the studio album and the `wow' effect is again present, but now more for the strength of her song writing and particularily her vocals. The opening track `Fabulous' would make a great hit single if covered by the likes of Rhianna - its slinky , funky and very modern sounding as indeed is the whole album. This is modern rock you can dance to and sing along to and has great crossover appeal. There is some terrific guitar playing but much less than expected - the emphasis is on strong melodic songs sung with a highly appealing fragility and it's this that gives the music a broad appeal and will keep you going back to songs such as `Like no other ` `Screams Everlasting' and `Freefalling'. Indeed you will probably find yourself humming these tunes after only a couple of listens - I certainly did!.

Elsewhere `Caught Out' has an Eastern groove not dissimilar from some of Robert Plants solo material and there is a lovely interpretation of Stevie Nicks `Rhiannon' , basically played solo and acoustic with a subtle cello accompaniment.

There is one real guitar freak out on a cover of Robin Trower's `Daydream' , a long time stage favourite. And while I love it - she can play it all night long as far as I'm concerned - on the album I think it actually sounds a bit out of place and interrupts the flow slightly. Having said that, it is the one song that most closely reflects her stage act, and will doubtless be a favourite amongst her fans.

This album could have been a straight reflection of the guitar heavy blues rock that dominates her live show. Instead we have an album of melodic rock songs that would garner a great deal of airplay if mainstream radio still played rock music. In the seventies Bob Harris would have introduced her on the Whistle Test and within weeks she would be out headlining major concert venues. In todays marketplace that is much more difficult to achieve, but with the right breaks Chantel McGregor could easily broaden her appeal beyond the devoted but narrow blues rock circuit. Clapton and Fleetwood Mac watch out - there's a new kid in town!.

Oh and Chantel,if you are reading this , as we say in Cambridge - 'We love you Chantel!'
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on 3 December 2012
What a find! A truly excellent modern blues singer and an album that's pretty much gone on continuos loop for me. Stylistically somewhere between Joanne Shaw Taylor and Dani Wilde.
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on 20 October 2012
Finding Chantel Mcgregor, was one of those great finds, she writes her own songs and plays the guitar like best of them (in fact better than some who have been honour the title Best ) if you like a mix of classic R/B sung with soul and and blues guitar at its best buy this album you will be playing it a lot I promise.Like No Other
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on 22 October 2011
Listening to a live performance but unable to watch it (duties elsewhere in the building), I knew something special was happening in the theatre. Chantel - whether performing with her band in the first set, or solo as in the second set - produced a variety of hard rock, sensitive ballads, and strong steaming blues guitar. This cd is a high quality reflection of the range of Chantel's talent. Others have given detailed critiques which are accurate and informative. This exceptional first outing closes with a hard driving "Help Me" - totally different from Sonny Boy Williamson's original. The voice is mellow where it needs to be, and she fits comfortably into the top level of singer/songwriters with an astonishing facility on guitar.
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on 27 February 2014
Yes, that's some heading and you'll note I have'nt mentioned female. That's because she would knock some male guitarists into a cocked hat. This album blew me away. Yet her guitar playing is not too full on and in your face. Chantel is I would say somewhat restrained, which is great because some albums can just become too boring by the end. Each track is exciting, makes you want to hear more. This is not to say that she does'nt show you her skills especially on the 10 minute long "Daydream" which is a blast as her guitar soars and roars and spits at you before coming back to earth with a beautiful contrasting slow bluesey feel, which is where it started. "Rhiannon" on the other hand is a beautiful accoustic version of Stevie Nicks which she makes her own. On top of her guitar playing she can sing as well. "Help Me" a Sonny Boy Williamson number which I heard him sing with the Yardbirds at the CrawDaddy club in Richmond brought back a lot of memories and Chantel performs it so well.
Overall this is a very well put together album which shows off all of Chantel's skills. I don't think I have been so excited about a guitarist since the mid sixties when I saw Eric Clapton with the Yardbirds at the Crawdaddy club in Richmond. I've watched Chantel on U-Tube live and she certainly does not disappoint and I just can't wait to see her live, such a great talent. Get the album and I'm sure you will not be disappointed. X-factor eat your heart out!!!!!
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on 30 April 2014
Almost unheard of...............
She was recommended to go and see by a friend. Anyway, we found that she was playing at Vonnies in Charlton Kings. She was absolutely amazing live!!!!. Spoke to her after the gig ,lovely girl. Brilliant, If you've not seen her perform then you've missed a class act. Up there with Gary Moore (perhaps). Six Stars!
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on 28 March 2014
I bought this album after seeing Chantel live in County Durham in March 2014.
I have to be honest, I hadn't heard of Chantel before going to see her and wasn't sure what to expect, my Dad asked me along to the gig and after reading a few reviews I couldn't wait to go.
I wasn't disappointed, Chantel was amazing! I was mesmerised from start to finish, I think it was the possibly the faster hour and a half of my life!
I purchased the CD at the end of the gig and it had been on repeat ever since. I usually get bored and want a change after a couple of plays through, that is not the case with this CD it seems to get better with each listen. I love many different types of music but my heart lies with blues. Most of my friends prefer 'pop' music but they all love track number 1 'fabulous' and it is now a favourite when getting ready for nights out! I truly think that song could do amazingly well in the charts.
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on 8 May 2014
I bought this after I saw Chantel live in Bristol a couple of weeks ago, and a very impressive first album it is too.

The stand out track Robin Trower's Daydream gets a light feminine touch, but the blues based guitar work would surely have the old maestro nodding his approval.

She has either written or co-written nine of the twelve songs herself and there are some very strong songs amongst them to showcase her obvious talent.

To have the ability to sing this well is very rare indeed,and to play the guitar this well is even rarer. But to have both and to write 75% of your own material? That is what makes this young woman an extraordinarily gifted musician.

Buy this CD and go and see her live. You will not be disappointed.
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