Corky Siegel's Chamber Blues - DIFFERENT VOICES album
First Three Early Reviews:
May well be some of the most original and innovative music I have heard in a while: Over 50 years in, with the aid of crowd funding, we find Siegel finally making the album he had in him all along or else the album he always wanted to make. With nobody from Vanguard, RCA or Dharma telling him what to do, he calls in an incredible array of guests, breaks down the fourth wall to reach you directly and makes an album so cinematic that it’s better than most of the movies coming out these days. This is smoking out of the ordinary stuff from an old pro that sounds like he’s really come into his own here (if that even makes sense). Sounding a million miles away from a bunch of white boys with the blues fighting a turf war with the Butterfield bunch, this is state of the art white boy blues---with lots of soul stirred in. Totally killer stuff throughout. - Chris Spector - Midwest Record - www.midwestrecord.com
May well be some of the most original and innovative music I have heard in a while. Combining classical stylings with blues harmonica and so much more" - Ear2TheGroundMusic
A Truly Unique Musical Journey: Long-time blues fans may remember The Siegel-Schwall Band, led by harp ace Corky Siegel and guitarist Jim Schwall. They were originally based in Chicago in the mid-Sixties, holding down a regular gig at the legendary Pepper’s Lounge. After releasing their first album in 1966 for Vanguard, they headed west to San Francisco, continuing to record until the early Seventies before going on an extended hiatus.
During that time, Corky Siegel had a unique vision–one that would incorporate the blues of Muddy and the Wolf with classical chamber music. Corky recorded three albums of this “chamber blues,” two for Alligator and one for Gadfly Records. His latest set “Different Voices,” continues his path toward melding traditional blues with classical themes. He employs some dazzling special guests throughout this one, too.
One can get a firm grasp on what the concept of “chamber blues” is by listening to the opening instrumental track, “Missing Persons Blues Op. 26.” Corky’s harp spars with the sax of two-time Grammy winner Ernie Watts as the strings pull it all together. Corky takes the lead vocal as pizzicato strings set the tone on a Siegel-Schwall fan favorite, “Angel Food Cake,” while Marcy Levy easily hits the upper-register notes on a fine read of her iconic “Lay Down Sally,” which was co-written by Marcy, Clapton and George Terry.
We had two favorites, too. One of Chicago’s favorite folk trios is The Sons Of The Never Wrong, and they breathe new life into Albert Brumley, Sr.’s traditional “I’ll Fly Away.” Consisting of Bruce Roper, Deb Lader, and Sue Demel, Sue adds a new verse to this Sunday-morning staple. And, what begins as “The Italian Shuffle” with Corky’s harpover the strings, gives way to the mighty Sam Lay’s vocal on a clever segue’ into “Flip Flop And Fly.”
Corky Siegel has composed and performed works for the Grant Park Symphony in Chicago and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center. And, thru the fusion of the music of the legends of Chicago blues he grew up listening to with the textures and sounds of classical music, he is, indeed 'the father of chamber blues.' Give a listen to his latest, “Different Voices,” for a truly unique musical journey! - Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.