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Blues News
Blues News - July-September 2005 (German Magazine) - ..."The man gives instructions on how to listen to his Pennsylvania-made CD. Only play it on a very good stereo, very loud and drinking a glass of wine to really enjoy it. If you belong to the lower class, do it without the wine. Anybody who listens to it knows right away that this is something great. This man knows, without doubt, what the blues is and shows it with his music. This singer and harpist comes from Easton. He also plays acoustic guitar. He surrounds himself with a bunch of good musicians who really make the best of his music. This swings and grooves and wanders into jazz feelings without hurting Ellington's work. It swings with a lot of jazz, and in between you can hear bossa nova rhythm and a big part is shuffle. It is interesting, with vibraphone and trumpet mixed in. For teaching pure blues, nothing beats this CD. Nevertheless, Chas is the name for high musical quality as well as melodies and elegantly arranged songs...and they stand by it!" (Loosely translated from German).
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Car Audio Number 1 - 2005 "Best Style 2004" (Japanese magazine) - "With a sense of free style, this illustrates a new kind of blues...this album illustrates the loneliness of the city...I would like to introduce one from the blues...In creating this album, Chas has worked with various blues artists, and through these sessions with other artists, has found a way to formulate a new style.  This new style is not bounded by any rules and has a free flow, melancholy atmosphere and a touch of colorful sound that surrounds the whole piece of art. 'Hoping Endlessly' depicts a story of a man and a woman who are far apart, waiting for that love and comfort that can come from someone...I wonder if both of them will find that love and time together..." (loosely translated from Japanese)

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    I've got so much I want to say about this CD - all of it good - that I'm having a difficult time figuring out where to start. I guess a good place, would be to state that, with all due respect to all of the other reviews I have done, this is certainly one of the more enjoyable CD's I have heard this year. "CHAS", the self titled CD by CHAS COCHRAN is vocally and musically perfect. It features 15 songs, all originals and all outstanding. CHAS' voice, somewhat a blend of the soulful growling of DR. JOHN, the melodic mastery of VAN MORRISON and the suave softness of MICHAEL FRANKS is truly the perfect singing voice. Combine that with the music of 20 wonderful musicians and this CD is a masterpiece.

    Typically, I like to pick out a few of my favorite tracks on a CD and mention a few words about each track. That may be totally impossible with "CHAS". The songs are all great and because of all of the different musicians used on all of the different tracks, I may just say something about every track.

    The CD starts out with a real nice jazzy number called "MOONSHINE", which, coincidentally or not, happens to sound very much like the Van Morrison song "MOONDANCE". On this track, there is some excellent harmonica playing by CHAS COCHRAN and some very lively piano work by CRAIG KASTELNIK.

    "SAVANNAH" is a funky New Orleans style song that really rips. The great Dixieland piano playing by DAN MC KINNEY and slide guitar work by TODD WOLFE are extraordinary on this track. The background vocals by KASSI FURMAN and VENESSA LOVELL were also a highlight on this song. I swear, I was scratching my head in puzzlement wondering who the clarinet player was when all the time it was CHAS on the harp. Amazing playing!

    "TOO BLUE TO BE TRUE" is a very up tempo song that highlights the rhythm section of "WILD BILL" TANNER on drums and RANDY SMITH on bass, along with more very good vocals by CHAS, KASSI and VENESSA. Also, MATT COCHRAN does such a great job on trumpet, and along with TYRONE FREDERICKS on sax they form a very formidable horn section. "CHICAGO" CARL SNYDER also tears it up on piano. This was one hot track, I can't count the number of time I replayed this one.

    "HOPING ENDLESSLY" changed the pace a bit and slowed things down with a very tasty percussion filled, Latin flavored, bosa nova. CHRIS GANNON on triangle, CHAS on percussion and RON BYRNE on vibes all excel on this track. Here is where the Michael Franks sound is also very evident. This is mood music at it's best right here. Later in the CD there is another similarly sounding track called "THE VISITOR" which highlights the trumpet and the vibraphone. Another very smooth jazzy sound.

    "KIMBERLY" is another track that highlights RON BYRNE playing some great vibraphone and TYRONE FREDERICKS on sax. RANDY SMITH also shines on electric guitar. This track had an uncanny resemblance to "ROUTE 66".

    "ONCE IN A LIFETIME" has CHAS pretty much doing it all. The highlights on this track are the splendid vocals, the excellent harmonica, and the smooth acoustic guitar -- all played by CHAS COCHRAN.

    "POND SCUM" is one of the bluesier songs on the whole CD. There are several nice long piano solos by DAN MC KINNEY and CHAS rips it up on harmonica. This track is followed by"C. E. O", which IS the bluesiest song on the CD. TODD WOLFE tears it up on electric slide guitar, DAN MC KINNEY hits all of those far right blues keys just right on piano and CHAS is real sharp on vocals.

    "WHEN A GOOD LOVE GOES AWRY" features CRAIG KASTELNIK tearing it up on the Hammond Organ and CHAS on just about everything -- on this track he plays acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harp and sings.

    Other fine musicians performing on this CD that have not been mentioned yet are JAKE HECK on electric guitar, DEREK COLLINS, MITCH SHELLY and BETH GUERREO on bass, CRAIG "CJ" COYLE, DAVE FERRERA GARY RISSMILLER and MARK TOMLINSON on drums.

    "CHAS" by CHAS COCHRAN is a clearly, at this point, one of the top three contenders for the 2004 BLEWZZY AWARD that is given out each year by this website.

This review has been complimentary written for your newsletter by Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro, A contributing writer for BLUESWAX and BIG CITY BLUES MAGAZINE, and the Blues Editor at WWW.MARY4MUSIC.COM -- where you can read many more CD and live show reviews, view lots of blues photographs and find an abundance of blues material. I can be reached at

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Blues & Jazz Groove

La voix lgrement rpeuse entre deux souffles dharmonica et quelques accords de guitare, le trs inventif Chas Cochran swing tranquille avec un belle assurance, de celle des gens heureux qui font de la musique pour le plaisir et le ntre. Heureux, il peut ltre Chas car ce disque, qui ne peut, pour cause se jouer en tourne, est le fruit de rencontres entre des musiciens de la scne de Lehigh Valley, l o il habite, en Pennsylvanie (tant de bons en une si petite surface, peine croyable). Le projet de Chas tait de pouvoir enregistrer sur un seul album des compositions personnelles avec tous ces artistes locaux rencontrs au fil des concerts, des studios, des tournes mais avec lesquels il navait pas la possibilit daller plus loin. Le projet lui a pris deux belles annes de travail et de complications (manque de disponibilits de musiciens jouant tous dans dautres formations) mais il dpasse magnifiquement ses esprances avec une superbe collection de pices, belles en rver, fortement teintes de jazz blues, brillamment produites et arranges, sur lesquelles Chas surfe avec un rel plaisir et la certitude du devoir accompli. Parmi les trs nombreux musiciens, il faut quand mme noter la prsence de Todd Wolfe (guitariste de Sheryl Crow), Carl Snyder (pianiste de John Primer, ou Junior Wells), Ron Byrne aux claviers et mme son propre fils, Matt Cochran la trompette Il y en comme a plus dune vingtaine, et pas des moindres, tous issus du blues et du jazz, un beau challenge et une belle affiche! Ca swingue tranquille, peut-tre trop, mais que cest beau, plein de soul et de groove, envotant et excitant, un petit chef duvre de musique roots! Une excellente dcouverte saisir dans lurgence!

Francis Rateau
Collectif des Radios Blues
Revue Blues & Co

Royal Jam Music USA - "a most enjoyable discsongs are well written with style and classtruly dynamite cd"

Read full review at - "songs are well played and have catchy melodiesunique album crafted with a lot of love. good and greezy slide guitar goes down well with the harpalbum cuts some new ground..

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La Hora del Blues (Spain) - joyful, well done cd performed with a lot of fun, enthusiasm and lovea new soundnew harp blues playing conceptnew dimensionrich creative phrasingnew ideasan excellent cd(translated from Spanish). Rating: GREAT

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