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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Havce You Ever Been Mistreated - Chris Antonik Band

After thrilling audiences in Toronto blues clubs as a sideman, Antonik has stepped out on his own to deliver this self-produced collection of original material and two classic blues covers.

..The album “Chris Antonik” is a portrait of a maturing blues guitarist and songwriter who fully grasps the importance of song over solo - while still leaving plenty for guitar fans to enjoy. The songs deal with repairing relationships and giving back to those around you, as well as classic blues themes delivered in modern vehicles. Using the guitarist–as–front man approach and a variety of guest vocalists, the record is a solid collection of soulful, strong and smart blues. Guest performers include some of Chris’ friends from the Canadian blues scene, including Mark Stafford, Suzie Vinnick and Richard Underhill... ..The primary vocalist and keyboardist on the record is the gritty and stirring Josh Williams of the jam band Fat Cats. Bassist Andrew Taylor (The Blazers) and drummer Chris Chiarelli provide the tight and funky rhythm section... ..From the jump, “More to Give” gets the record moving with a kinetic, Hammond-soaked groove. The track is about learning from the mistakes of the past, having more to offer to the ones you love, and is filled with blues-rock guitar momentum that pays respect to early 70’s Clapton... ..The album swiftly moves into the stripped-down blues funk of “Roll with It,” where Antonik channels his slide guitar heroes. A vintage dobro provides a country-blues contrast to the deep pulse of an urban, almost hip-hop-like drum beat - a contrast that mimics the song’s theme of just going with what comes our way... ..“The King of Infidelity,” a narrative about the consequences of unfaithfulness, marries melodic song-craft with blues-slinger inclinations. With its blues-pop sensibility, Infidelity pays homage to late 80’s adult contemporary blues albums, such as Clapton’s “Journeyman” and Stevie Ray Vaughn’s “In Step,” as well as the recent “Continuum” from John Mayer. Maple Blues award-winning artist Suzie Vinnick provides rich and alluring back-up vocals to shadow Josh Williams’ ardent lead vocals and retro Rhodes piano... ..Veteran blues harmonica player and singer Mark “bird” Stafford then jumps in on “If We Start from Here,” an upbeat, no-nonsense call for reparation delivered as a double-shuffle blues number... ..The record peaks with a cover of Jerry Ragovoy’s “She’s a Burglar,” popularized in 1974 by guitarist Freddie King. Antonik pays tribute to his hero, with King-inspired guitar playing complemented by some of the most sought-after horn players in the business: Juno-award winner Richard Underhill, Perry White (the Shuffle Demons) and William Sperandei (Colin James)... ..A cover of Otis Rush’s minor key classic “Double Trouble” features Chris making his lead-vocal debut (pointing to future growth in this area for the evolving guitarist). Trouble also features in-demand Toronto musician Geoff Daye (Sue Foley, Danny Marks) on Hammond organ and piano... ..The album was produced by Antonik, recorded at Audiolab Recording Company in Toronto, and mixed and mastered at Silverbirch Productions in Toronto... ..In October 2010, Chris was nominated for a 2010 Maple Blues Award in the “Best New Artist” category on the strength of the debut album. The Maple Blues Awards recognize achievement in blues music in Canada... ..Upon its release, the album “Chris Antonik” debuted on the Roots Music Report international blues radio play charts at #35. It was also one of two independent albums in the top 50. This charting was the result of significant airplay in Canada, the US and worldwide on blues radio stations/shows. In addition, for the week of September 24, 2010, the album was ranked #4 for Canadian roots music radio play (Roots Music Report)...
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