The Chandler Blues Band

Today's Blues.

Last Waltz

With a sad (but also glad) heart we're officially announcing that as of April, 2018, The Chandler Blues Band will be ending. We've spent 4 amazing years playing our music together and for all of you, and we couldn't have had a better time doing so. We were and continue to be a group of best friends first, and we support one another to no end as life happens to us all. As much as we would have loved to continue together as a band, we've just reached a point in each of our lives where it was time to move on. There have been some changes in some of our personal lives that require some of us to move away from each other, and rather than try to keep it going long distance and half-heartedly, we decided it would just be best if we focused on new things. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported us over the years, our friends, families, and the faces at all our shows. You have all been so good to us and we are so grateful. This was our dream come true.

So please join us for our final show on March 30, 2018, and The Ritz in Oak Bluffs. We're hoping to gather as many friends as possible for one last big CBB family jam. 

Signing off. -mc

A Welcoming

Hey everybody! We're super excited to announce that organist/pianist Griffin McMahon has joined the roster of The Chandler Blues Band. Griffin is an incredibly talented player and vocalist who recently relocated from NYC, and we couldn't be more excited that he's joining the band. You can find him throughout the week serving as music director and playing organ at St. Andrew's church in Edgartown, otherwise keep an eye out for upcoming gigs to see him in action with us. 

 http://www.griffinmcmahon.com/

http://www.griffinmcmahon.com/

In other news, sadly, we're bidding a temporary farewell to our magnificient bass player, Lance Fullin. He will now be living the bicoastal life and splitting his time between Martha's Vineyard and southern California throughout the year. Lance will remain an integral member of the CBB and is by no means leaving the band, and he is due to return for another busy band schedule kicking off in May. What it means for us though moving forward, is that for a portion of the year, most likely the dead of winter, we'll be Lanceless. But luckily, our new brother in arms Griffin can serve as a bass player while playing keys as the piano and organ serves both as a treble and bass instrument. See below for how well this works with local greats, Johnny Hoy & The Bluefish featuring Jeremy Berlin holding down bass with his left hand on the keys.

     

We're sad to see Lance leaving full time residency with us, but we couldn't be more excited for him and wish him the best in Cali. See ya real soon Lance!

 This guy.

This guy.

So thats it for now, we're hard at work in the basement putting together a new setlist and working on some new orginal music too! As always, stay tuned here and to our social media pages for updates!

Stay bluesy. 

-m

Retrospective

Hello all you bluesy people! Apologies for the long time between posts here. I just wanted to check in and talk a bit about whats going on, and say thank you to everyone who's been coming out to support us all summer long. We've had a busy schedule and played some great gigs, moving into fall we're looking forward to slowing down a little and getting back into the basement to start working on some new material.

Its hard to believe that we're coming up on the 1 year mark since we first got into the studio with Phil Darosa to record our first record. Its been a wild ride since then, we've sold lots at shows and its been streaming all over the world, we've had copies requested in Poland, Spain, and Argentina just to name a few. So thank you, thank you, thank you to everybody who's bought, streamed, burned, passed along, or told someone about our record. It means so much to us that you're listening and as excited as we are about our music. 

This was a big year for The CBB, a couple years ago we barely had enough standards in our repertoire to fill an entire set and played mostly in a cramped studio apartment, today in addition to a long list of tunes we play we've had international response to a full length record of original material and are playing gigs we never thought we'd be a part of. We've been on the radio, had amazingly talented players sit in with us, had some wonderful articles in various publications written about us by gifted writers, played on some big stages and co-billed with some AMAZING talent, and played in bars & clubs owned by some wonderful people for fantastic crowds both on and off island. At the risk of sounding redundant here, I just want to say thank you again to everyone who's reached out to us with opportunities and who's let us play for them.  

Here's just a few snapshots of whats been going on in our lives as a band between festivals, clubs, records, playing with guests, press, and everything in between. 

Several pictures can't exactly capure the past year or so, but for more of our play by play as a band you can follow us on instagram and facebook, or check the "social" page here on cbb.com. 

So with that all being said we're moving into the fall and winter with some new goals, stay tuned here on the website as well as on facebook and instagram for whats going on. Hopefully we'll have some cool stuff in the works to share with all of you as the days go by. 

Till then, stay bluesy my friends.

-mc

Ides Of March

Howdy everybody and happy (almost) spring! We hope that winter treated you all well. Things have been crazy busy in the CBB world lately. In my last post I mentioned how we were taking the winter to record our first album, and now, after many long hours and late nights of mixing, and lots...LOTS of listening, we're proud to announce that it is DONE and that Phil Darosa at TPS Studios knocked it out of the park. To celebrate, we're having an official CD release party at The Ritz in Oak Bluffs, MA on March 26th, 2016. We'll be playing tracks from the album with some special guests joining us on stage and we'll have copies of the album there if you'd like to buy one! 

We couldn't be more excited to share this with you and hopefully you can make it out to the show. If not, the album will be available on iTunes for download and you can also stream it on Spotify. You can also find it through other media like Rhapsody, Amazon, iHeart Radio, and many more! 

In other news, we played a great gig in Falmouth this past February at a wonderful new venue, Grumpy's Pub. The crowd and staff were amazing, and thank you SO much to all our fans that made the trip. We'll be returning to play Grumpy's again on April 29th so we'll see you there soon. 

Speaking of trips, our bass player Lance just returned from an epic cross country drive. So next time you're at Cadillac Ranch in Texas, keep an eye out for our sticker!

And speaking of stickers, at the upcoming gig we'll be debuting a NEW STICKER! Is that it below? 

 Coming Soon!

Coming Soon!

We've also been honored to have been nominated again for the Best Of The Vineyard award in the "Best Live Band" catagory. If you have a moment please take a second and vote for us! You can vote here

Also we'd just like to give a quick shout out to everybody in Europe who's been digging our music lately. It is so cool to know that you're listening and we so appreciate you reaching out to us. Please keep it up and help us to spread our music! 

Other than that, stay tuned to our social media pages and here on the website, we've got some cool gigs coming up too so stay on top of our Gigs page! 

Stay Bluesy y'all.

-MC

Fall Updates

Greetings everyone! Apologies for the long time between posts here. The CBB has been busy these past few months so I just wanted to check in and give some updates. 

First of all, after a wonderful run of Thursday night gigs at The Ritz through last spring/summer/fall, they have officially come to a close. Our next gig won't be until Friday, December 18th back at the best live dive on the rock, The Ritz.

In the mean time, we've been taking advantage of some much needed down time for some R&R, as well as to write and (drum role please) record our first record! After several months of working out schedules, just this past sunday we were able to get in the studio with Phil Darosa at TPS Studios in Oak Bluffs to lay down 13 original tunes. Check the pics below. 

 TPS Studios in Oak Bluffs, MA. 

TPS Studios in Oak Bluffs, MA. 

 Fenders and Marshalls all lined up. 

Fenders and Marshalls all lined up. 

 Kev, Kyle, and Lance through glass at TPS. 

Kev, Kyle, and Lance through glass at TPS. 

 Phil on the boards and Mike tracking guitar. 

Phil on the boards and Mike tracking guitar. 

 Kyle tracking vocals

Kyle tracking vocals

 Kev on drums. 

Kev on drums. 

 Mike tracking his guitar parts

Mike tracking his guitar parts

 Icey tracking vocals 

Icey tracking vocals 

We're super excited to be able to bring you all a professional recording of our original music, so please stay tuned for more updates and keep an eye out for our record at an upcoming gig. Speaking of gigs, in addition to the December gig coming up, you can find us at The Ritz on Martha's Vineyard 1 Saturday a month throughout the winter. As always we'll be working on other fun exciting stuff in the mean time and stay tuned to our blog and social media pages for more updates as the days go by! Till next time, stay groovy everybody!

-cbb

Harmonicas & More! (Gear part III)

Hey everybody! I hope everyone is happy and healthy out there in CBB land. Before I dive into the third installment of talking about the band's gear I just want to say thank you to all of you who keep coming to our shows and groovin' with us. We appreciate you all so much and all you do, whether its liking and sharing our facebook posts, telling your friends about us and helping to get the word out, sticking our stickers on your cars (and other places), and even just chatting with us at the bar. So thank you from all of us in the CBB and please, please keep it going.

With that said...

Today I'd like to talk about Michael "Icey" Baird's harmonica rig! If you're anything like me, you probably had a harmonica or two kicking around your house growing up (and it was always in the key of C, lol), whether it came in a Christmas stocking, maybe an Easter basket, or maybe you bought one yourself because it looked neat and came in a cool little box. But again, if you're anything like me, you probably couldn't play it at all. The harmonica, or the "Harp" as blues cats call it, tends to get grouped half in the toy category, much like its distant 2nd cousin twice removed, the kazoo, and half in the musical instrument category. The reality is though, that the harmonica is one of the most underestimated, vulnerable, and most difficult instruments out there that takes years to master. To play the harmonica one must learn to seal their lips around it and bend notes with their tongue, all while blowing and drawing breath through the metal reeds of the harp and having no visual reference point for where individual notes are, as one does on a piano or a guitar. One also incorporates the cupping of the hands around the back to shape the notes as well. So needless to say, it's not for the faint of heart. 

If you've seen us live you've heard Icey Mike blowing his heart out night after night through his Hohner Special 20 harmonicas. Like any musician, as he ventures down the long road of developing his own style and voice, he draws influence from different places. The biggest of which, would probably be Little Walter. I won't get too far into Little Walter as this is about Icey and his gear, but Little Walter was a pioneer in amplified harmonica playing and if you like blues music, you owe it to yourself to check out his recordings on Chess Records from the 1950's. He was the first person to hold a microphone right up to the harp and cup his hands behind it, which caused a raw, distorted tone due to the way the air passed through and effected the pressure on the signal going to the amp. Prior to that, harp players played into microphones much like a singer or a horn player would, simply playing towards the mic and letting it pick up the sound for the PA or amplifier.

in the 1950's, gear was all over the place. Old blues players most often played through whatever was available for amplifiers which ranged from 1950's era Fender "Tweed" amps to lesser expensive models like Supro's or Silvertone's. Like most amps of the era though, they all had that distinct gritty, mid range tone to them which helped to shape the sound we've all come to know and love as "Blues Harp". One of the most well known amps of the time and one that is widely accepted as "THE" harmonica amp today, is the 1959 Fender Bassman. 

 Icey's 1959 Fender Bassman Reissue, Bullet Mic, and Hohner Special 20 Harmonicas.  

Icey's 1959 Fender Bassman Reissue, Bullet Mic, and Hohner Special 20 Harmonicas.  

The 1959 Fender Bassman was an amplifier made by Fender to be used as a bass amp, hence the name. However, it quickly gained popularity with guitar players though and its use as a bass amp never quite caught on like it did for guitar playing and ultimately, the harmonica. It pushes 40 watts through four 10" speakers and its laid the groundwork for what eventually became the Marshall amp. Jim Marshall in the UK wanted to start making guitar amps in the early 1960's (transitioning from being a drum shop owner) and to do so, he made an exact copy of the 1959 Fender Bassman. He did, however, have to change several components as they were not available in England at the time.  This new amp was called the Marshall JTM 45 and it became the voice of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, early AC/DC, and so many more throughout Rock n Roll history. 

But it all started with a re-purposed amp sitting in a studio when a harp player decided he needed to be louder. 

But thats just amps. The other side of this coin is microphones. 

 Icey's vintage 1958 Shure Bullet mic. Customized with an orange powder coat finish and chrome grill. 

Icey's vintage 1958 Shure Bullet mic. Customized with an orange powder coat finish and chrome grill. 

By far, the most popular microphones with harp players is the bullet mic. Players from Little Walter to Jack White are known for using them for their warm, gritty, distorted tone, which lends itself perfectly to blues harp playing. It was, however, at the time not chosen for this reason. It was a microphone like anything else at the time and they just so happened to be easy to hold in ones hand when playing the harmonica. They were commonly used for loudspeakers and PA systems at sporting events, radio, etc., which is why on many of these old mics you'll see a large threaded hole meant for a desktop stand. You can see it on Icey's bullet mic except his has been modified and the hole was repurposed to hold a volume knob now rather than a stand. Like many things in musical gear "lore" today, the tone was a by product of necessity and convenience.

All gear aside, a talented player like Icey Mike will sound like himself no matter what he plays through. Any of you who caught our early shows heard him play through a cheap solid state (no tubes) amp and a cheap mic, but he always sounded as good to us and hopefully to you too. There are stories of Little Walter walking into a club with nothing but his harps in his pockets (and probably a pistol) and he'd get on stage with the PA system and whatever vocal mic they had on hand. Walter would play and he'd sound like any record you'd heard him on all due to his technique, mouth, and lungs. 

After spending so much time with Icey and hearing him play, I know he could pick up any harmonica kicking around your house (or mine) and make you weep. 

-mc

B.B. King

I still remember the first time I saw B.B. King. I was just a kid watching reruns of Married With Children on TV one night. They were following the Bundy family dog as he wandered around the streets of Chicago at night, and suddenly the dog walked by this man sitting on a bench. Needless to say, I was enamored with what I was seeing and hearing. This man was sitting there singing with this big guitar and was plugged into this tiny little amp.  He sang something so simple, even silly, but he sang with such gusto and he played his guitar in a way that made it sound like it was singing.  

There was something about BB King that just made anyone "get it" when they heard him. He sang and played to everyone's soul and had a presence that could transcend age, race, genre, and even a little TV screen with a 7 year old kid on the other side, holding a walkman with an MC Hammer tape in it. 

RIP Riley "Blues Boy" King. The world will never forget you, and neither will I. 

-mc

MV Sound Fest 2015

We're excited to announce that we'll be playing at the 2nd annual MV Sound Festival which will be taking place this July 11th & 12th at Waban Park in Oak Bluffs, MA. Thank you to Phil Darosa for booking us and for hosting such a cool event. We're excited to play for everyone under the sun and hopefully we'll see all our wonderful fans there. For more information about the festival check out http://www.marthasvineyardsound.com/ 

-mc

To The Beat of His Own Drum

     Gather round CBBers, its time to talk gear again! Hopefully we'll all be seeing a lot of each other this summer so lets meet some more of the instruments you'll see on stage with us. 

     We all love drums. Drums are among the oldest instruments in history and there's good reason for it; they are primal, unforgiving, and they are the cornerstone of almost every kind of band. Rhythm is what makes music what it is, and in my humble opinion, you can play a single note with an interesting rhythm and it will be more musical than the most complex melody with a lousy rhythm. Over the years, we've all seen (and possibly even been in) plenty of bands with some sloppy guitar playing, singing, piano or whatever, but if the drums are on point then people keep dancing the band keeps groovin', and most people probably never notice. However, we've also all seen a band where the drummer makes a mistake and it throws everyone off, the musicians, the listeners, the dancers, even the bartender.  

     A great drummer is worth their weight in gold, and all great drummers have their favorite tools. Whether its a $50 pawn shop kit, a 5 figure vintage Gretsch kit, or an old bucket on the street, all great drummers know what has "their" sound. So with that being said:

Meet Kevin Medeiros's drums. 

 A vintage instrument at its finest. A 1971 Slingerland kit with more mileage than a NYC taxi cab.  

A vintage instrument at its finest. A 1971 Slingerland kit with more mileage than a NYC taxi cab.  

     Kevin's drum kit is a 1971 Slingerland with a "black diamond pearl" finish.  The finish has this amazing three dimensional look to it and if it was any more 3D James Cameron would probably make a movie about it.

 On stage at the Chillmark Community Center. 

On stage at the Chillmark Community Center. 

     As you can see, Kev tends to prefer a very simple setup. He generally runs one 12" tom, one 16" floor tom, a 18" Zildjian crash ride cymbol, 2014 Ludwig Supraphonic snare, (size 14x6.5, the very same size as the snare used by John Bonham of Led Zepplin) and a 14" Zildjian New Beat hi-hat, all drums with Aquarian heads. Kev also prefers to use Vic Firth 7a wood tip sticks.

 Kevin Medeiros's Drums

Kevin Medeiros's Drums

 NOT Kevin Medeiros's drums. 

NOT Kevin Medeiros's drums. 

     There you have it. Those are the tubs you'll find Kev banging on all summer with The Chandler Blues Band. We certainly wouldn't sound like we do if he didn't know so much about the drums he's hitting, but quite honestly, Kev could bang on a trash can and still make people move. 

-mc

New Shows Added

Summer came early for The CBB! We're excited to announce that our Thursday night summer residency at The Ritz in Oak Bluffs, MA will be starting earlier than initially planned. You can now see us live starting Thursday, May 7th at 10pm. After that, we have two more Thursdays booked in May and then every Thursday thereafter throughout the summer. 

We're excited to kick off the season with all of you, its going to be...

Stay Groovy. 

-mc

Gear!

Hello again bluesy people! I thought it might be fun today to start a series of posts talking about some of the gear each of us in the CBB uses. Whether you're a gear hound like us, or just a music lover, I think it's always fun to know more about the instruments and gizmos musicians use to bring you the tunes you love. So lets get started!

As a blues band we all have a tendency to prefer simple, vintage and/or vintage inspired rigs. Basically what that means is that due to the old records we're all so heavily influenced by, all our instruments tend to be built and voiced much like instruments were in the early 1950's-1960's. This was a time when electric music really came into its own and innovators like Leo Fender, Jim Marshall, & the Gibson Corp. (among many others) invented and patented most of the technology 99% of electric instrument players still use today. Prior to this time, bands were largely un-amplified and consisted of drums, strings, and horns. (i.e big band orchestras of the swing era).  To keep this post as short as I can, for now I'll focus on the guitars of The Chandler Blues Band. So with that being said...

Meet Scarlett.

Scarlett is a 2009 50th Anniversary 1959 Gibson Es-335 Reissue. After owning dozens upon dozens of guitars in my life, many of which were es-335s themselves, this one finally found me in 2012. Since then its been my main gigging axe and has been with my on every gig with The Chandler Blues Band. If you've seen us live, you've heard its deep woody, airy, tone. After owning so many great instruments, I can honestly say that this one stays. 

A lot of players, myself included, love modding their guitars with different pickups, tuners, inner electronics etc., and while I've played with that idea myself on this guitar, I'm proud to say that everything about this guitar is stock, exactly the way she came from the Gibson factory. With the exception of a small repair its had under the bridge. I could talk for hours about Scarlett, but lets me another guitar shall we?

Meet Kyle Higley's main guitar.  

 Photo Cred: Boaz Kirshenbaum

Photo Cred: Boaz Kirshenbaum

Photo Cred: Taj Chin

She is a 100% custom Strat style guitar built by Kyle himself. Affectionately known as a "Frankenstrat", Kyle put this guitar together piece by piece. He finished the body, set it up, and even did all the wiring inside. Granted, this may have led to many months of dealing with quirky electrical issues, but after a beautiful over hall from local luthier Boaz Kirschenbaum, an instrument was born that had Kyle's imprint on every inch of it. Like many guitars of great players like Eddie Van Halen's Frankenstrat, or Stevie Ray's #1, Kyle's guitar is an extension of its owner and when you hold it you really feel the soul dripping off. They used to say that when you picked up Stevie Ray Vaughan's guitar the action was high, the neck was crooked, strings were so crazy heavy and it seemed like something nobody else could ever play it.

When you hold Kyle's strat, it has the mark of any great players guitar, in the sense that you feel that its HIS guitar.

And thats what its all about.   

-mc

Welcome to the new chandlerbluesband.com!

Greetings! I’d like to welcome everyone to the blog and to the new chandlerbluesband.com! Its been a long time coming and thank you to everyone who’s been tuning into our facebook for all our updates over the past year. Here you’ll be able to follow our calendar for upcoming shows, see some of our favorite pics, get all the latest CBB news, recordings, and follow us on our blog for any and all of our nonsensical ramblings. You can subscribe via email on the bottom of this page.

I’ll start off with a HUGE thank you from all of us to everyone making it out to our shows and dancing their butts off this past year. It means so much to us to have you all brave the harsh winter weather, the summer heat, traffic, crowds, and/or sacrifice sleep to come and enjoy what we do. We love you all so much and are excited for everything that’s to come.

secondly, we’re excited to share the news that we’ve been nominated for “Best Live Band or Musician” by the Best of The Vineyard. So if you haven’t already, please take a moment to vote for us as it means a lot to these five blues bums. You can vote here.  

In other news, we’ve signed on with The Ritz to be their resident Thursday night band from July-October of 2015. So this summer please come see us any and every Thursday night. We have some other summer gigs in the works such as bi-weekly Tuesday night shows in Edgartown at The Port Hunter. We’re also playing a 45 minute set on Wednesday, April 1st at the first annual Fool’s Ball at The Ritz in OB. Its a benefit to support the upcoming MV Sound Festival brought to you by island-based TPS Productions. We’re excited to share the bill with our friends The Mike Benjamin Band, members of DCLA, DJ Rastoe, and DJ WEP to support the local music festival on Martha’s Vineyard. Something from which our island community benefits so much. And we’ll also be back at The Ritz on April 4th for a full CBB show. Stay tuned to the blog and our calendar for more info on shows as it develops.  

Lastly, we’re SO excited to say that we’ve been spending these cold winter nights recording an EP at our friend Electric Pie’s studio in Oak Bluffs. You may have caught an Electric Pie show around the island last summer and if you haven’t, please do yourself a favor and keep an eye out for them. They are an amazing young original band and we’re fortunate enough to have them on our island. The EP will most likely be self titled and feature mostly, if not all, original recordings from The Chandler Blues Band.

Till next time, stay happy, stay bluesy everyone.

-mc

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