Sean Chambers spent the first few years of his life growing up in
Satellite Beach, Florida, before he and his family moved to Tampa when
Sean was four years old. At the age of 10, Sean’s parents bought him a
guitar as a Christmas present. It was at that point that Chambers would
realize his calling. “As soon as I got the hang of playing the guitar, I
knew this is what I wanted to do more than anything,” remembers Sean.
Chambers was a fan of some of the popular rock bands of the era, he was
also quite taken with the sounds of Jimi Hendrix. In fact, it was
Hendrix’s catalogue that the young Chambers studied in depth, which had
a noticeable influence on his style at an early age. “I learned to play
by ear. My parents bought me a few lessons when I got my first guitar,
but I wasn’t learning to play the stuff I wanted, so I stopped going to
the lessons and started spending my time playing along to Hendrix
tunes.” It was through those Hendrix songs such as “Red House,” “Catfish
Blues” and so on, that Sean discovered his passion for blues music. In
his teen years, he started discovering and listening to such greats as
Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Albert, Freddie and B.B. King, Albert
Collins, Stevie Ray Vaughan. and Johnny Winter.
Sean started his first band when he was 19 years old, playing local
clubs around the Tampa Bay area, where he quickly began to establish a
following. After having only a few years of experience under his belt,
he found himself sharing bills with such artists as B.B. King, Robert
Cray, Buddy Guy and several other greats. He soon began expanding his
horizons outside of the Tampa area to venues in and around his home
state of Florida.
After playing a number of clubs and concert venues throughout his early
and mid twenties, Chambers released his critically acclaimed debut
recording, Strong Temptation, in October of 1998. The album captured the
attention of both fans and critics alike. Guitar Magazine said about
Sean: “Chambers plays his Strat with dirty ferocity, evoking shades of
Johnny Winter and Freddie King in the process!”
Since then, Chambers has had a number of milestones in his career, one
of which was becoming the musical director and guitarist for the
legendary Hubert Sumlin. Touring the world with Sumlin for almost five
years, they performed before sellout crowds at festivals, clubs and
theaters around the US, Europe, Japan, and Canada, building a worldwide
fan base along the way. Chambers recalls: “My band would usually open
the show, and then we would bring Hubert out and back him up for his
show. I consider it my college education in music. I learned so much
from Hubert!” Following in the footsteps of many of his idols, Chambers
has been especially well received outside the U.S., and particularly in
Europe, where he has both toured with Sumlin and on his own. Europe’s
premiere music authority, Guitarist Magazine, listed Sean as one of the
Top 50 Blues Guitarists of the last century. Europe’s Total Guitar
Magazine gave Strong Temptation five stars and cited the record as “The
most impressive blues debut since SRV’s Texas Flood.” Chambers continued
to develop his powerful style on his 2005 release, Humble Spirits, which
showcases his musical evolution beyond the standard blues idiom.
Produced by industry veteran Bud Snyder (Allman Brothers/ Gov’t Mule),
the album features several notable musicians including Bernard Allison,
Frankie & Danny Toler (Allman Brothers)and Bobby T. Torello (Johnny
Winter), along with Greg Allman Band alumnus Bruce Waibel.
On Chambers’ newest release, Ten Til Midnight, Sean wanted to capture a
live sound and feel; so overdubs were minimized, allowing him and the
band to play as if they were at a gig.
The first song written for the album was the title track, “Ten Til
Midnight,” which was recorded live in the studio as a three piece, with
Ben Crider later coming in to add Hammond B3 organ, and Robin Bouie and
C.L. Stevenson backup vocals.
While still in pre-production, the song “Too Much Blues” was recorded.
You can hear that it has a slightly different mix than the rest of the
album because the mic configuration was different. The band really liked
the way the song felt and sounded, so it was kept as is. In keeping with
the live sound, they were not looking for perfection on this album, just
a good groove.
“In The Winter Time” and “Make It Go,” both written by Chambers within
the last few years, are standards in the band’s set list and present an
accurate feel as to how the band sounds like in concert.
“When I Get Lonely” is a song Sean wrote while doing some shows in Key
West, and the idea originally came to him while driving. Chambers wrote
the words in the hotel room, and the band was able to run through the
song at sound check the next day. They started playing the new song that
weekend, and it quickly became another keeper for their live show.
“Blues And Rock ’n’ Roll” was intended to be an instrumental when first
recorded, but as Sean and co-producer Tim Blair were working with it,
both agreed to try and write a vocal line for the song. While recording
the vocals, it was decided that a harmonica part might also fit; so good
friend Gary Keith was called in to lay down his harp track.
While Gary was there, he was asked to jam along to a song that Sean had
been working with on the National Steel/Resonator guitar. They did two
takes, but ended up keeping the first. Sean wrote words for it that
night, then returned to the studio the next day to record the vocal
part, which became “I Don’t Know Why.” Not only was it the last song
recorded for the album, but it makes a good closing statement for the CD
As for the three covers on Ten Til Midnight, the band all agreed that
“Brown Sugar” by the Rev. Billy Gibbons, was one that they wanted to
cover one day. It was recorded live in the studio; the slide guitar part
was later added.
“All The Kings Horses” has always been one of Sean’s favorite Luther
Allison songs. Being most familiar with Luther’s live version of the
song, an attempt was made to capture as live of a feel as possible on
“You’re Gonna Miss Me,” originally written by Eddie (“Guitar Slim”)
Jones, is a jumpin’, up-tempo song that captures Chambers’ blazing slide
guitar playing. This track also features Jack Henriquez playing some
very tasty honky-tonk piano.
Sean’s regular touring band consists of longtime bassist Tim Blair and
drummer Paul Broderick, who were also both members of Hubert Sumlin’s
Sean Chambers – Ten Til Midnight – Blue Heat Records - Release Date:
October 20, 2009