Chesterwhite & His Orchestra
By Keith Kehrer
Chesterwhite and crew explode out of the
starting block right off with the "Galley Slave". Lead singer and songwriter
Donny Dykowsky comes by his passion honestly having gone through painful
cancer treatments in the late 90’s. For a minute I thought I was hearing
that long lost Jeff Buckley release. But, there is an intensity here that
Jeff only hinted at. The band simmers and roars and Donny literally wails
over them almost like a shaman exhorting them to give him more and in fact
there is a song called appropriately enough “More”. I love the rawness
and sweetness of these songs. Dave Dunn has that roots rocking edge to
his guitar that makes you want him to play more solos. Seth and Sir Freddy
lay down a solid sledge hammer bottom that is both sensitive and solid
to these intensely personal slices of life. This is definitely a band that
must be seen live.
Now on to the songs. First of all, they
are all winners . I didn’t hear a weak one in the bunch. I can’t wait for
their next release.
"Galley Slave" had me bouncing in chair.
It’s a bootie shaking, party boogie though "Galley Slave" brings up pictures
of grunting, sweaty men rowing a boat while being whipped by a mean looking
Viking guy. “It’s a metaphor Keith. Not real.” Oh ok. Sometimes I get carried
away with my imagination.
"Low" shows another side of Donny and band.
It has that power pop feel like Jellyfish or this band I used to like,
The Falling Wallenda’s.
"Moonage Daydream" definitely has that
glam thing going on. Someone’s parents must have had some T-Rex or Ziggy
Stardust on while Donny was in the crib. I love the guitar bridge. Such
an unusual guitar solo. Simply smashing. This song stayed with me
a while. The Count nails the ending in class rock guitar god tradition.
Radio stations take note. This is a hit.
"12 O’Clock" has such a killer riff. I
want to play with these guys. My guitar fingers were itching. I love guitar
solos and this one has a killer one. So simple and traditional but it works.
The fuzzy chorus effect on the vocals pushed them over the top.
"Well Love Song" is not the most original
title for a song but this song has drive and panache. (Sheesh, did I just
say panache?). I can hear this track in a film. Maybe a slasher teen movie
eh? Some music license potential here for sure. Boy, Donny can sure can
hold out those high notes. Impressive!
"Yes. Give me More" . A little French
cabaret thing going on. It has a sweet melody and killer chord progression.
I wanted it to go longer and to kick into something big and monsterous.
It just teased me into wanting more.
I can see Chrissie Hynde singing "Idiots"
snarling the words. Another chair bouncer/air guitar song here. The
band really pushes Donny to go all the way to edge on this one. More nice
guitar work. I am really impressed with how much this band cooks. It must
be fun singing with these guys.
"Father Frank’s Crusade" is another one
of those songs that begs to be on the radio. Love the wandering bass and
guitar line. Lovely backing vocals. Sweet and strong.
Oh yes give me those 80’s new wave tom
tom riffs. Love this drummer. "Kill this town" is another song for
the Pretenders catalog. Rootsy and rockin’ playing Donny’s voice
off monster guitar riffs.
Just when I think I have these guys figured
out then they go and throw "On the weekend" at me. A stop time rockabilly
style thing. I can hear Donny snear in true Elvis fashion. Really I can.
What a fun guitar solo, so, cliche but it’s like the best taffy that you
should’nt really eat and do anyway. Short but sweet.
"Sunburn" is a vocal tour-de-force. Donny
out Buckely’s Jeff Buckley for sure, bringing his own screaming angst to
this track reaching notes I can only dream of hitting. I can feel his emotions
soar as I close my eyes and float to the sound of his voice like an angel
"No other love" should make all the girls
swoon. Almost a 1950’s or Righteous Brothers tune for a new age.
Get on your knees Donny and make the ladies scream and ache for you. A
very fitting end to a very passionate release for this band. Oh, and the
guitar solo is short and a beauty.
& His Orchestra
a friend about this article
Want More ?
What Do You Think?
Fanspeak removed due to spam and abuse