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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Chris Dair CD Review - Crossroads To Freedom - John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)

Just before I started this review I headed over to Chris Dair's main website and noticed some scrolling text on the top of his homepage. It said "Chris Dair is now NUMBER 1 on the Reverbnation BLUES charts for FRANCE!!", certainly a worthy accomplishment for any blues artist. Chris Dair however is not just any blues artist, nor is he just a blues artist, for his talents far exceed such a simple classification.

Chris Dair's introduction to musicianship was sparked by hearing the famed flamenco artist Manitas De Plata, whom after hearing "him play at Arles in 1964, Pablo Picasso is said to have exclaimed "that man is of greater worth than I am!". At 14 Chris Dair's love of the Blues quickly got him gigging with the likes of John Mayall and John McVie, at many great London Venues. While still a young lead Guitarist, Chris Dair jammed and played with many of the greats such as Rory Gallagher, Jimmy Paige, Ginger Baker, Mark Knopfler, Led Zeppelin, Peter Green, Jeff Beck, and Bukka White, to name just a few. Chris Dair is also a very talented Composer in the Film and Media Industry, for Nickelodeon, Guinness World Records (USA), The Vibe, Brian Waddell (USA), True Hollywood Story (USA), ITV, and Planet Television, to name a few.

"Crossroads To Freedom" is Chris Dair's fourth Album and his first Album completely dedicated to the blues. It consists of 13 tracks which are all Originals, written by Chris and while you could certainly over simplify it by saying that "Crossroads To Freedom" is a Collection of 13 great songs, you would not being doing that Album justice, for it is much more than a Collection of Songs, it is quite simply a Mosaic of exceptional music. It is also an Album, that of course has many Blues Styles, but that are done in such a way that they transcend Geographical borders and would better be classified as World Blues.

Most of songs that you will hear on "Crossroads To Freedom", may certainly be familiar in style to other well known musicians, such as B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and yes even Jim Morrison, but they are brought forward by Chris with a uniqueness of delivery, that you may find even more amazing considering the fact that the only musician and vocalist on "Crossroads To Freedom" is Chris Dair. This is a fact I confirmed with him via email in which he stated, "all of the instruments are played by me, bass, guitars, harmonica, etc. I recorded and produced the album in my small studio at home." Something I also found unique was Chris Dair's fantastic ability to match his vocals to what ever particular style he is playing, which is a rare talent indeed.

I found listening to "Crossroads To Freedom", to be more of a long uninterrupted journey than simply a bunch of quick stops. The music Chris Dair presents on this Album is put together in such a way that it gracefully and logical blends as one, almost like the score one would expect on a great movie.

Pulling out a few songs that could be said were my favorites would be doing this Album a disservice, somewhat like pulling the teeth out of a persons mouth that had a perfect smile already. Each song on "Crossroads To Freedom" has it's own unique specialness and does not deserve the classification of being "better than the rest".

"Crossroads To Freedom" shows off the amazing talent that is Chris Dair, a talent that can certainly be put up and compared to the best musicians,vocalists, and songwriters, out there today.

Not to much thought was required for me to see that "Crossroads To Freedom" certainly deserved my highest rating of 5*****. A rare find, from a rare Artist.

Nominations are currently taking place for the British Blues Awards 2011, of which Chris Dair is hoping to be Nominated for Best British Guitarist, a nomination that I am more than sure he deserves after listening to "Crossroads To Freedom"

The Nomination Stage closes March 31st.

1.No Reason Blues
2.See The Stars
4.Crossroads To Freedom
5.Please Don't Let Me Go
6.Never Comin' Home Blues
7.I Feel The Need
8.Lovin' You Too Much
9.Last Fall
10.Leavin'Town Blues
11.Ya Smile At Me
12.Goldwater Mountain
13.Lost In Wasted Time

Listen To Samples Here...



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