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Corky Siegel Chamber Blues | Complementary Colors

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Gadfly Records

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United States - Illinois

Other Genres You Will Love
Blues: Mellow Blues Classical: String Quartet Moods: Mood: Weird
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Complementary Colors

by Corky Siegel Chamber Blues

Blues master Siegel joins string quartet to create magical disc.
Genre: Blues: Mellow Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. El Nino: Opus 18
5:54 album only
2. Complementary Colors: Opus 17
4:48 album only
3. Burnt Sienna: Opus 14
7:18 album only
4. Raw Umber: Opus 15
2:45 album only
5. Slow Indigo: Opus 16
9:18 album only
6. It's Too Early In The Morning, Irene
3:44 album only
7. Pizzicato Blue
5:53 album only
8. Uptown Shoes: Opus 19
5:08 album only
9. Downtown Blues: Opus 20
6:15 album only
10. Goodbye California
4:07 album only


Album Notes
Master blues harmonica player Corky Siegel (former co-founder of the legendary Chicago Siegel-Schwall Band) fuses traditional blues with a classical string quartet (plus a percussionist), creating a new genre of music that has its own flavor as it switches moods: from smoky to jaunty to rapid-fire to melancholy. This is a bold amalgamation of styles (the follow-up to Siegel's successful 1994 release, Corky Siegel's Chamber Blues) that works because of Siegel's mastery of the Blues and Classical worlds.

Corky Siegel's Chamber Blues brings to classical music the same creative genius and instrumental virtuosity which Corky brought to traditional Chicago blues during the heyday of the legendary Siegel-Schwall Band, fronted by Corky and guitarist Jim Schwall during the late '60s and early '70s. Even then, Corky had begun juxtaposing the two musical genres, not, as he explains, "by performing Brahms on the blues harmonica or begging a symphony to play Hoochie Coochie Man." Instead, Corky, in effect, concocted a pure hybrid, crossing the blues and the classical to form a new musical strain. If you will, a third stream blues: Chamber Blues.

Says Corky:
First of all you should know that none of this Chamber Blues thing was my fault. It grabbed me and it won't let go. Since 1988 people (after a concert of Chamber Blues) have been asking me the same question; "How is it that such diverse forms of music seem to blend so naturally?" I have gone through a gamut of answers but after 10 years of riding on the hood ornament of a vehicle crashing 100 miles an hour through the walls of musical traditionalism I have been able to come to some verbal resolution about this.
Look at it this way: When we think of the blues, don't we think of some guy wailing on an old beat up guitar in a smoky tavern with a bunch of people in jeans and T-shirts?

When we think of classical music don't we flash on an ornate concert hall with a grand piano on high stick and a performer in tux and tails and women in sparkling evening gowns? Just the visual image alone makes it seem like classical music and blues are worlds apart.
The music itself is innocent of this visual diversity. The music is made up of chords, melodies, harmonies, counterpoint, dynamics, articulations and rhythm. It doesn't know about smoke-filled rooms, blue jeans, or tuxedoes. It doesn't rely on ushers passing out programs or a society passing out dress codes. The music is blind. All it cares about is having a wonderful time.



to write a review

Andrew Greig

Wit, wonder and wisdom in musical hybrid
I, my wife, and 17 year old Blues harmonica playing son Leo all LOVE this music. He was given old cassette of 1st Chamber Blues albrum, and we laughed and wondered. It's so witty, yet by no means a joke. CS the most remarkable harp player - Leo wants to find his Chicago Blues work, and is already learning his riffs and carrying the message THIS MAN AND HIS PALS ARE IT!
Wonderful stuff, a good deed in a naughty world. It's also getting our boy into classical...
Andrew Greig, Scotland

Tamara Turner, CD Baby

Chamber Blues. What, you say? Take the sophistication of string quartet writing, pair it up with blues harmonica and refereeing hand percussion and you have something like Kronos Quartet in the Delta strip. Maybe it's not the most intuitive combination but after one, jaw-dropping listen, it's hard not to agree that these two widely differing styles were meant to go to bat eventually. Blues harmonica instroduces the sassy, homegrown, Everyman story of the South to the high-brow string style and before long, you can hear those blues scales creeping out from the fingerboards. The warm, elegant and highly trained voice of the strings, sings back to the harmonica, and the blues piano to follow. In the end, we have a most intriguing musical conversation turn from highlighting contrasts to highlighting similarities between classical and blues. Brilliant.