Chester Chandler, a k a Memphis Gold, now lives in the Washington area, but there's no mistaking his roots.
Whether he's solidly locked into a steamy funk vamp with his tight band or trading licks with fellow guitarist Bobby Parker, Chandler invariably evokes the vintage sounds of southern soul and blues music.
The album's opener, "Early Early," swiftly establishes a gritty, almost hypnotic tone, with a lyric that concerns a man who's spying on his ex-lover. A lot of sleuthing isn't required, though, since she's developed a tell-tale habit of coming home with her wig turned around.
"I Ain't No Gentleman," a defiant blues, "Standin' by The Highway," a slice of sanctified soul music, and "Too Slick," a classic tale of comeuppance, further reveal Chandler's golden knack for resuscitating southern musical traditions without ever hitting an emotionally false note, either as a singer or a guitarist.
Though it would be nice to hear Chandler working with a horn section, Hugh Feeley's harmonica contributes some bite to the arrangements. Even so, Chandler gets the biggest assist from Parker, whose expressive guitar work consistently enhances the rhythmically tight tunes, making these party chants and lover's rants all the more potent.
Appearing Friday at Whitlow's on Wilson.
To hear a free Sound Bite from Memphis Gold, call Post-Haste at 202/334-9000 and press 8128. (Prince William residents, call 690-4110.)