Q&A Scene: Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk


Tell us about your new single/ album/ tour ?
We just finished our 3rd album. Vocal booths are hot and airless so most of the album was sung and played sans pants in a sweaty and frankly, aromatic environment. The previous albums were pretty planned and rehearsed and this one couldn’t have been more different. I was writing lyrics on the floor between takes and my favourite song was recorded on the first take. Dave ( Folley – drums) hadn’t heard it before we got that first and only take.

How would you describe your sound in food form and why?
Hmmm, it would be a soul food banquet. We know how to pack some spice and flavour into those cheaper cuts and it’s all you can eat.

Which song resonates most strongly and why?
All time it would be Bad Motherfucker. At the moment it’s a new one called Black Water. It’s about Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans some years back. I remember watching it unfold on tv and being affected by how one of the first world’s most storied and culturally rich cities could be brought to it’s knees by super natural weather, governmental neglect abuse, and a broken, uncaring government.  I went to New Orleans for the first time a few years after that and was blown away by the locals warmth and fatalistic lust for life.

Any on the road anecdotes?
Discretion is the better part of valour so modesty prevents the most debauched aspects of our traveling life being disclosed . I will say however that it’s pretty funny watching a man of Dave Folley’s physical magnitude squeezing into economy airline seating and smaller rental cars.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
Typically life in Mississippi and Louisiana really make me want to write. The things I’ve experienced, the people I’ve met etc. The feeling of freedom as you barrel down an interstate on the wrong side of the road at night. Music is cathartic and I usually have a good purge as well. At the moment I’m watching a hell of a lot of Film Noir. I love the imagery and symbolism. I dig how every character in those films is a flawed one, even those that are put up on a pedestal,….. much like life.

What’s next for you?
Well we’ve got the Ballarat Beer Fest on the 24th of Jan. and a few gigs here and there but mostly, we’ll be working on the production, artwork etc. for the new record……. and of course, writing songs.

What’s your scene?
Our gigs have an air of danger and sex. Beautiful women are free to express themselves and are as dangerous as hell. Everybody can have a good time ‘cos there’s a lot of love in the room and we just can’t help but stomp out that primeval swamp boogie ooze.

About Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk

Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk play low down, down home, juke joint blues.

Barely seven months after the release of the debut (self-titled) album, Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk return with Shakedown, their second swinging expedition deep into the hypnotic boogie of Northern Mississippi juke joints.

Cementing their reputation as the hardest working blues combo in the coun- try, 2013 has already seen Chicken Walk receive the famed golden boot at Golden Plains, tour the nation twice with Tony Joe White and Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes, as well as share stages with everyone from Jimmy Cliff to Santana to Gary Clark Jr.

Somehow amongst all of this, the irrepressible combo found time to write and record album number two. Whereas the first album was famously built on the foundation of a mere handful of shows, Shakedown sees a road-matured Chicken Walk displaying a newfound focus and heartworn confidence, propelled by the extramural themes of shining sun, pouring rain, rivers, roads and trains.

Effortlessly charged, Shakedown finds Chicken Walk delivering a richer, fuller sound and more exploratory songwriting. The hard-luck baladeering of ‘Someday My Sun Gonna Shine’ provides a tender counterpoint to the driving, elemental crowd favourites ‘(Somebody Call The) Po’Po’’ and ‘Bad Motherfucker’, whilst still displaying all the charm and wit synonymous with a Chicken Walk live show.

Each song was recorded in only two takes; all live, honest and shimmering with the personality of the players. Chris’ swagger and (recently departed drummer) Dean’s sense of style delivering the one-two punch as natural and unforced as the land around them. Or in Chris’ words ‘real, living music’.

See them at the Ballarat Beer Festival. With thousands expected to descend upon Ballarat township on Saturday 24th January 2015, music lovers and beer enthusiasts are encouraged to book early for the event. Tickets (and drink tokens) available now via Ticketek www.ticketek.com.au or 132 849, or Ticketek outlets now.

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