Chloe Chadwick hails from Staffordshire, originally, but has called the North East home for the past several years. Recently dubbed ‘Northern Country Queen,’ 32-year-old Chloe Chadwick follows up her self-titled, 2015 EP this June with her long awaited debut album, Dustbowl Jukebox. Indeed, the launch is on June 30th, at Think Tank in Newcastle; an honour indeed, for the city and the local people who have been behind Chloe since the first EP was released.
Dustbowl Jukebox was produced in the main at Cluny Studios by Tony Davis with one by Peter Slowey. Both are local producers, very much involved in the local music scene. It is immediately apparent from the first notes, what a stunning job has been done on production; every song finding its own identity, be it rooted in pop, rock, country, blues or soul. Together, they are testament indeed to the versatility of Chloe’s vocal capabilities, as she effortlessly takes us on a ten track musical journey. On more than one occasion, I found myself with hairs on the back of my neck, holding my breath, almost afraid to break the spell of what I was hearing.
The musicianship is tight and coherent and at every juncture, enhances Chloe’s astounding vocals, rather than competing with them. Mark Bushell, Scott Rigby, Nick Bayes and James Clarke will be no strangers to those who have seen Chloe perform live. Their musical connection definitely is apparent. In fact, it was Mark who came up with The CD’s title; Dustbowl a reference to the whirlwind of her musical career so far and Jukebox alluding to the eclectic nature of her songs.
All ten tracks on the album are incredibly strong, showing that the time taken to put the album together was time well spent. Two of the tracks, Don’t be Shy and Never Change, featured on her EP and were re recorded for the CD. Plain Old Jane is one of her favourites to play live and Iamnotamachine (yes, that’s how it is written…) she cites as being the hardest of the ten to write. Summertime Lovin has a real upbeat, happy, summer feel to it; you can’t not sing along! Stranger’s World, at its heart, tells a sad story, but with a memorable sound and message. The opening track, and the first single, Love Will Find A Way, is very clever lyrically and very honest. It also shows the power and control behind Chloe’s voice; she knows just how far to take it, before she brings it back to being a ballad again. It transpires that my favourite song on the CD is also Chloe’s. Big River, a story of past experience and making the most of life (the river could have multiple metaphorical meanings) was recorded in LA. Everything about the sound of it is simply breathtaking.
This is, without a doubt, the best CD to find its way into my CD player in quite some time and I don’t see it coming out anytime soon. I know Chloe considers the release of this album to be the pinnacle of her career so far: honestly? I think this is only the beginning and it couldn’t be more deserved.