Oh, My Gosh! You know, I never run out of good things to say about Chastity Brown, but her latest record, “Long Way” is so special that my jaw hit the floor and I was dumbfounded for over a month, after being honored with an opportunity for a “first listen exclusive.” I’ve listened every day since then and the clarity of Chastity’s soul in this record continues to astound me in ways that I just can’t put into words.
Given that tongue-tied situation, I asked some of the folks that write with Mid Tenn and who join us for the Mid Tenn Listens Live review show to check out a track and write a couple sentences each. Wanting to do something special for our good friends at Creative and Dreams, I didn’t tell my friends what this was about, I just randomly picked a song for each name on my list and asked for something simple in response. I was blown away with what came back! It all only goes to prove the things we’ve been saying since “Backroads Highways” came out.
Chastity has again teamed up with Fred Cannon and Paul Buono and a band of some of Nashville’s finest pickers to deliver a stunning record with a poignant punch that you can listen to over and again.
Nikolay (audio engineeer, app developer)- Long Way is an introduction to every element of what turns out to be an incredibly compelling outting from Chastity Brown. The slide guitars and dramatic vibrato would seem a bit too much, a bit too tried and true and a little bit over dramatic if it were from an artist that couldn’t back it up.
The second track Man and Gun crushes your soul like a slow moving cement truck full of liquid melancholy. Again, I found myself thinking this would be a saccharine sadness but by the 3rd listen I believe this is a genuine reflection of the artist’s soul.
Honey bee is like slow motion falling through sad clouds and plunging into a sea of lazy, daisy, hazy, soft, sultry, fragile, and bittersweet. The arrangement is subtle and endearing, a solid structure that is on the edge of falling apart at every moment which only serves to suck you in deeper.
Brian Dodson (audio engineer, producer)- On track 4 of A Long Way, “Southern City” Chastity proves again her complex mix of gospel, roots, soul, jazz, blues and country can combine to produce a great song. Southern City, the title of track 4, presents the listener with beautiful combination of all the genre’s previously listed and well represented. Borderline confessional in it’s mix of sequencer’s and rhythm and vocal construction, Southern City presents a story of past that can’t or won’t be let go of. Chastity’s powerfully emotional vocals tell the story with a heart-string pulling emotion that is hard to resist. Backing vocals reinforce the gospel, redeeming aspect of this track. Very well done and fitting to the album title of A Long Way
Diana Barnes, (Suede Management)- Wow, what can I say that others have not about this amazing woman? Her sound is something I can feel, very bluesy, soulful, with the gravely voice, put me in a trance. She’s authentic with substance.
Her song “Whispers in the Valley” shows the strength of her songwriting skills, even the chorus had me swaying. She’s very musically diverse, her album and this song reflects as such. In a great way, I’ve been haunted by her vocals, and instrumental usage. The emotions she conveys with her music is palpable. She as an artist and this song has evoked memories of the good southern rock, I miss these days.
June Gaul (former manager)- LOVE HER VOICE – hot, sultry, wandering through the streets of change in a persons mind, perhaps running away from a beautiful life…
Lost in a crazy maze of email boxes, a light spattering in the distance of rain drops on the wooden deck, I’m drawn into a trance like state.
Staring at words on a page that suddenly turn into a walk on a hot sticky night,I’m guided by the sultry voice of Chastity Brown’s “Banjo Blues.”
I find myself being invited to sit and not only listen to stories of the old timers, but to see the beauty in the world of souls – to see the soul of the earth, see the beauty in the world around. It’s there for us to find what make us truly happy and once we find it we can no longer stay the same, stay in the chains we shackle ourselves into.
Slowly yet surely the page becomes bright again, the spattering of rain drops have a rhythm of a beating heart. The smell of fresh air chases away the trance like state, looking up I’m blown away by the beauty of a rainbow and the bright colours of the earths soul.
The sultry voice of Chastity Brown fades into the distance as the soothing voices of the souls around me warm my heart and bring laughter that breaks chains that tied me to the crazy mazy of email boxes.
Aaron Young (Hangout Records music promoter)- On ‘Out of Line’, the jazzy harmony immediately sets the tone for the entire track.This song reminds me of a cold rainy night, staring out the window of the diner or a long train ride. With a soft and harmonic voice like Norah Jones, Chastity Brown lifts her vocals in soft, rhythmic bliss. The melody is right up there with the best of all female vocalists.
Upon further listening, the horns toward the end of the track leave the listener pleasantly relaxed. There is nothing complex about this tune. It is a nice change of pace from what is normally on my rotation of new songs.
Out of Line will take you through many emotions. The lyrics tell a darker story than the vocalist wants you to believe – the sorrow within; getting a bit lost in the night between the words. You find your way home by the end of the tune and it’s time to lay your head down and drift into your dreams.
TC Deane (producer, engineer)- On the First few notes of the Song , Before she even starts to sing , Soul starts to hit you , You know this is going to move and you start groovin .
Then her Voice comes in like Maple syrup dripping off a stack of hot fresh pancakes loaded with butter .
The Lyrics [are] well crafted and thought out . A short form Life story element to it . with lots of feeling .
Come Tumblin is a another incredibly subtle and tender song that while a surprising closer for this album compliments Long Way as a remarkable bookend to a thoroughly enjoyable album. Obviously, the intent was an album that would be played on a rainy day at the end of a draught. Chastity Brown makes me want to move to Seattle. — Nikolay