Open Sea brings to the surface different questions about being a man: equanimity in chaos, permanence of choices, the meaning of work.
1. Give Up the Ghost
3. Open Sea
4. Who Am Your Love?
6. Extra Mile
Hans Chew has travelled a long way from Tennessee to Georgia to New Orleans to East Harlem, and sang many songs along his journey. But what happens when a ramblin’ man stops moving? Chew’s 4th studio album, Open Sea, represents a satisfying evolution in Hans’s brand of piano-based Americana and R&B.
While his past work was consumed with themes of searching and longing, Open Sea brings to the surface different questions about being a man: equanimity in chaos, permanence of choices, the meaning of work. To paraphrase a Gary Snyder poem, it’s about finding your piece of land and working it. It’s not about settling, but it is about settling in.
Hans plays guitar himself on Open Sea, along with his usual rollicking piano and bluesy R&B vocalizing. Tapping the Rhyton rhythm section of Rob Smith on drums and Jimy SeiTang on bass, along with his long-time collaborator Dave Cavallo on guitar, Hans finds his most agile and sensitive band yet, stretching songs to longer lengths, with confident exploration and roaring jams.
Dave Cavallo, especially, is a secret weapon, showing a restrained musicality, sense of rhythm, and rock and roll verve that at its best recalls Keith Richards or Ronnie Wood.
In writing and recording Open Sea, Hans Chew’s main musical influences were classic ‘60s/’70s American and British rockers: Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Fairport Convention, Mighty Baby, and the Grateful Dead.
2010’s Tennessee & Other Stories... received four stars from Rolling Stone and was heralded by Uncut as one of the top 25 albums of the year. 2014 saw the release of Chew’s second LP, Life & Love, which Classic Rock magazine called “an excellent album, a further development of the sound Chew revealed on his debut...”, while Popmatters proclaimed the record “Dixie-fried rock ’n’ roll awesomeness...a barn burning smoker of a record that’s simply irresistible.” Last years ‘Unknown Sire’ was included in Uncut Editor John Mulvey’s favourite albums of 2016!