Black Chardonnay
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Black Chardonnay

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Classic Rock


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Black Chardonnay: iTunes/Rhapsody/Amazon/Last FM



Since Black Chardonnay formed, oh, roughly 330 days ago and began disarming NYC audiences (Highline Ballroom, Mercury
Lounge, Crash Mansion) with unbelievably loud yet relentlessly beautiful music, the main constant for the band has been how
uncompromisable they've remained. Sure, they're a "rock n roll band", one that tips their collective cap to the giants that loom in
each melody. But within each song, they're skirting the boundaries of that all encompassing yet, often elusive label.

Yes, together they're precocious, rootsy, heavy, melodic and classically, overwhelming. The threading of these traits has always been the obsession for singer Brett Conti, drummer Keith Robinson, bassist Dave Smith and guitar slingers, Casper Jones and Conor Bennett. Their recent self-titled release reflects a process that's become an ever-progressive calling card.

That song you drive fast with, that song you dance slow to, that song that makes it through the night. BC makes the kind of music that big-name legends of classic rock would make, without all the confines of all the heritage. They said, what the hell, and decided to do it themselves, rehearsingand recording in their NYC apartments and basements. Later, the tunes were mixed by Stacy O'Dell (Killcode, M-Lab) and mastered by Chris Muth at Dangerous Audio. The result is only the beginning of their rock-revival sound that rewards repeated listening. It scratches that classic rock n roll itch, but doesn't drown you in the modernly cerebral, technologically driven bullshit.

Recording without being under the pro-studio-money clock was ultimately a blessing. Some songs were rearranged from Brett's piano versions, reconfigured by Conor, trying different guitar nuances.

Songs like 'Take It Way' reflect an ethos of collaboration by raw, pack inspiration, where the idea is to least manipulate songs in the recording process, actually perform them in the way they're recorded, not relying on production to create the effect. It's organic, living and breathing, which makes for a rock show that people can play with.

And though they craft songs for the ages, the live show is the proof (youtube it). Combine blisteringly soulful vocals, rock guitars and a brilliantly visual delivery, and the mood created by these 5 gentlemen belies the experience of the group. Muscular slide guitar of songs like 'Invincible' is notjust heard live, it's felt. 'Give You Up' recalls stolen love in 5th gear at 125mph, anchored by a headbob-inducing rhythm section.

Where Black Chardonnay echoes slivers of Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Faces, their seminal record finds them wearing a few different masks within one song, or even one verse. The southern tinged majesty of 'Those Three Words' and 'Been Here For So Long' reflect a grandiosity ala Black Crowes. While 'I Want You' owes a debt of gratitude to the likes of AC/DC. A song title like 'No Mercy' is proof that, while they are moody and romantic, they refuse to take themselves too
seriously. What really hits the listener are foundation-stretching rock songs that have been woven together with love and that slippery agent, time. It's time for Black Chardonnay.