Boxcar Chief
Gig Seeker Pro

Boxcar Chief

San Diego, CA | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

San Diego, CA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Southern Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"CD Reviews Boxcar Chief: Vagabond"

The early ’70s were probably the most fertile period for guitar rock, as psychedelic music faded, and the guitarists who honed their licks playing it switched to Southern rock, jam bands, and blues rock – all of which enjoyed their golden age. The template for many of the most successful groups mimicked the Faces and the Rolling Stones: two good guitarists, one of them playing electric slide, a strong rhythm section, and a charismatic singer. Nothing fancy, no harmonies, few slow songs, just grind it out and rock. The formula still persists with bands like the Black Crowes and Government Mule, and local rockers Boxcar Chief have dialed back the clock likewise in their debut album, Vagabond, with good results.

Brian Gaines (vocals, slide guitar), Scott Anderson (bass), Sean Rhead (drums), and David Berry (guitar) play 11 of Gaines’ originals and a cover, with guest keyboards on a few; it is mostly turn-up-the-knobs power guitar rock, though there are some efforts to go in a jazzier direction. On “Black River,” the opener, the listener gets a taste of the gut-level slide power chords they remember from the old Led Zeppelin albums, and Gaines’ vocal, though somewhat buried in the mix, is a decent approximation of the Crowes’ Chris Robinson. In fact, on its better rockers – especially the tracks with added keys – the Chiefs sound just like the Crowes. Never more so than on “Always,” which clones the vibe of the Crowes track “Gone,” from the great Amorica album.

“So Low” stands out with more dynamics than some of the other high octane tracks and does a fine job of building from calm to storm as Gaines sings, “Can’t you see the real truth inside of me/ Hazy times got a hold of me.” The only cover is a good choice, “Steady Rollin’ Man,” a solid Robert Johnson blues-rocker given a funky-chunky beat while both guitarists trade solo statements. Things are slowed down on “Start Again” as shimmering chords establish a somber mood beneath Gaines’ vocal, “Trapped in these days/ They don’t seem to end/ I hurry up and go to sleep/ Just to start all over again.” It’s back to grind-it-out bombast for disc highlight “Bone Dry Creek.” Pounding tom tom shots by Rhead usher in the dual guitar hook; this is clearly the Chief’s specialty and sure, the vocals are almost drowned out in spots by the guitars, but it rocks like hell and besides, who can make out the words to the Stones’ classic “Exile on Main Street,” which is the grandpa of this kind of tune? “Wandering Eye” is an effort at a mid-tempo power ballad, and despite it stretching Gaines’ vocal range past its limits, it gives the band a chance to fill the softer moments with some jazzy bridges.

Vagabond will find an audience among those who like their guitars plugged in, but aren’t into either pure blues or loud, hard metallic stuff. In the early ’70s this music was on top of the world, and Boxcar Chief make a good case for why that was the case. - San Diego Troubadour

"Schwindy's indie music spotlight: Boxcar Chief"

When you think about bands that are new to you, they often have one thing in common. Namely, they are recommended by someone you know - whether it's a friend or an acquaintance. Boxcar Chief was recommended to yours truly by an acquaintance who works at the farmers market. And you know something? That acquaintance was right on in recommending this band.
The album begins with a bluesy slide-guitar riff that prompted my three year-old to ask, "Is that 'Bad to the Bone'?" It doesn't sound a lot like "Bad to the Bone", but it is bluesy. The vocals in this song are a lot like Chris Robinson. In fact, this band does a pretty good job of playing blues-based rock and roll that is reminiscent of The Black Crowes and Chris Robinson Brotherhood. A really good example is "Always". This is pretty straightforward rock and roll that will get you grooving for the entire five and a half minutes. It's easy to imagine this song being played to an amphitheater full of swaying fans. The band doesn't just have blues riffs like The Black Crowes. The guitar in "Bone Dry Creek" is reminiscent of "Memo from Turner". Plus, at some points in the album, the band has a little Eric Clapton flavor.

You could describe Boxcar Chief as a "throwback" band, and you wouldn't be wrong. There is a lot of 70s rock in the sound of this band, both in the psychedelic riffs of songs like "Split-Tongued Gambler" and the grooves you'll feel throughout the album. This is the kind of album that you want to turn on and turn up so you can tune the world out. If you like groovy, blues-influenced classic rock, Vagabond will fit perfectly into your collection. - OC Examiner


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Currently at a loss for words...

Band Members