Chute Nine
Gig Seeker Pro

Chute Nine

Band Country Rock


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


The best kept secret in music


"Love & Hate"

The trouble with most country rock is that it doesn’t know the difference between a song with soul and just another arena-filled anthem high on energy but light on calories. Too often, the genre languishes in crowd-pleasing theatrics with occasional dips into heartfelt emotion that either don’t ring true or are awfully cornballish. Alas, this isn’t the problem with the current platter from Chute Nine. The band sounds like it paid dues on the tire-stained highway while carefully crafting a sound of their own. The first two cuts rock at a normal live concert pace with the usual lines about heartbreak, hearts won, and hearts lost - you know, your average weekend in America. And that’s exactly the hook that got me to enjoy Love & Hate. The band is indefinably American without leaning towards empty patriotism or pat consumerism. Their brand of tangled tumbleweed stampedes and haunting booze-fueled love is coated with intelligent machismo that steers clear of egotistical showmanship. You hear stories about the man’s man who every dude wants to emulate and every woman wants to end up with at the end of the night of drinking. Well, these are songs written by those wounded types of world-weary troubadours.

After the twin honky-tonk live show type opening, the tempo slips down into a mixture of yesterday’s remorse brought back to the forefront with great lines like "I’ve always been more party than partner, but she made sure I never walked alone." “80 Acres” starts like an old 45 from circa 1975 — a jukebox hit record remixed and remastered for 2005. The sound of the band is full and alive and rich with experienced optimism matched by loose music that opens a doorway to an emotional jam that arcs skywards before returning to a piano commentary that hints at Dr. John in a Texas bar. I used to buy singles when I was a kid, and THIS little five and a half minutes of Americana melancholia is exactly why I forked over my hard-earned allowance. “Hound Dog” is part country ditty and humorous stray dawg cautionary tale — another infectious anthem that sinks into your skin. A cover of The Police’s “Every Breath You Take” (!) shockingly works in this setting as the lyrics continue the witty stalker tales of the previous numbers. The band plays it as a two-step waltz that lilts and curls into the air and is a tad chilling considering the fact that the vocals are all perfume and cologne romance but the undertone is dejected retribution. What drives the song is the inventive Mark Pavlica on keyboards. Heck, I reckon I need to call out the whole stellar crew right about now. Kudos to Jamey Kadrmas on lead vocals and guitar, Glenn Esparza, lead guitar, dobro, banjo, lap steel and Hammond B-3, Stingray (no relation to the Stingerooni, or to me, for that matter) on bass, vocals and handclaps and MacKenzie Kerr on drums and percussion.

“Can You Feel That” is dedicated to the soldiers fighting the controversial war in Iraq. The song wisely doesn’t acknowledge any political stance other than the hard fact that families back home are dealing with a lot of heartbreak and pain while their loved ones are thousands of miles away in a very dangerous set of open-ended circumstances. The song starts as a power ballad but switches nicely into a musically lyrical passage that blurs the line in the sand between individual instruments before the keys play out the melody. “Music American” celebrates the joys of life back home and serves as a nice showcase for violinist Jean Ballhorn, who also guested on “Every Breath You Take.”

“You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Like It” closes the set of music with another barrelhouse shakedown that sounds like Metallica’s James Hetfield fronting a country rock band with Elton John on piano and Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason on percussion. It's a heck of a lot of fun and, overall, a big surprise as (a) I have a very low tolerance for shitty country music, (b) there is a very fine line between sentiment and sap, and (c) hooks are hard to write and even more difficult to pull off over a 60-minute platter. Alas, Chute Nine’s latest has none of these problems, and our ears are that much the richer. Crack open another one!

Randy Ray - JamBase | Worldwide


Love & Hate - Audio Grind - 2005



Chute Nine's "ranch-rockin' country" is a rollicking, high energy mix of new country and exhuberant, arena rock. The band is just as comfortable with Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and ZZ Top as it is with Hank Williams, Lyle Lovett and Willie Nelson. While Chute Nine is not your grandfather's country, the band is uniquely traditional with a big dose of roadhouse and rodeo mixed in.