Hans Chew
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Hans Chew

New York, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | INDIE

New York, New York, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Rock Americana


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



"Out Of The Darkness"

"…an excellent album, a further development of the sound Chew revealed on his debut Tennessee & Other Stories… To the fore of that sound is Chew’s own piano playing, bold and rhythmical, influenced as much by The Big Easy as the Mississippi Delta. Hans Chew’s music grooves, as blues-oriented music really ought to groove. At its heart is an innate understanding of where this style of music comes from…” - Classic Rock Magazine presents The Blues

""4 stars...fabulous...timeless..." -Wolfgang Doebeling, Rolling Stone Magazine"

Vom gemalten Idyll auf dem Fold-out-Cover bis zur beschwingten Instrumentation auf den zehn Tracks zwischen Country Rock, Gospel-blues und Piano-Funk bildet Hans Chews Solo-Debüt eine fabelhafte, wenngleich völlig aus der Zeit gefallene Einheit, die so und kein bisschen anders vor 40 Jahren mit Akkoladen begrüßt worden wäre. Bisher vor allem als Pianist für den leider verstorbenen Saiten-Magier Jack Rose in Erscheinung getreten, spielt Chew hier eine ganze Palette von Talenten aus, von denen das Singen und Songwriting die auffallendsten sind. Eine Tennessee-Trilogie eröffnet Seite eins, mit erzählerisch weitem Spannungsbogen, an dessen Anfang ein grausiger Fund steht: „They found her dead body on christmas day/ They say the tear was froze that way.“ Die Seite endet mit „Long Time Man“ von Tim Rose, indes so nahe an Nick Caves Remake, dass dieser in den Credits dankend Erwähnung findet. Umgedreht entführt die LP nach Tulsa und New Orleans, Chews vokaler Twang erinnert mal an John Prine, dann wieder mal an Steve Earle, die Musik tönt hymnisch oder im Walzertakt, die Pedal Steel schluchzt, die Banjos hüpfen übermütig, ein Saxofon mahnt zur Einkehr, das Klavier kommentiert unwirsch. (Wolfgang Doebeling) - Jann Wenner

"Top 20 Americana Albums of 2010"

# 3 spot on list of 20 Best Americana Albums of 2010 - Uncut Magazine

"KEXP Review: "captures the forgotten sounds of country""

As major labels continue to exist behind the times, artists and labels with little capital and lesser reputations are producing some of the most innovative, interesting, and inspiring music. Whether it’s creating a new niche in digital technology or looking to once obsolete formats, Agitated Atmosphere hopes to pull back the curtain on a wealth of sights and sound from luminaries such as Hans Chew.

There exists a schism between country and everything else. The dividing line stands defiant; the idea that down home, red meat loving folk are drawn to songs of love and loss that speak to a lifestyle not on par with the rest of the world. But deep within this rift exists an equally impactful separation: those who embrace the bright lights and slick production of the new country ‘pop’ exploding across radio and television find themselves at odds with those of prefer their brand of country dirty and dark. The latter is fond of the tramps and ramblers of blues and folk now absent from the musical world since the death of Woody Guthrie. The blurry line where the smartest music lover realizes that without country, the trinity of music’s birth would cease to exist as it does—the good with the bad.

Hans Chew has found himself a healthy plot on this piece of thinking. The idea that country is more than Gram Parsons get-ups, pick-up trucks, and women in cowboy boots and midriffs t-shirts may seem foreign to a generation that only knows of Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, but there was a time when country was a vehicle for articulate storytelling and intricate rhythms. Jointly released via Three Lobed and new imprint, Divided By Zero (both of which also released the preceding Hans Chew 7-inch earlier this year), Tennessee and Other Stories captures the forgotten sounds of country — boogie, rhythm and blues, and folk — and hocks its loogie into the saloon spittoon with attitude.

As a member of The Helix (backing Dave Shuford’s D. Charles Speer persona), Chew’s honky-tonk piano aimed to reclaim the unique fun country once possessed before it was turned into neat packages meant for PG consumption. Tennessee and Other Stories is the music of juke joints and broken down bar rooms--songs to spill a few tears over, melodies to make you dance, and stories to make you think. It’s all country should ever do to put itself in a strong position to win over more than its base. - KEXP

"Uncut Review: "a lost classic from 2010""

As you might have noticed, I’ve been banging on about this one a lot over the last couple of weeks, and it seems to be shaping up, alongside maybe Joanna Newsom and Magic Lantern and so on, as one of my favourites of 2010.

Hans Chew, to make things a little clearer, first came to at least my attention with his rollicking piano playing on the last couple of Jack Rose albums. Through Jack’s posthumous “Ragged And Right” EP, it also became clear that Chew figured in a rowdy cosmic Americana outfit from Brooklyn called D Charles Speer And The Helix: typical of musicians in Rose’s orbit, The Helix mix rootsy good times with parallel lives as practitioners of hardcore psych-out music, in The No-Neck Blues Band, Sunburned Hand Of The Man and the like (check out their “Distillation”, incidentally, for some heady Dead/"Europe ’72" vibes).

Chew’s piano work on all this – loose and groovy, lascivious, honky-tonking – is great, but his contribution to this summer’s “Honest Strings”, the vast and cherishable album compiled by Three-Lobed Recordings in honour of Jack Rose, was still quite a shock. “The Heart Is Deceitful” revealed Chew as not just an able sideman, but a terrific and full-blooded singer-songwriter, too.

That promise is borne out by “Tennessee And Other Stories”, nine originals and one cover made in the company of various fellow travellers from the Helix family, and housed in one of the loveliest sleeves I’ve seen in a while. The cover is of Tim Rose’s “Long Time Man”, or at least Nick Cave’s version of the same, and showcases Chew’s impressively soulful and weathered pipes, though it isn’t quite typical of the rest of “Tennessee…”

Much of the album actually resembles an easy-going, if occasionally fatalistic, roadtrip through the southern states: “Long Time Man” is preceded by a fervid boogie-woogie (“New Cypress Grove Boogie”) and followed by “Forever Again”, which mostly matches the stride of early ‘70s Dr John.

You could easily fill up a review of “Tennessee…” with sepia reference points: Leon Russell, Nicky Hopkins,Hargus ‘Pig’ Robbins, The Band, maybe something in the orbit of Delaney And Bonnie. The closing “Only Son” is even faintly reminiscent of Elton John – circa “Tumbleweed Connection”, I should hastily add.

Usefully, though, Chew has a swing and feel for his material which makes him sound anything but an academic tourist.. Consequently, “Tennessee…” doesn’t come across like a pastiche of its influences, but a spirited and open-hearted, craftsmanlike work that could easily have been mislaid for the best part of the last 35 or 40 years. A lost classic from 2010, perhaps: Tennessee… is limited to 500 vinyl copies but, fortunately, apparently infinite downloads.

-John Mulvey - Uncut Magazine

"Rob Hughes chats with Marc Riley about Hans Chew"

See link for audio - BBC Radio


Hans Chew, debut full-length album, TENNESSEE & OTHER STORIES... released by Three Lobed Recordings/Divide By Zero Records, Sept 2010
(can be streamed here: http://hanschew.bandcamp.com/album/tennessee-other-stories)
(live solo performance on-air at BBC London: http://hanschew.com/hanschew-bbc-radio-london-live-may-5-2011.mp3)
(clip of track from album played on BBC Radio 6: http://hanschew.com/audio/BBCRadio6QueenOfTheDamnedBlues.mp3)

7" Single "New Cypress Grove Boogie" b/w "Forever Again (alternate take)" on Three Lobed Recordings/Divide by Zero Records, Feb 2010

LP, POOR MOON by Hiss Golden Messenger, released by Paradise of Bachelors 2011

LP, PARANOID CAT by Chris Forsyth, released by Family Vineyard 2011

LP, LEAVING THE COMMONWEALTH by D. Charles Speer & the Helix, released by Thrill Jockey Records, April, 2011

LP, RAGGED & RIGHT by Jack Rose with D. Charles Speer & the Helix, released by Thrill Jockey Records, June 2010

Compilation, "HONEST STRINGS: A TRIBUTE TO THE LIFE AND WORK OF JACK ROSE" released by Three Lobed Recordings - Track: The Heart Is Deceitful, March 2010

LP, LUCK IN THE VALLEY by Jack Rose released by Thrill Jockey Records in Feb 2010 (piano)

LP, DISTILLATION by D. Charles Speer & the Helix, released by Three Lobed Recordings, Nov 2009... (Hans Chew: piano on all tracks, lead vocals on "Life Insurance")

LP, THE BLACK DIRT SESSIONS by Jack Rose, released by Three Lobed Recordings in 2009 (piano)

7" Single by D. Charles Speer & the Helix - “In-Madagascar” b/w “Bar-Abbas-Blues” (Hans Chew: Piano & Lead Vocals on "Bar-Abbas-Blues") Feb 2009

LP, HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE WORLD by The Lost Crusaders, released by Everlasting World in 2008 (piano)

LP, AFTER HOURS by D. Charles Speer & the Helix, released by Sound @ One in 2008

7" "Past or Beyond/Canaanite Builder" by D. Charles Speer & the Helix, released by Sound @ One in 2007



Death gives meaning to life, suffering gives meaning to love. This is the theme of Hans Chew’s story, an expression of the soul. 

Hans Chew delivers powerful medicine, a resurrection of rock & roll as unique as it is traditional. A Tennessee native and self-taught pianist, Chew’s style has been described in wide fashion, his name appearing in print alongside artists as varied as Bob Dylan, Elton John, James Booker, Leon Russell, Little Richard, Nicky Hopkins, and Nick Cave to name but a few. “My grandfather sang harmony in a Nashville gospel quartet and taught me that “high-lonesome sound”. While my mother turned me on to Hendrix and the Stones, my father only listened to classical music: I knew Beethoven’s Fifth before Led Zeppelin’s fourth.” 

In 2004, after many years adrift, Chew took up permanent residence at the decrepit Clermont Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. Armed with little more than a piano, an old Royal typewriter, a handful of New Orleans LPs, and a stack of ragtime, blues, and boogie-woogie sheet music, Chew’s journey to master the elements of rock and roll piano had begun. He checked out two years later with a handful of songs and moved to New York City. These songs would become Chew’s 2010 debut album Tennessee & Other Stories…, which received four stars from Rolling Stone and was heralded by Uncut as one of the top 25 albums of the year.

Now Hans Chew returns with Life & Love, the sonic snapshot of a full-fledged rock and roll spectacle. Led by Chew on grand piano and vocals, with Dave Cavallo (guitar), Ricardo Ortiz (bass), and Jesse Wallace (drums), Life & Love transports the listener into the full experience of the band's immediate raw power. 

Classic Rock magazine calls Life & Love “an excellent album, a further development of the sound Chew revealed on his debut Tennessee & Other Stories...”, while Popmatters proclaims the album “Dixie-fried rock ’n’ roll awesomeness...a barn burning smoker of a record that’s simply irresistible.” 

Band Members