New CD My Life; celebrates the band's Twentieth Anniversary. It contains 16 original tracks of remixed or new versions of previously recorded songs with different lineups of the Chain Smoking Altar Boys throughout the 20 year period. Recorded, mixed and mastered at Makin Sausage Studios by Steve Hamilton.
Having just had the sheer time of my life listening to My Life; l need to write something about it for you. But the problem is l just want to keep listening to it as it is such a celebration of everything that attracted me to the Blues when l was a little boy back in the 1950's. My gran taught me the Blues and sang me the Blues and now Reverend Raven is doing it all over again with this album. This isn't a pretentious album full of trickery computer programs or undecipherable messages for the new age but rather a straight ahead genuine Blues album. Raven possesses the most magnificent of baritone voices with quite a brilliant range. He is warm and engaging with incredible control over his voice that can be simply breathe taking to say the least. Add to this some major facts and they are he wrote all songs on the album and each and every one is incredible encompassing many Blues styles tempos and moods. Then we add to his immense talents already listed we have to then point out his sublime guitar playing that is just jaw dropping with a deft touch and tonality that can be in your face or so very subtle. Added to this we then pay tribute to the band, The Chain Smokin' Altar Boys made up on this album by Cadillac Pete Rahn, Madison Slim, Benny Rickun, Westside Andy Linderman, Big Al Groth, Andre Maritato, Brad Bill, P.t. Pederson, Vic Spann, Spencer Panosh, Bobby Lee Sellers Jr., Craig Panosh, Ron Kovach, Jimmy Vogelli, Mickey Larson, Danny Moore and Jeff Roberts. Each and every player has made this one formidable outfit. Certainly one to be reckoned with. This certainly is what l would call a expressive admiration of the past masters that have been a major influence on Raven and the groups lives and for that matter ours also. Every aspect of the album is everything you could ever wish for from a Blues album so my recommendation is that this is the album you have to have in your collection and there is no better way to kick off 2018. Blues can be interpreted in many ways but then again we want it to remain Blues not some shallow imitation. Trust me this truly is the skinny. Peter Merrett/PBS 109.7FM Melbourne, AU --Peter Merrett/PBS 109.7FM Melbourne, AU
Reverend Raven & The Chain Smokin Altar Boys have done it again! Here we go with their eighth CD and it is fabulous! Hailing from Milwaukee, The Reverend and his boys have played and toured the known universe for 20 years now! Over those years they have played about every venue you can think of, while sharing the stage with about every blues Icon you can think of. This wonderful compilation of their best stuff is fabulous! How do you pick the best out of 20 years together?Well, you find a way. Pulling from their four studio albums they have remixed, or all together just bluesed up a new version with some new players helping out. Reverend Raven nails it with his outstanding vocals,guitar, and slide work! That big baritone voice just lays right in there. Talk about harmonica players this CD features some genuine monsters! Cadillac Pete Rahn, Madison Slim, Benny Rickun, and Westside Andy Linderman just blow up the tracks! I mean outstanding harp players! If you re a harp lover, this is enough to get the CD! Born and raised on the South side of Chicago the Reverends credentials and background are impeccable! Over the last thirty years he has opened for B.B. King, Gatemouth Brown, Koko Taylor, Pinetop Perkins, Junior Wells, Magic Slim Elvin Bishop, SugarBlue, tons of others, and has been on headliner status rotation at Buddy Guy's Legends Club for sixteen years! Go to his website and check out his extensive career! Reverend Raven My Life ! Twenty years of the best of the best. Just ace top drawer! Better check it out. --Blue Barry Smoky Mountain Blues Society
Looking back over 20 years of living on the road, this crew rerecorded or remastered their high points from their back pages. A loping, easy going good time that has a total blue lights in the basement feel, these white boys with the blues make sounds for that party that doesn t need to raucous energy to keep the energy flowing. Tasty stuff from some of the hardest working blues road warriors out there, it s time for them to be less of local Milwaukee treat and let the word get out. Hot stuff. --MIDWEST RECORD Volume 41/Number 94