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Music Review - `Hot Chicken Wisdom` by Rich Mahan (dmac)

Rich Mahan - Hot Chicken Wisdom  (click on image to watch video)

 13 November 2019

 

Black

The great band, Little Feat, comes to mind again and again while listening to Rich Mahan’s Hot Chicken Wisdom – and not just because that band similarly named one of is albums Dixie Chicken. No, the comparison goes far deeper than that. It’s referenced mainly because Mahan has one of those likable, laid-back singing voices. For these eleven songs, Mahan applies this good-natured singing style to some slightly funky, Americana songs.

Mahan shares his culinary hot chicken wisdom on the album’s de facto title cut, “Hot Chicken & An Ice Cold 40,” which strolls along unhurriedly, colored by a vocal call-and-response along with a harmonica part. “I Smoke Pot,” which begins with just acoustic guitar and vocals, is ultimately a reluctant anti-drug song. On it, Mahan recalls all the different substances he’s abused over the years. “I sniffed coke,” he admits, “that shit is kinda risky.” It’s funny how nonchalantly he addresses cocaine abuse. Obviously, cocaine is very dangerous stuff. This line is about as lighthearted as all of Ringo Starr’s “No No Song.” 

The album also includes a ramshackle, Rolling Stones-esque cover of The Bee Gees’ “To Love Somebody.” Mahan takes it at a slow, torturous pace, and loads its arrangement with soulful backing vocals. It proves just how sturdy so many of those old Bee Gees songs truly are. If you think The Bee Gees were little more than mere disco music opportunists, this song, with this version, begs to differ with that wrongheaded assessment. 

Rich Mahan many times comes off as the life of the party throughout this album. He ends the project, however, on a deadly serious note with “Open Up Your Heart.” He might like to get his party on, but he also has a soft heart, too. Along with its hot chicken wisdom, Rich Mahan’s album also includes many worthy life lessons.

 

Music Reviewer - Dan MacIntosh

 

Dan MacIntosh - Dan MacIntosh has been a professional music journalist for 30 years and his work has regularly appeared in many local and national publications, including Inland Empire Weekly, CCM, CMJ, Paste, Mean Street, Chord, HM, Christian Retailing, Amplifier, Inspirational Giftware, Stereo Subversion, Indie-Music, Soul–Audio, Roughstock.com, Country Standard Time and Spin.com. 

To Read All of Dan's Reviews, Click Here

 

 

 


 

 

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