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Chantel McGregor

Shed Sessions - Volume 1

Review by Gary Hill

Chantel McGregor, who I have covered in the past, did a lot of musical performances during Covid lockdown. She ultimately decided to release some of the songs she had performed as a two volume "Shed Sessions" series. The second one is electrified, and I'll review that in a future issue, This first volume is acoustic. There are some intriguing covers here. In fact, it's all covers. I like some of these songs better than the originals, but I like everything here.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
Needle and the Damage Done
This classic Neil Young tune gets redone in style. As much as I like the original, I think I might actually prefer this take.
Morning Song
Here we get a cover of Jewel. While I like this tune, it doesn't have the same kind of magic that the previous one did.
Sledgehammer
This intimate arrangement of the Peter Gabriel tune is an intriguing twist. I think this holds up pretty well like this.
Angel From Montgomery
Here we get a song originally done by John Prine. I like this a lot. It has a gentle vulnerability and beauty to it.
Gold Dust Woman
This Fleetwood Mac cover is one of the highlights of this disc. I have always been a big fan of this song. I think I might actually prefer this to the original. It's such a great song.
Fire And Rain
Here McGregor tackles a classic from James Taylor. This is another standout, and another case where I think I might prefer this to the original.
Can't Find My Way Home
Written by Steve Winwood, this is a track that was originally recorded by Blind Faith when he was part of that group. It's always been a strong tune, and this version definitely does it justice.
Love Has No Pride

A song that Linda Ronstadt made into a hit, this works well. It's not really a standout for me, but it works.

Harvest Moon
We get another Neil Young tune here. This slow moving piece isn't as strong as the earlier one did, but it's still solid.
Landslide
The other artist to get a repeat nod here, this is another tune penned by Stevie Nicks and done with Fleetwood Mac. I think this one works particularly well. It's intricate and so pretty. It's another of my favorites on the disc.
Voodoo Chile
This Jimi Hendrix tune works surprisingly well when done on acoustic guitar. It's a killer rocker that gains some subtlety without really losing anything in the process.
I Can't Make You Love Me
A song that was originally done by Bonnie Raitt, this works well, but it's sort of an "also ran" for me. It's slow and mellow, and just doesn't really grab me.
Nothing Else Matters
Stripping the classic Metallica song to just acoustic guitar and female vocals lets it show a different side. This song works well in this format.
 
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