Rockin’ New EP from Chuck Magid: ‘Live in Atlanta’
If you ever saw Chuck Magid fronting the outstanding Orlando band The Groove Orient, then you know.
If you heard Chuck Magid’s EP from last year, Traveling Home, then you know.
If you saw Chuck Magid and his band during their shows from November to January, then you know.
This new EP, Live In Atlanta: Recorded Live at Smithe’s Old Bar, Atlanta GA, January 23, 2020 is for those who know AND for those who are about to find out just what sort of powerhouse Chuck Magid truly is.
Magid plays guitar and sings. His current band includes Aaron Bucky Buckingham on drums and vocals, Glenn Kastrinos on bass and vocals, and Colin Fei on keyboards and vocals. Buckingham was also in The Groove Orient. Kastrinos is a multi-instrumentalist known for bass and drums with several Orlando bands. Fei also plays keyboards in the excellent group Thomas Wynn & The Believers.
This album is an excellent snapshot in time of Magid and his friends on stage. The seven tracks here include five of the six from Traveling Home, and the recording is on point, showcasing the contributions of each member of the quartet.
Live In Atlanta
When Magid shouts, “HIGH VOLTAGE,” he’s trying to tell you what’s about to unfold! There is a lot of power in “Power of a Flower,” an all-out rocker. Buckingham is one badass drummer, and Kastrinos is a fine match. Magid’s ragged voice here is just what the song requires, and his shredding is top-notch. Fei adds organ to the mix.
“To Be With You” reduces the temperature to simmer for a tender rocker with some nice harmony playing between bass and guitar. Almost halfway through, the thermometer shoots up for the instrumental bridge, everybody in on the act. Returning to the head, they again slow it down.
In the event it isn’t yet evident that Magid is an old soul rock n’ roller, this medley of “Deal > Hey Hey What Can I Do > Dear Mr. Fantasy > Manic Depression” (1967-1972) ought to remove all doubt. One nice twist is that the melody to “Deal” begins to morph as the lyrics to “Hey Hey What Can I Do” emerge; the music is closer to Garcia than Led Zep, with “Deal” guitar solos interspersed. The segue to “Mr. Fantasy” is logical, Captain. Fei really steps out here on organ. The “Manic Depression” section is instrumental with some interesting syncopation at the end before “Deal” reappears to close the medley.
Magid brings the band on down behind him for “Broken Man,” a slow and deliberate reading of the song. Of course, the tempo kicks up occasionally. Fei has a fine organ solo here. Magid explains that “Broken Man” was one of the softer songs from Traveling Home and that the next one, “Such a Sensation,” would be harder. Which would be an understatement. They romp through this one. There is a short ballad-like section, setting you up like bowling pins to be clobbered by the onslaught of the next section, Buckingham shifting them to overdrive. Kastrinos is thumpin’!
“Rock n’ Roll” begins as the softest of ballads, but of course that’s just the appetizer, as the tempo picks up, drops off, and increases again before a nice solo section. Rock n’ roll indeed!
Other than the medley, “Pattern” is the only song not on Traveling Home. This is a great live tune, the perfect way to wrap up a set of killer music. Everything is lit here: guitar, organ, bass, drums, and vocals. These men are on fire.
Listen to the EP on the bandcamp link below. Better yet, pay what you can through bandcamp, where you can also find Traveling Home.