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Over the years Chris Stamey, founder of kudzu-pop originals the dBs, has honed his craft on stage and in the studio, working with everyone from Alex Chilton and the Golden Palominos to Bob Mould. Working as a producer with a new crop of bands such as Whiskeytown and Le Tigre, Stamey got the itch to play and record again and in 2004 released his first solo disc in over a decade, "Travels in the South".
Now, less than a year later, Stamey returns with a guitar-rock album of well-chosen covers and originals, A Question of Temperature, that's a collaborative studio effort by Chris and assorted musical friends: Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley and James McNew of Yo La Tengo, keyboardist Tyson Rogers, Caitlin Cary and former dB's bandmate Gene Holder, as well as members of Chatham County Line.
With Chris's longtime friend -- renowned Southern pop producer Mitch Easter - behind the mixing board, The Chris Stamey Experience trade licks on a variety of originals and choice covers, ranging from Television's Venus to the Eddie Harris/Les McCann Vietnam War-era recording, "(Let's Make It Real) Compared to What." From the opening roar of feedback that segues into the Yardbird's classic, Shapes of Things on through the bonus track, a "VOTE" jingle recorded (and widely disseminated by online music Bloggers) prior to the 2004 U.S. presidential election, Stamey and company deliver an album that celebrates friendship, riffs, freedom of expression - political and otherwise - and the pure joy of finding just the right overdriven, stick-to-your-ribs guitar sounds.
So give A Question of Temperature a listen. You'll be glad that Chris didn't wait another decade to release an album.