Interview: Top rock guitarist for Ripley

For an amazing musician who thinks of herself as a “not very interesting person” Chantel McGregor has had an amazing journey so far.

Friday, 7th June 2019, 12:38 pm
Hugely talented - Award-winning rock guitarist and talented singer-songwriter Chantel McGregor who is playing Ripley Town Hall. (Picture by Keith Newhouse)

Hailed at an early age as a natural-born blues-rock guitar legend for her fretboard pyrotechnics and passionate performances, this first class honours Leeds College of Music graduate has transcended every Jimi Hendrix/Rory Gallagher cliché since then.

Set to appear at Ripley Town Hall where she is a popular favourite, awards such as Guitarist of the Year and Best Female Vocalist in the British Blues Award in 2013 ought to suggest this Bradford-born creative force is a bit of a traditionalist.

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But the versatile singer-songwriter-guitarist has scorched her own path since the days almost ten years ago when she would wow the hardcore regulars in Harrogate’s tiny Blues Bar.

Chantel said: “I listen to so much music. I love Led Zeppelin and Fleetwood Mac but lot of the time now it’s female musicians."There’s been so many good ones over the years from Tori Amos to Janelle Monae.“My producer is Livingstone Brown who also works with Ed Sheeran, Kylie Minogue and Corinne Bailey Rae.“I’ve known him since I was 15.“I go in a dress on stage because I like wearing dresses when I play rock music.“I’ve been lucky in my career but I’m not a very interesting person. I like cats.”

Her latest appearance at Ripley on Friday, June 14 where she first played in its small upstairs Blues Room, will see Chantel perform a solo acoustic set representing all the facets of her music.

For her last album, the acclaimed Lose Control, Chantel turned for inspiration to the darker themes of southern gothic literature and TV true detective shows and mixed heavy guitar-based tracks with haunting acoustic tracks.

This former Nirvana fan said: “I like to write about things that aren’t personal to me. TV and literature connect with me.“If you’ve written a good song, when you strip it back for an acoustic version it’s still a good song.”

Chantel’s third album will come out later this year, along with not one but two live albums.Expect the same high quality but some new twists in the journey.