While in Köln, Germany, Chet Rutledge was awakened by a phone call from drummer Rick Shelton (Mother Station, Dust for Life, Course of Nature), which ultimately paved the way for a return to his former residence of Memphis, TN. Shortly after, Chet, recording under the moniker Brother Chess, completed his longtime-coming demo, ultimately having the dual effect of bringing him full circle and establishing him as a new artist.
Brother Chess found his musical roots against the backdrop of the Mississippi delta. The rural farmland of Arkansas combined with the urban landscape of Memphis provided this young songwriter a virtual plethora of sound. After taking advantage of this region by absorbing the blues, rock n’ roll, country, and hip-hop, his love of the recording arts led him to Florida and Louisiana. On this journey, he furthered his understanding of the entertainment industry, while at the same time being introduced to various musical genres, including: salsa, trance, jazz, and zydeco.
Nevertheless, along the way, Chess formed some bad habits. As the great songwriter Bob Dylan once proclaimed, “it may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.” So, after finding himself in and out of jail, and an extended stay in rehabilitation, Chess re-emerged with a new spiritual attitude. It was this spiritual awakening that allowed Brother Chess to adopt the gospel sounds of the Bible belt, while beginning a lifelong study of philosophy and divinity, which provides a foundation for his lyrical content.
Either by coincidence or fate, it was the phone call from a drummer with impeccable timing that seemed to give direction to an artist who, at the time, was finding himself abroad. It was only now that Brother Chess could return to the U.S. and cultivate his life experiences, expressing them in song and capturing the very essence that identifies the human condition, which is tension.
This tension may be exhibited within Brother Chess’ freshmen EP release, “Let’s Play Chess” recorded and mixed at American Studios, Memphis, TN. Accompanied by the dynamic playing of Rick Shelton on drums, Brother Chess will be promoting the “Let’s Play Chess” EP, released on September 25, 2012. Look for him in a city near you!
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