Memphis Gold, By The Virginiabluesman

Posted on 3/12/2010 by Virginiabluesman

(Washington DC) The talent pool in the DC area is so strong these days, and nobody proves that notion better than Chester "Memphis Gold" Chandler. Memphis gave the fans a thrill when he took the stage alongside harmonica great Jay Summerour to jam with The Stacy Brooks Band. Stacy's Band was a show in itself, but Memphis and Jay elevated the show to a totally different level.

I came early to the show to check out the venue (Bangkok Blues) in Falls Church Virginia, and saw Memphis mixing with the crowd as if he was a regular fan of this venue. I had no idea who he was, but it was obvious that he was a well liked "regular" of Bangkok Blues. It wasn't till a half hour or so later that I realized this was Memphis Gold. Stacy had told me that he would be joining her onstage, and I HAD googled him before the show but still failed to recognize him.
Photo by Glenn's Photography

I didn't fail to recognize his vocal/guitar skills though. It wasn't more than a few seconds into his first jam that I knew this was going to be a special evening. Joined on stage with Jay Summerour, the two musicians clicked well with Stacy's band, and played on as if they were regular members of the band. The music for the rest of the evening was pure blues... blues the way it's supposed to be played: with feeling, heart, soul and passion. 

A few songs into the jam session, the band broke into a great version of The Thrill Is Gone, a blues standard. Some songs are so great, they are better left alone for the original artists to play. When the first few notes from the neck of "Louise Fanniemae Brown" hit the amps though, it was obvious that Memphis could handle a tune of this caliber. Jay Summerour played the all important harmonica parts that make The Thrill such a classic blues tune. I'm not sure I have heard a better live version of this song, and the musicianship displayed by the entire band was something special.

Photo by Glenn's Photography

I had the opportunity to interview Memphis a few days after the show. It was a short , but very informative interview which he had to cut short to practice with his band. Mr. Chandler said that he was given a Gibson Custom ES-335 which he named "Louise Fanniemae Brown." The award was presented by Bill Wax, Program Director and show host of Sirius XM’s B.B. King’s Bluesville, on behalf of Gibson. He is obviously very proud of this guitar and had it personally signed by BB King himself. He played this guitar proudly during the jam session on March 5th, 2010.

Memphis shared that he has been on major blues magazines such as Jefferson Magazine Issue #147 January 2006, the worlds oldest blues magazine; Blues and Rhythm Magazine Issue #233 October 2008; Living Blues Magazine Issue #199 February/March 2009, America's oldest Blues magazine, and will soon be on the cover Block Magazine which is published in the Netherlands. Memphis Gold is not only one of the top musicians in the Capital City, but is also a world class entertainer.

Make no mistake about it. Memphis Gold is a major force in the Blues world today. If it's authentic, fiery, blazing blues you want, Memphis is the man. He has the guitar skills that will remind you of BB King, and possesses a gritty, powerful, soulful voice that is necessary to belt out a blues song properly. Serves Me Right To Suffer, a blues standard of epic proportions, has never sounded any better than on his CD titled Prodigal Son.

Cover of Block magazine

In 2008, Memphis suffered a life threatening 35 foot fall from a  tree, breaking his back in 3 places. Doctors said that there was very little chance of him ever walking again. Memphis continued plugging away, and continued to write songs for his 2009 CD release titled Gator Gon’Bitechu! He has since regained his walking abilities, and has continued to tour relentlessly across the world. Not only do you have to have respect for a man who can play the blues the way he does, but the ultimate respect a person can be given is to respect the man that he is. Memphis is both a great musician and one helluva' man.

All photos were used with the permission of the artist and photographer ...

You can get more info on Memphis Gold at!/MemphisGold

Check out a video of the show at

Feel free to Email me if you need more info on Memphis Gold, or if you have any questions/comments about this web site.

American Blues News Staff

What makes American Blues News unique is our coverage across America. Here is our lineup:

Mon: Memphis Correspondent - Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms
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