The Mystic Sessions
Chekane’s effort predates the departure of singer and guitarist Doug Slaughter. The band could benefit less from a lineup change and more from re-education about mixing Americana and classic rock into a work that’s unique. Slide guitar on “Houston” promises competent blues in the beginning but stumbles across a white-boy finish line, awarding nothing. “Appalachian” is too shiny and conflicted to credibly reflect Slaughter’s appreciation for the region, made worse by a lyrical mishap (“A Baptist Church” of free will) and corny name-checking. Twelve tracks should yield some redeeming qualities, but Chekane is handcuffed by boredom, producing songs that retrace ground worn out from thousands of commercial radio bands. The only glimmer of hope here is, with Slaughter now gone, the remaining trio has a chance to expand their horizons. Every team needs a rebuilding year.