Chantel is a sweet girl’s name, of French origin, which is associated with ‘song’ but an older meaning links it to a mountainous area and means ‘rock’, so the omens are good for Chantel McGregor, because that is just what she does. With her long blonde hair and a taste for evening dresses, it’s hard to believe your eyes as you listen to her crank out a Blues riff full of pain and passion or explore the delicate corners of a guitar line, but we’re lucky that she’s one of the talented young folks who make sure our music stays vibrant and relevant for new generations.
Songwriting is one of Chantel’s biggest strengths, but her album and live set show her appreciation of classic Blues-rock acts like Fleetwood Mac, Hendrix, Steve Vai and RobinTrower. Her interpretations of some of their best-known work goes way beyond the idea of a ‘cover’ and into the realms of extending the art, and she sings with the commitment of a woman who has seen the dark side of the world. She hosted a Guitar Masterclass session at the BBC in 2012 to inspire young players, and also won British Blues Award for best Female Vocalist, an honour she won again the following year and added Best Guitarist too. Another Best Guitarist Award in 2014, British and European touring, and upcoming Festival bookings show a star on the rise. There’s a new album getting out (Lose Conrtol), and pretty soon everybody’s going to hear about this unassuming young woman, because she’s a major talent and she’s building on foundations of pure rock.