Gotta ‘Love’ The Chase

Area residents grabbing a bite or enjoying a cold brew at Chautauqua Suites’ Bellini Lounge in Mayville on Friday were also treated to the sound of Brian K. Chase.

As part of the Bellini Lounge’s goal to feature regional acts, Chase, a Limestone native who currently resides in Poconos, Pa., performed a variety of tunes solo on an acoustic guitar, including originals and covers. Patrons seemed particularly excited by Chase’s Johnny Cash covers, but also cheered after he finished an original tune entitled “Love,” which will appear on a new album called “Dangerous Ride” that Chase is currently recording and hopes to release later this year.

“I’ve been getting a lot of requests for ‘Love’ and another one called ‘You Gotta Be Crazy,'” said Chase. “I haven’t even recorded the song yet and people already know the words to the song – it’s a great compliment. ‘Dangerous Ride,’ the title of the new album, means that life is a dangerous ride, a rollercoaster and you never know what you’re going to get. You can either get busy living or get busy dying, but either way you’re going to hit obstacles that you have to plow through.

“‘Love’ is a song about how you can take love in two different ways,” said Chase. “It can either make you feel great, or it could put you in your grave.”

According to Chase, planning a setlist is something he usually doesn’t do, but rather he feels out the audience to see what they want to hear. He also tries to perform original tunes at every show, such as “One Hell Of A Night” off his second album released in 2012 entitled “Bruner” and others off his first CD, “Here’s To Ya!” In the past, when performing as a band, Chase was joined by Derek Davis on bass and vocals and Mike Trummer on drums and vocals. He is currently working on putting together a new band, and is seeking a bassist.

“I usually do most of my songs off my first CD because the second album (‘Bruner’) was more of a band oriented album,” said Chase. “From the first album I really enjoy performing ‘Niskey Hill’ and ‘Bartender Blues’ because they get requested a lot. ‘Bartender Blues’ is a song about when I was in a bar in Nashville and I heard this guy crying about his life, you know like you do when you go into a bar, and with a Southern accent he said, ‘Hey bartender fire me up something good,’ – that’s the first line on the album. ‘Niskey Hill’ is a cemetery in Bethlehem, Pa. Niskey and whiskey rhyme and it’s a dark song about somebody dying from drinking too much.”

When covering tunes, Chase’s favorites are generally blues oriented, such as The Marshall Tucker Band and Johnny Cash.

“I love the old country and a lot of blues,” said Chase. “I’ve been all over the country, to Tennessee, New York City, Florida, Las Vegas – I’ve been everywhere. I could live pretty much anywhere I want, but my family is here, it’s home base.”

Chase said he loves performing in Chautauqua County, mostly because people seem to truly enjoy what he has to offer. It also has a little to do with Sandy Raynor, his booking agent, who has always acted as a motherly figure toward him.

Chase is a regular performer at the Bellini Lounge. He fits in perfectly with the dimly lit, candle-on-every-table, couches in the corner and steak-eating patrons who frequent the venue.

“It’s a chill setting, comfortable and people treat me good,” said Chase. “I play the beer joints in Bradford, Poconos and places like that, and it gets wild, which I like too, but sometimes you want to relax.”

According to Chris Kowal, general manager for Chautauqua Suites, it’s a great pleasure having Chase as a regular performer at the Bellini Lounge because everybody seems to know him.

“He’s the type of (musician) you want to bring in here,” said Kowal. “We try to bring in local entertainment because for 43 weeks out of the year we have all locals in here. We try to keep a full venue year-round and Brian is part of that venue. He’s here tonight, and then he’s here again on Wednesday from 6-9 p.m. out in the courtyard, which we just opened. We have a variety of music out there, and Brian’s a big part of that he’s pretty much a staple here.”

Chautauqua Suites’ Bellini Lounge is located at 215 W. Lake Road, Route 394, in Mayville. For more information search for Brian K. Chase on Facebook.