Chuck Berry's First New Album In 38 Years - The Details
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 10:01:45
Chuck Berry Videos
Chuck Berry made his final concert appearance on October 15th, 2014. The event was three days shy of his 88th birthday and was held at St. Louis' Blueberry Hill. Reports of the final performance was that it was a pretty rough experience. The sound was off, Berry struggled to hear, and as a result he played off-key and he forgot lyrics.
Joe Edwards, owner of the venue where Berry played once a month for the last twenty-one years, said "The audience was with him the whole way, but sometimes he'd come off and say, 'Oh, man. I could've done a little better.'"
Despite the less-than-perfect public appearance Berry was still making musical plans. With the help of his family, he finished Chuck. The album has a scheduled release of June 16th, but the Berry estate have just released first single "Big Boys," a blazing track that features Tom Morello and Nathaniel Rateliff.
The album is made up of material recorded between 1991 and 2014. The tone is reflective, and yet still innovative. Sped-up blues, heavy wordplay and double-stringed-guitar breaks. There's a sequel to Berry's legendary track "Johnny B. Goode" — called "Lady B. Goode" and there's a rewrite of "Havana Moon" called "Jamaica Moon".
In a statement last year, Berry dedicated the new album Chuck to Themetta "Toddy" Berry, his wife of 68 years: "My darlin', I'm growing old! I've worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!" He sings about her on the rollicking "Wonderful Woman."
On the album is a love letter to his daughter Ingrid, a gospel flavored song, "Darlin'" about what to expect from old age.
Berry enters a bar and shares his story: with fellow drinkers in the song "Dutchman" as he sings, "I used to be an artist/Not one who sits and fiddles out on the curb/In my day and time, my music was considered superb."
During the recording process, Chuck Berry learned to use Pro Tools, and would often invite his band over to play the parts he'd composed on piano. "He'd be waving his long fingers, encouraging the guys to try things," says Edwards.
With stories of an album so steeped in tradition and the spirit of rock 'n' roll, Chuck, seems like it's set to be a collectors piece for all fans of genre, and for music geeks that appreciate the man who planted seeds of an entire counterculture.
Check out the first track, "Big Boys" from the album, and see the tracklist below.
1. "Wonderful Woman"
2. "Big Boys"
3. "You Go To My Head"
4. "3/4 Time (Enchiladas)"
6. "Lady B. Goode"
7. "She Still Loves You"
8. "Jamaica Moon"
10. "Eyes Of Man"
—The ARTISTdirect Staff