Blues Calling by Barrelhouse Chuck
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Description of Blues Calling by Barrelhouse Chuck
Released by Viola
Available in Audio CD format
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With the recent loss of Pinetop Perkins and Detroit Jr. it becomes more acutely aware than ever that the piano blues is a dying art form. There's only a handful of old timers keeping the tradition alive such as Henry Gray and Ernest Lane. Barrelhouse Chuck represents one of the few younger generation pianists (he's 52) and has been well schooled in the art as he demonstrates on this fabulous excellent CD! The tracks here showcase the commanding piano work and wonderful vocals of Barrelhouse Chuck, alone and in top form covering Leroy Carr (Barrelhouse Woman/Ain't Got No Money Now/Six Cold Feet In The Ground), Little Brother Montgomery (I Keep On Drinking), Robert Nighthawk (Anna Lee), Pinetop Perkins (Gigolo) and top-shelf originals like Blues For Little Brother Montgomery, and Half Of A Pint Boogie (with help from Erwin Helfer) There's little question as to what Barrelhouse Chuck has to offer blues fans - he's a respected master of a dwindling art - the evidence lies in his growing catalog. Chuck has paid his dues the time honored way by apprenticing with piano masters such as Sunnyland Slim, Pinetop Perkins, Lafayette Leake, Detroit Jr, Big Moose Walker, Blind John Davis and Little Brother Montgomery. Chuck spent 16 years studying with Sunnyland who he calls "the great-granddaddy of all the blues piano players." He also formed a special bond with piano legend Little Brother Montgomery, living with and taking care of brother to the last day of his life. He honed his craft working and recording with a who's who of Chicago legends like Otis Rush, Louis Myers, Jimmy Rogers, Buddy Guy, Hubert Sumlin, Eddie Taylor, Smokey Smothers, Floyd Jones, Kim Wilson, James Cotton, S.P. Leary, and many, many others. Whether playing solo or with a group Chuck is a terrific two fisted piano player steeped in the Chicago tradition of guys like Little Johnny Jones, Big Maceo, Leroy Carr, Otis Spann and of course Sunnyland and Little Brother. He also happens to be a very good vocalist. Chuck's piano playing is best appreciated on solo numbers like the wistful Little Brother number "Keep On Drinking" where he sounds uncannily like his former mentor both on piano and vocally, the storming boogie-woogie of "Viola's Stomp" just backed by fleet fingered Ben Andrews on guitar. Chuck goes back to 1934 to revive Leroy Carr's depression era classic "Ain't Got No Money Now. While the great era of Chicago blues piano is past we hear the ghosts of those greats in the marvelous playing of Barrelhouse Chuck who keeps the flame burning bright on the thoroughly satisfying " Blues Calling" I'd have to say Chicago Blues Piano are alive and kicking based on this one! Buy it and I guarantee that you will play it over and over again. Essential, smoldering, and lowdown!