Salute to Sunnyland Slim by Barrelhouse Chuck
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Description of Salute to Sunnyland Slim by Barrelhouse Chuck
Released by Blue Loon
Available in Audio CD format
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Nominally a tribute to the late, great Mississippi barroom piano player, this is actually a keyboard-powered homage to the spirit of Chicago blues. Chuck--a Florida transplant to the Windy City--ably covers tunes by Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Memphis Slim, Hound Dog Taylor, and others. The strength of this album lies in Chuck's true-blues arrangements, full of rich harp, simple but crackling guitar lines, and, of course, his own deft piano. Chuck may not be as inventive an interpreter as, say, Dave Maxwell, but his two-fisted rolls and fleet melodies cut right to the music's core. As they should. He apprenticed himself not only to Slim but to Little Brother Montgomery, Jimmy Walker, Detroit Junior--really anyone whose style he could soak up. The results of Chuck's studies compensate for his vocal deficiencies, conjuring up visions of smoky nights in after-hours clubs. And there's a bonus: former Muddy Waters Band drummers Willie Smith, S.P. Leary, and Sam Lay all lend their sticks to various performances, as does Muddy's bass man Calvin "Fuzz" Jones. --Ted Drozdowski