Barrelhouse Chuck – Salute To Sunnyland Slim
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Hearing Barrelhouse Chuck play Sunnyland Slim is a moving experience for those of us who know about and love him. A real treat. This CD is necessary to any serious collector or student of the blues. You can tell Chuck has studied with the masters. Nominally a tribute to the late, great Mississippi barroom piano player, this is actually a keyboard-powered homage to the spirit of Chicago blues. Also, S.P. Leary sounds killer with Barrelhouse on the piano, pounding the keys. If you like blues piano, played by someone who knows Chicago style inside and out, this is your man. For blues that sounds as it's supposed to, get the CD.
Nominally a tribute to the late, great Mississippi barroom piano player, this is actually a keyboard-powered homage to the spirit of Chicago blues. Barrelhouse 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
1. On the House - 3:39 2. Any Old Lonesome Day - 4:11 3. Hangin' Round the House - 4:32 4. Floral Park Boogie - 1:45 5. Depression Blues - 3:27 6. Salute to Sunnyland Slim - 3:25 7. Cool Disposition - 3:49 8. Jack-Knife - 2:44 9. Everybody's Got to Change Sometime - 4:44 10. Shake Dancer - 2:48 11. Going Back to Memphis - 3:11 12. Lonesome Child - 2:22 13. Pinetop Blues - 4:13 14. You Don't Love Me - 3:00 15. Walkin' on the Ceiling - 3:00 16. Church St. Blues - 2:51 17. Wah Wah Blues - 5:09 18. [Hidden Spoken Track] - 3:12
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