MP3 Barrelhouse Chuck - 25 Years Of chicago Blues Piano Vol.2 Instrumentals
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25 Years of Chicago Blues Piano - Volume 2 Instrumentals 2006
by James Walker and Amy Walker
Invented in 1709, the piano produces a greater range of musical sounds than most other instruments. On a piano, a musician can play melody and harmony at the same time.
There was a time when the piano was the lead instrument, or only instrument, for a musical performance. Somewhere along the line, the guitar took over - relegating the piano to background harmony or out the door completely. That is a shame because a good pianist can pound a boogie and start a party faster than any other musician in the room!
A seeker can still find great piano music. The luckiest seekers will find Charles Goering, better known as Barrelhouse Chuck, who can acutely play an extraordinary variety of loud and soft notes with great speed.
Barrelhouse Chuck has a great voice with exceptional timbre and plenty of range as proven on his six previous albums. But for this latest release, Chuck has decided to showcase the piano and Farfisa organ and his prowess upon them by giving us 16 instrumentals on 25 Years of Chicago Blues Piano ...quot; Volume 2.
Guitar, harmonica, saxophone, bass, and drum fans need not worry, Goering shares the limelight with accomplished veterans and passed heroes, too. Every tune has true legends on the cuts: for drummers - S.P. Leary, Willie âBig Eyesâ Smith, or Kenny Smith, and Sam Lay appears on one track. John Carpenter slaps skins on the 10th track.
Wisconsinâs under appreciated guitar virtuoso Billy Flynn appears on eight tracks while Hash Brown, Ben Andrews, and Rich Kirch also appear on their six-strings. Bassists include Muddy Waters alum Calvin Jones, Rick Holmes, Betty Ducre, Michael Peters, and Frank Bandy.
Harmonica and horn guests are the featured Harmonica Todd Levine, John Tanner, Dave Clark, and Martin âVanâ Kelly.
Goering even shares the keyboard duties with Chicago great Erwin Helfer on one track and Jim McKaba on another track co-written by him.
âBetsyâs Boogieâ is the first track where Barrelhouse Chuck kick starts this blues CD with a bang. Thereâs piano, guitar, drums, everything you could want in an up-tempo shuffle. Check out the two solos in the middle, Chuck on the ivories and Billy Flynn on guitar. This song hits your eardrums with gale force, and it proves that Chuckâs band has mastered every aspect of its instrumental music.
âLeroy Carrâs Hopâ...quot;If dancing listeners have two left feet, they can still jump up and down to this fantastic tune. Itâs jolly and upbeat, and Barrelhouse Chuck has a ball sliding his fingers down the piano keyboard for the quick riffs that sound like a slide whistle. This song is like one you might hear in a 1920s speakeasy, one of those that still had dance-hall girls and giant, frothing mugs of beer. Itâs a party song, celebratory, and sure to put one in a âhopping goodâ mood!
âNutty Boogie,â âFarfisa B3 Boogie for Steve Winwood,â and âViolaâs Stompâ - Youâll want
to play these three songs as a trio in order to get a taste of the most classic Chuck. Barrelhouse is most famous for his swinging instrumentals, and for good reason. âNutty Boogieâ is a duet with Erwin Helfer ...quot; picture a pianist with 20 fingers, on steroids, and youâll get the idea.
...B3 Boogie...â is so catchy, so techno-sounding, and so short that it might be on your next video gameâs soundtrack. It features guest and co-author Jim McKaba on organ with Chuck tearing it up on his Farfisa. A Farfisa is an organ from Italy. Says Goering, âI am the only guy in the blues playing one. Everybody likes their Hammond, and God bless them all, but the Farfisa, to me - first of all it is more portable - it’s got a real nasty, greasy, dirty tone. It is not jazzy.â
Grab your sweetheart for a quick dance with the jazzy and jitterbugging âViolaâs Stomp.â It completes this âholy trinityâ of piano blues instrumentals by highlighting Chuck on piano and Ben Andrews on acoustic guitar.
âBlues for Little Brother Montgomeryâ...quot;When listeners contrast this 4th track with âLeroy Carrâs Hop,â they will hear the two distinct sides of blues songs. Thereâs a âlight sideâ with a bouncy beat and plenty of cheerful high notes and a âdark sideâ as displayed in âBlues for Little Brother....â This instrumental is melancholy and contemplative - a wordless ballad to calm oneâs soul. What a beautiful ode to the legendary pianist who wrote and played piano on Buddy Guyâs signature song, âFirst time I Met The Bluesâ ...quot; Chess single #1753.
On the 5th song, âHanginâ Round the House,â a listenerâs first reaction will be, âWhoever the harmonica player is, heâs good!â Said howlinâ harpist is Harmonica Todd Levine, who also composed this instrumental. One imagines âHanginâ Round the Houseâ to be a laid-back, low-key, and lazy activity, but none of these adjectives describes the musiciansâ work here. âLivelyâ, âlusciousâ, and âlow-downâ would definitely be better fits! Check out the call-and-response between Hash Brown and Todd.
âWalkinâ The Ceilingâ finds Billy Flynn channeling Hound Dog Taylorâs burning slide guitar on this song written by Hound Dog himself.
The Venturesâ âWalk, Donât Run,â redone here as âWalk Donât Run 69,â was a big hit surf instrumental. The 7th track finds Barrelhouse Chuck on organ and Billy Flynn on guitar and bass with Kenny Smith on drums creating a credible cover with real pizzazz. Barrelhouseâs jolly Farfisa organ and Flynnâs playful guitar will send one âback to the beachâ riding some daydreaming brain waves!
âOn the Houseâ...quot;Thereâs a lot going on in this song, and it will take more than one listen to peel back all the instrumental layers. Of course, one hears Barrelhouse Chuckâs fine piano and Hash Brownâs delicious and ambitious Elvis/ Scotty Moore-style guitar. Listen closely and youâll also hear Dave Clark and Martin âVanâ Kelly on saxophone. They give a tangy taste of âbig-band swingâ to this ditty. It might remind listeners of the saxophone classic âIn the Moodâ, but âOn the Houseâ has a little more oomph, and a LOT more complexity.
âSalute to Sunnyland Slimâ...quot;Listeners might want to take up Fred Astaireâs art after hearing this toe-tapping tribute. It would certainly be the perfect song for a routine! Donât dare call this song âjazzâ, though, because instead of a disorganized mishmash of notes, itâs spontaneous without being too âoff the wallâ. The main percussion here is Willie Smithâs suave work on the cymbals rather than the drums themselves. One will find himself nodding along with the beat driven by Goeringâs right hand and underscored by Calvin Jonesâ bass line.
The 13th cut has never been heard before. Written by Goering, âKingpinâ is an Albert King sounding tune with Billy Flynn proving his versatility. Muddy Waters alums S.P. Leary and Calvin Jones appear with John Tanner on harmonica.
âWah-Wah Blues, Part 1â...quot;Billy Flynn soulfully presents this display of Earl Hookerâs âwah-wahâ guitar. Keep in mind, this is not the growling and visceral âwah-wahâ of mere journeymen, but a more suave and styled version. Itâs understated, giving substance and atmosphere to this number instead of being the main attraction. Thatâs what makes Flynnâs interpretation of Hookerâs âwah-wahâ relaxing to listen to. With Chuckâs Farfisa organ blending sometimes over and sometimes under, it lulls listeners into sweet roadhouse daydreams.
Simply said, this is a collection of truly wonderful songs from 30 years of sessions!
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