“I’ve been out here so long, I’ve dwindled down to just: “Call me Chuck.”” And with that, Chuck Berry — an icon of American culture that none other than Bob Dylan described as “the Shakespeare of rock and roll” — rips into the opening riff of “Let It Rock” from Live From Blueberry Hill, a new live album out December 17 on Dualtone Records. It’s a masterclass: Chuck’s inimitable storyteller phrasing, the Blueberry Hill Band’s relentless rhythm, and a drama-infused harmonica solo from Chuck’s daughter Ingrid coalescing into the rock and roll alchemy that made these shows at Blueberry Hill’s Duck Room a necessary pilgrimage for any music fan — including artists like The Band’s Robbie Robertson, Motorhead’s Lemmy, Lorde, and Nelly — passing through Berry’s hometown of St. Louis.
Listen to Live From Blueberry Hill’s version of “Let It Rock” here.
Taken from performances recorded between July 2005 and January 2006, Live From Blueberry Hill features Berry tearing through classics like “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Sweet Little Sixteen,” and “Johnny B. Goode” on the stage that he performed on more than 200 times during the final decades of his life. With his Blueberry Hill Band — daughter Ingrid Berry on harmonica, son Charles Berry, Jr. on guitar, bassist and band leader Jimmy Marsala, pianist Robert Lohr, and drummer Keith Robinson — in tow, Chuck’s Duck Room performances were a rare opportunity to witness the godfather of rock and roll savoring his own talents and putting a raucous, freewheeling spin on classics that are now permanently woven into the fabric of modern music.
Pre-order Live From Blueberry Hill here.
Chuck Berry’s accomplishments hardly need elaboration: He was the first member inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, a recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a Kennedy Center Honor. John Lennon declared that Berry’s name was synonymous with rock and roll itself.
On Chuck Berry’s 90th birthday in 2016, he announced the release of final studio release Chuck, also released on Dualtone Records. NPR’s Fresh Air described it as “wonderful...fresh and forward-looking,” while Rolling Stone said it “finds Berry raging against the dying of the light, but in a vulnerable and tender way his earlier music had not prepared us for.” The New Yorker said that “After all those years of duck-walking, crisscrossing the United States on tour, and giving his disciples and imitators hell, the man still had it.”
Roll Over Beethoven
Rock And Roll Music
Let It Rock
Carol / Little Queenie
Sweet Little Sixteen
Around And Around
Mean Old World
Johnny B. Goode