Chuck Berry
Live From Blueberry Hill
Dualtone Records

Quite Rightly the King of Rock & Roll and Here’s Why.

Even in 2021 I’m pretty sure the vast majority of adult Rock Music fans would think of Charles Edward Anderson Berry ahead of any other pretenders to the King of Rock & Roll throne …. yes/no?
To me, Chuck Berry is the most influential songwriter and performer in the history of Rock & Roll, as his songs have most definitely kick started the careers of a lot more acts over the last 65 years than anyone else …. and that includes Elvis btw.
This album is the culmination of a bunch of intimate concerts at the Blueberry Hill Club in St Louis during 2005/06 and is being released to celebrate what would have been his 95th Birthday.
First off you’re possibly asking ‘Does the world need another Chuck Berry retrospective; never mind a 15 year old Live Album’ …. probably the answer is a resounding No; but what the Hell! This is a blast …. so what’s not to like?
The first thing you notice while listening to opening track *Roll Over Beethoven is that it’s a tad slower than you’ll remember; but remember Chuck was about 80 when it was recorded so the arrangement is obviously adjusted accordingly; and when you hear the piano/guitar duel between Robert Lohr and Charle Berry III you will forget his age in a blink of an eye…. he still Rocks.
Most of the hits and favourites are here; and while some have aged better than others; and certain subjects are not as ubiquitous as they once were; but it’s still difficult not to sing-along with Oh Carol/Little Queenie and of course; Sweet Little Sixteen ….. but what the Hell; this is all about living our youth again isn’t it?
I’ve never seen Chuck play live; but even at this advanced age you can still hear the unbridled joy in his singing and playing during Let It Rock and Nadine, even though he must have played them tens of thousands over the years.
To my ears there are two new songs here; one called Bio, which is pretty much ‘what it says on the tin’ and while he sound like he’s having fun; I can think of a dozen better songs from his back catalogue that would have filled these four minutes better; but the slow and sensually Bluesy Mean Old World is a rare treat and certainly deserves its place here; and if nothing else, daughter Ingrid Berry’s harmonica playing is as soulful as it simply sizzles.
Without My Ding-a-Ling being here; choosing a Favourite song has to be a toss up between the majestic Rock & Roll Music and when Chuck announces … “Here’s Johnny now” you know exactly what’s about to happen; and even though the perennial Johnny B Goode has been a staple of every single Rock band at one time or another …… hearing it come from the vocal cords of Chuck Berry himself is simply a total joy to behold.
Yes, you can live without this release; but if you want to treat yourself or better still treat a young music fan; Christmas Day will really rock if this is on the turntable.

*Roll Over Beethoven ….. as I said earlier I believe Chuck Berry influenced far more acts than any other single human being; and as an example the first time I heard this song it was on WITH THE BEATLES album; and they didn’t do too badly, did they?

Released 17th December 2021


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