26 April 2017

#586 :: LIVE Blues Recording Wednesday :: RIP Chuck Berry

The Blues Room #586
Wednesday 26 April 2017
9pm-10pm NZ time, FreeFM89.0

A tribute to the late great KING OF ROCK AND ROLL, Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry aka CHUCK BERRY (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017). 

1. Chuck Berry - Maybellene
2. Chuck Berry - Thirty Days
3. Chuck Berry - No Money Down
4. Chuck Berry with the Steve Miller Blues Band - Fillmore Auditorium Introduction - June 27, 1967
5. Rockin' At The Fillmore (instrumental)
6. Everyday I Have The Blues
7. Driftin' Blues
8. I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man
9. Chuck Berry - Lanchester Arts Festival Introduction - February 3, 1972
10. Roll Over Beethoven
11. Nadine
12. Sweet Little Sixteen
13. Reelin' And Rockin'
14. Johnny B. Goode

Chuck Berry’s music has transcended generations. He earns respect to this day because he is truly an entertainer. Berry, also known as “The Father of Rock & Roll,” gained success by watching the audience’s reaction and playing accordingly, putting his listeners’ amusement above all else. For this reason, tunes like “Johnny B. Goode,” “Maybellene” and “Memphis” have become anthems to an integrated American youth and popular culture. Berry is a musical icon who established rock and roll as a musical form and brought the worlds of black and white together in song.

Born in St. Louis on October 18, 1926 Berry had many influences on his life that shaped his musical style. He emulated the smooth vocal clarity of his idol, Nat King Cole, while playing blues songs from bands like Muddy Waters. For his first stage performance, Berry chose to sing a Jay McShann song called “Confessin’ the Blues.” It was at his high school’s student musical performance, when the blues was well-liked but not considered appropriate for such an event. He got a thunderous applause for his daring choice, and from then on, Berry had to be onstage.

Berry took up the guitar after that, inspired by his partner in the school production. He found that if he learned rhythm changes and blues chords, he could play most of the popular songs on the radio at the time. His friend, Ira Harris, showed him techniques on the guitar that would become the foundation of Berry’s original sound. Then in 1952, he began playing guitar and singing in a club band whose song list ranged from blues to ballads to calypso to country. Berry was becoming an accomplished showman, incorporating gestures and facial expressions to go with the lyrics.

It was in 1953 that Chuck Berry joined the Sir John’s Trio (eventually renamed the Chuck Berry Combo), which played the popular Cosmopolitan Club in St. Louis. Country-western music was big at the time, so Berry decided to use some of the riffs and create his own unique hillbilly sound. The black audience thought he was crazy at first, but couldn’t resist trying to dance along with it. Since country was popular with white people, they began to come to the shows, and the audience was at some points almost 40 percent white. Berry’s stage show antics were getting attention, but the other band members did their parts as well. In his own words: “I would slur my strings to make a passage that Johnnie (Johnson) could not produce with piano keys but the answer would be so close that he would get a tremendous ovation. His answer would sound similar to some that Jerry Lee Lewis’s fingers later began to flay.”

Later in 1955, Berry went on a road trip to Chicago, where he chanced upon a club where his idol, Muddy Waters, was performing. He arrived late and only heard the last song, but when it was over he got the attention of Waters and asked him who to see about making a record. Waters replied, “Yeah, Leonard Chess. Yeah, Chess Records over on Forty-seventh and Cottage.” Berry went there on Monday and discovered it was a blues label where greats like Howlin’ Wolf and Bo Diddley recorded. He didn’t have any tapes to show, but Chess was willing to listen if he brought some back from St. Louis. So Berry went home and recorded some originals, including the would-be “Maybellene,” then called “Ida May,” and drove back to Chicago later that week to audition. Much to Berry’s surprise, it was that hillbilly number that caught Chess’ attention. Berry was signed to Chess Records and in the summer of 1955, “Maybellene” reached #5 on the Pop Charts and #1 on the R&B Charts. Through Chuck Berry, Chess Records moved from the R&B genre into the mainstream and Berry himself was on his way to stardom.

Berry continued his success with such hits as “Brown-Eyed Man,” “Too Much Monkey Business,” “Memphis,” “Roll Over, Beethoven!” and “Johnny B. Goode.” “Johnny B. Goode” is Berry’s masterpiece, as it brought together all the elements of Berry’s unique musical sound. It cemented his place in rock history and led to fame in the 1950s. His popularity garnered him television and movie appearances and he toured frequently.

Berry’s incredible success is due to his ability to articulate the concerns and attitudes of his audience in his music. At the height of his success, Berry was a 30-year-old black man singing to a mostly white, teenage audience. Dubbed the “Eternal Teenager,” Chuck Berry’s knowledge of the pop market made it possible for him to break color barriers and play to an integrated audience.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Berry’s music was the inspiration for such groups as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Berry had a number of comeback recordings and in 1972 had the first and only #1 Pop Chart hit of his career with “My Ding-A-Ling. 1986 fittingly saw him inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the very first inductee in history. As a tribute to his pervasiveness in the realm of rock, a clip of “Johnny B. Goode” was chosen played in the Voyager I spacecraft, proving Chuck Berry and his rock legacy are truly out of this world.

Listen to a new single from Chuck's new album 
due for release on June 16, 2017.

24 April 2017

Bluesfest 2017 Wrap Up & 2018 Pre-Early Bird Tickets On Sale NOW!

The 28th Annual Bluesfest Byron Bay, which only just finished a week ago has been a huge success, with over 105,000 attendees enjoying the incredible music on offer, the beautiful weather and happy vibe around the festival. The festival hosted 85 bands with a total of 670 artists who gave 185 outstanding performances across the weekend. Wow!

Check out how Peter Noble, the Festival Director feels about Bluesfest 2017 further down, what some of the artists had to say and take a look at the amazing daily video clips. They're really well done. Roll on 2018!

Bluesfest Festival Director, Peter Noble OAM comments on this year's event:

I think everybody that came this year will tell you that this has been one of the great Bluesfests, and in my opinion certainly within our top 3. I will always be asked who are my favourite artists and who are the great success stories in terms of artists playing for the first time, there are almost too many to mention.

From Laura Mvula, Nikki Hill and Melody Angel to Mary J. Blige and the incomparable Eric Gales there is a never ending list and if you were actually here at Bluesfest you would know what I'm talking about. The emerging artists are now known artists, the returning artists have cemented their careers even more strongly and every single legend shone.

However in the end the biggest stars in the sky at Bluesfest were our audience, they are simply astonishingly wonderful. And all our team who work so hard to put this show on I'm sure would say we did it for you, and you do it for us.

Our last Bluesfest only finished a week ago and we have had an abundance of phone calls/emails as to when the Pre- Early Bird Tickets are going on sale for 2018, so here we are dear friends, giving you the opportunity to purchase your 5 Day Festival Ticket or Buddy Pack at a bargain price for a very short time only.

Bluesfest will be earlier in 2018 with the long Bluesfest Easter weekend starting on Thursday 29th of March to Monday 2nd of April.

Bluesfest daily wrap up videos

19 April 2017

#585 :: Belly Fulla Birthday Blues with Fatt Max (19 April 2017)

The Blues Room #585
Wednesday 19 April 2017
9pm-10pm NZ time, FreeFM89.0

Fatt Max celebrates with a Belly Fulla Birthday Blues. Turn this one up!!

The Who – Out In The Street 
Muddy Waters – Louisiana Blues 
Fats Domino – Aint That A Shame 
The Jam – Slow Down 
The Rolling Stones – Tumblin’ Dice 
John Lee Hooker – Dimples 
Seasick Steve – I Started Out With Nothing 
Snooks Eaglin – Careless Love 
John Long – Stand Your Ground 
Dr John – Let The Good Times Roll 
Taj Mahal – Statesboro’ Blues 
Howlin’ Wolf – Smokestack Lightning 
Kitty, Daisy & Lewis – Going Up The Country 
Rev Peyton’s Big Damn Band – We Deserve A Happy Ending 
Chuck Berry – Johnny B Goode 
The Kokomo Kings – I Can’t Go Home Looking Like This 
Mo Al Jaz & Friends – It Aint Right 
Dexter Shaw & The Wolftones – She Likes Her Bottle Gin

13 April 2017

#584 :: God Don't Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson (12 April 2017)

The Blues Room #584
Wednesday 12 April 2017
9pm-10pm NZ time, FreeFM89.0

One of the most underrated gospel-blues musicians is Blind Willie Johnson. People will let you know about Robert Johnson before they let you know about Blind Willie Johnson. Blind Willie Johnson was recording 10 years before RJ. That aside, you're not going to hear performances by BWJ here, you're going to hear outstanding versions by some of the most accomplished musicians on the circuit today. The songs are from the album, God Don't Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson (Alligator Records). It earned Grammy Award nominations for Best Roots Gospel Album and Best American Roots Performance for Blind Boys of Alabama recording of Mother's Children Have a Hard Time. The compilation was produced by Jeffrey Gaskill of Burning Rose Productions and was funded via a Kickstarter project that featured cigar box guitars made of wood from Willie Johnson's 1920's/30's Marlin, TX home that he shared with wife Willie B Harris. Enough chit chat. 
Turn this one up. Enjoy.

1 Tom Waits - The Soul of a Man
2 Lucinda Williams - It’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine 
3 Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi - Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning 
4 Cowboy Junkies - Jesus is Coming Soon 
5 The Blind Boys Of Alabama - Mother’s Children Have a Hard Time 
6 SinĂ©ad O'Connor - Trouble Will Soon Be Over 
7 Luther Dickinson featuring The Rising Star Fife & Drum Band - Bye and Bye I’m Going to See the King 
8 Lucinda Williams - God Don't Never Change 
9 Tom Waits - John The Revelator 
10 Maria McKee - Let Your Light Shine on Me 
11 Rickie Lee Jones - Dark Was the Night-Cold Was the Ground

8 April 2017

#583 :: Hour Of Blues Power With Darcy Perry (5 April 2017)

The Blues Room #583
Wednesday 5 April 2017
9pm-10pm NZ time, FreeFM89.0
LIVE stream: http://tunein.com/radio/The-Blues-Room-p446677/

Another hour of blues power with Darcy Perry. 
Every first Wednesday of the month Darcy will spin the platter 
that matter, rain, hail or shine. Enjoy!

1. Doyle Bramhall & Smokestack - So You Want It To Rain
2. John Lee Hooker with the Groundhogs - It's Raining Here
3. Buddy Guy - It Feels Like Rain
4. Santana - Stormy
5. Silas Hogan - Dark Clouds Rollin'
6. Jimi Hendrix - One Rainy Wish
7. Louis Armstrong - Didn't It Rain
8. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble - Couldn't Stand The Weather
9. Midge Marsden - Waiting For Rain
10. B.B. King - Rainin' All The Time
11. Darcy Perry Band - Heavy Rain
12. Eric Bibb - Buckets Of Rain
13. The Doors - Riders On The Storm