With the recent loss of Detroit Jr. it becomes more acutely aware than ever that the piano blues is a dying art form. There's only a handful of old timers keeping the tradition alive such as Pinetop Perkins, Big Joe Duskin, Henry Gray and Ernest Lane. Barrelhouse Chuck represents one of the few younger generation pianists (he's 48) and has been well schooled in the art as he demonstrates on the fabulous "Slowdown Sundown."
Chuck has paid his dues the time honored way by apprenticing with piano masters such as Sunnyland Slim, Pinetop Perkins, Lafayette Leake and Little Brother Montgomery. Chuck spent 10 years studying with Sunnyland who he calls "the great-granddaddy of all the blues piano players." He also formed a special bond with piano legend Little Brother Montgomery. He honed his craft working and recording with a who's who of Chicago legends like Louis Myers, Jimmy Rogers, Jimmy Dawkins, Billy Boy Arnold, Detroit Jr. and Big Smokey Smothers and many, many others. Along the way Chuck has released several fine recordings under his own name such as 1999's fine "Salute To Sunnyland Slim" and 2002's strong "Prescription For The Blues." "Slowdown Sundown", on his own Viola label, finds Chuck in peak form playing both solo and with an all-star cast of Chicago bluesmen…..
Chuck Goering is an unsung veteran of sorts. While his name doesn't inspire the reverence reserved for Pinetop Perkins, he had the rare opportunity to study under Chicago's blues piano legends. The journeyman cuts loose on this release and has a number of A-list stars sitting in. With a style that's both flexible and disciplined, he handles the ivories with ease. Willie Kent makes an appearance on his own tune, 'Mama Told Me', and transports the listener to a South Side juke joint. Other covers include Hound Dog Taylor's 'Walk In The Ceiling' and Earl Hooker's 'Wah Wah Blues'. Chuck takes great care in preserving the integrity of each tune and does so thanks to guest shots from Kent, Sam Lay and Carl Weathersby. A great collection of work!
Barrelhouse Chuck's tribute to piano great Sunnyland Slim was one of the last recording sessions by longtime Chicago drummer S.P. Leary and also included Muddy Waters' former rhythm section of Calvin "Fuzz" Jones and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith.
The Heat is turned up again for another chapter in the 25-year history of Pierre Lacocque's Mississippi Heat. The Living Blues review of their previous album said 'Warning Shot (DMK 839) showcases bandleader and principal songwriter Lacocque's eloquent harp playing, supported by a cast of heavy hitters that delivers the trademark big band sound and one of the hottest, tightest bands in Chicago today, and the original songs on this album are pure fun and are worthy additions to the great history of Chicago blues. ' Cab Driving Man features 15 new songs with Inetta Visor and Michael Dotson as lead vocalists again. The songs are a wonderful blend of Mississippi, Chicago, boogie, swing and south of the border.
Which Chuck E. Weiss do we talk about here? The one who so impressed blues legends Lightnin Hopkins and Willie Dixon as a Denver teenager that they took him out in their road bands? The one who lived in LA's Tropicana Hotel in the 70s alongside Tom Waits and Rickie Lee Jones, ending up namechecked on the classic Waits albums Small Change and Nighthawks at the Diner, and in Rickie Lee Jones hit "Chuck E.'s in Love"? The one who has recorded with Tom Waits, Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Roger Miller, Dr. John, Willie Dixon? Whichever Chuck E. Weiss you choose, he's a legend, and his 2014 album, Red Beans and Weiss, delivers on the big personality. Executive produced by Johnny Depp and Tom Waits, Red Beans and Weiss blends blues, barrelhouse, and bluster into a highly entertaining whole.