Sunday, July 21, 2013

Barrelhouse Chuck Driftin' From Town To Town

Barrelhouse Chuck Goering is one of the most accomplished traditionally oriented blues pianists (and organists), having been mentored by Little Brother Montgomery and Sunnyland Slim, amongst others. Last year I was delighted to discover his 2006 recording with harmonica ace Kim Wilson and others, My Eyes on You (The Sirens). He has been touring with Kim Wilson the past few years and now Barrelhouse Chuck & Kim Wilson's Blues All Stars has a follow-up recording on The Sirens Driftin' From Town To Town.

Chuck and Wilson both handle the vocals and are supported by guitarists Billy Flynn and Jeremy Johnson; bassist Larry 'The Mole" Taylor; drummer Richard Inness; and Sax Gordon on Baritone and tenor saxophones.The band is as solid as the personnel would indicate for a stunning recording of straight-ahead, Chicago blues. Chuck handles most of the vocals on this starting with the title track, a wonderful original by him that showcases his wonderful piano playing and vocals as well as Wilson's harmonica mastery. He also revives a couple of Floyd Jones numbers, including the terrific Stockyard Blues, and a fine cover of Sunnyland Slim's She's Got a Thing Going On

Wilson has wonderful vocals on Howlin' Wolf's I'm Leaving, with a terrific guitar solo and Goering pounding the ivories, and Chuck Berry's Thirty Days. Goering channels Johnnie Johnson on this rollicking piece of rock and roll. Billy Flynn does a nice salute to Jody Williams on his rendition of Williams' Lucky Lou, while Johnson takes the first guitar solo on Stockyard Blues, and is featured on the opening instrumental, Cal Green's The Big Push. Wilson evokes Little Walter on a terrific instrumental K&C Boogie, with Chuck's piano helping propel the performance on, while Chuck on organ does a nice take on Booker T & the MGs Time Is Tight.

Throughout, Taylor and Inness provide a firm, supple foundation, whether the performance is an easy rocking shuffle groove or a moody, slow blues, like Floyd Jones You Can't Live Long. In addition to the superb traditionally oriented Chicago blues here, this benefits from the mining of lesser known blues recordings that stand out compared to much of what passes for blues today. Hopefully it will not be another six or so years before Barrelhouse Chuck and Kim Wilson return to the studio.

I purchased this release. Here is Barrelhouse Chuck with Billy Flynn and Catherine Davis.

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