The Sirens Records SR-5004 (www.thesirensrecords.com)
by Billy Hutchinson
Another helping of Helfer and a second release from the little known piano label Siren, within a very short space of time I might add. I must say that I love the Victorian looking sketches of the two sirens on the CD itself, so much more appealing to those unadorned silver discs we often see. I hope after reviewing two CD's on piano Blues that I don't have our own Phil Aldridge cringing in his armchair, but no doubt he will be well pleased with BM featuring a label dedicated to traditional & contemporary Blues pianists. Chuck Goering thankfully has a good husky voice to go with his virtual musical rain drops that spill from his traditional Blues piano. The last time I reviewed anything this good piano-wise was by the German pianist Christian Rannenburg, but Chuck's vocals are much better. If names such as Jimmy Yancey, Little Brother Montgomery, Otis Spann & Cow Cow Davenport make you zoom in for a closer look then Chuck is here to entertain you. Most of the tracks are old Blues songs, but Chuck comes up with a few scores himself. When Chuck narrates sometimes as an intro to the next tune, you can hear the respect in his voice he has for the greats whose music he recreates. If Bob Hall & Sam Payne subscribe to BM (AND WHY NOT!) this is your bread & butters guys. A proper piano may not be very portable, but in a world over ran with guitars it's a precious thing. Useful info bit, www.thesirensrecords.com & available over here from the good folks at Red Lick ….Billy Hutchinson.
USA - BARRELHOUSE CHUCK with Erwin Helfer "Prescription for the Blues" Siren Records SB 5004, 16 tracks, 44:54 mins.
This review is copyright © 2003 by Billy Hutchinson & Blues Matters
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