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Barrelhouse Chuck
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Blues CD Cover Art Review date: April 2001
Source: Living Blues Magazine

Barrelhouse Chuck
"25 Years of Chicago Blues Piano"
by Justin O'Brien

Barrelhouse Chuck Goering came to Chicago from Florida in the 1970s to be close to the blues, and to learn from legendary pianists Little Brother Montgomery and Sunnyland Slim. He not only studied with them, he was taken under their capacious wings, and in Brotherís case, Chuck returned the favor by frequently looking in on him in his later years. Well-known in blues circles for his physical interpretations of the musical styles of these patriarchs, Chuck has made the most of the last two decades, playing with nearly everyone on the scene, and this self-produced release gives an impressive sampling of that milieu, not to mention of his own far-ranging skill at pounding the eighty-eights.

Guests and support artists include Willie Kent, Bonnie Lee, Hip Linkchain, Smokey Smothers, Billy Flynn, Carl Weathersby, Johnny B. Moore, Calvin Jones, R.J. Mischo, S.P. Leary, Dave Clark, Willie Smith and Kenny Smith. Each contributes some serious playing; theyíre not just hanging out for session pay.

Interspersed with a varied and consistently high caliber set of lesser-played blues classics like Smothersí Iíll Be Your King, Hip Linkchainís House Cat and Floyd Jonesí Any Old Lonesome Day, he salts in homages to Pinetop Perkins, Leroy Carr (is anyone else playing Leroy Carr this wellóor at all?), Sunnyland Slim, and to the late great drummer S.P. Leary on a from-the-heart original song.

This is a strong collection of Chicago-style blues piano from one of the standard-bearers of the tradition.

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