One of a kind. Books his gigs, contacts local bands for his backup, expects them to know his repertoire, shows up minutes before the show, brings the house down and leaves. A real hobo.
Rock n’ roll pioneer Chuck Berry, who turned 90 on Tuesday, celebrated his birthday by announcing that his new LP Chuck, the guitarist’s first LP in 38 years, will arrive in 2017 on Dualtone Records.
Chuck, Berry’s first album since 1979’s Rock It, is stocked with new, original songs written, recorded and produced by the rock legend.
Berry dedicated his upcoming album to his wife of 68 years, Themetta Berry. “This record is dedicated to my beloved Toddy,” Berry said in a statement. “My darlin’, I’m growing old! I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!”
Berry recorded Chuck with his longtime backing band that includes his children Charles Berry Jr. (guitar) and Ingrid Berry (harmonica), as well as bassist Jimmy Marsala, who has played with Berry for 40 years, pianist Robert Lohr and drummer Keith Robinson. This backing band has performed alongside Berry at the rock legend’s famed Blueberry Club shows over the past two decades.
“What an honor to be part of this new music,” Charles Berry Jr. said in a statement. “The St. Louis band, or as dad called us ‘the Blueberry Hill Band,’ fell right into the groove and followed his lead. These songs cover the spectrum from hard driving rockers to soulful thought provoking time capsules of a life’s work.”
More details about Chuck – and Berry-related events to mark his 90th birthday – will be announced in the coming weeks.