Hail Hail Rock ‘N’ Roll!


Stumbled onto this excellent rock ‘n’ roll nugget after reading a review of a new biography coming next week. Recorded between July 2005 and January 2006, released about a year ago. Berry is obviously having a blast.

Live From Blueberry Hill features 10 tracks recorded with Berry’s Blueberry Hill Band. The handpicked group of performers included his daughter and son Ingrid Berry and Charles Berry Jr. on harmonica and guitar, respectively, as well as bassist Jimmy Marsala, drummer Keith Robinson, and pianist Robert Lohr.

The finalized set list varies from covers (T-Bone Walker’s “Mean Old World”) to Berry’s biggest hits, including “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Sweet Little Sixteen,” and “Johnny B. Goode.”

Berry returned to St. Louis for what would become years of performances at Blueberry Hill in an attempt to get back to his roots. Blueberry Hill owner Joe Edwards recalls the exchange: “You know, Joe, I’d like to play a place the size of the ones I played when I first started out.” The selection of the venue was an obvious choice.

5 Replies to “Hail Hail Rock ‘N’ Roll!”

  1. Fantastic. He’s like, 80 years old at the time of this recording!

    I saw McCartney perform a three hour set at age 68-ish, all the instruments, the encore, etc… he was sharp.

    Fat Elvis and I enjoyed an 81 year old Dylan this year. I’m not sure Dylan moved during the entire show. But that’s Dylan. FE can say for sure, as I was coming off eye surgery and experiencing my own hazy cosmic jive.

    I heard the Suboctogenarians had a great set this weekend.

    1. Chuck Klosterman has theorized that in, say, 400 years, when the genre of rock music is represented by one artist, the most likely candidate would be Chuck Berry. Interesting article, I’ll try to snoop around online for it later. He’s looking ahead in light of the fact that as a genre gets further buried in history, its practitioners slowly fade from discussion until only one is known generally. You know, as in epic poetry = Homer, Renaissance lit = Shakespeare. Of many epic poets and Renaissance writers, those are the only names known to most people. We already see that happening in baroque and classical music. Most people couldn’t name a baroque composer other than Handel or Bach, or a classical composer other than Mozart or Beethoven. Someday only one of each will be left standing, and then only one of the four will stand for a pretty large range of styles we call “classical.”

      I caught the last half or so of the Suboctogenerians. They sounded good, but they got a little a hard to see as twilight deepened. Maybe KISS wants to sell their light show now that they’ve completed their last “last tour?”

  2. Nice. I heard Klosterman make the argument on a podcast once, in an abridged version. Fun and compelling, and the long form is even better.

    Also: “perpetually outraged music critics” seems redundant.

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