Mark June 16 as the release date for CHUCK, the final album from rock 'n' roll founding father Chuck Berry, who died Saturday (March 18) at the age of 90.
Berry's first new album since 1979 was produced by Berry himself and recorded in various studios around St. Louis, where he resided. The 10 tracks feature eight originals along with guest appearances by Tom Morello and Nathaniel Rateliff on "Big Boys" -- which is streaming below -- Gary Clark Jr. and Berry's grandson Charles Berry III.
Chuck Berry. The new single 'Big Boys' taken from the upcoming album Chuck. Pre-order today. https://lnk.to/CBChID Follow Chuck Berry on Facebook: https://lnk.to/CBfbID Music video by Chuck Berry performing Big Boys. (C) 2017 Dualtone Music Group, Inc., under exclusive licence to Decca, a Division of Universal Music Operations Ltd http://vevo.ly/doGS66
The album also features his longtime St. Louis band: children Charles Berry Jr. on guitar and Ingrid Berry on vocals and harmonica); Jimmy Marsala, Berry's bassist for 40 years; Robert Lohr on piano and Keith Robinson on drums.
"Working on my Dad's record has been one of the best experiences of my life," Charles Berry Jr. said in a statement. "I will forever treasure the musical conversations we had, and the time we spent together completing it."
Some of CHUCK's songs date back to the 80s, and notable tracks include "Lady B. Goode," a "Johnny B. Goode" sequel that features solos from three generations of Berry guitarists, and "Darlin'," a duet with daughter Ingrid.
Berry continued overseeing CHUCK after health issues forced him to stop recording and touring in 2015, working with his family and Joe Edwards, a friend and owner of Blueberry Hill, the St. Louis club Berry frequently played.
In a statement posted on Facebook earlier this week, the Berry family wrote that "Working to prepare the release of this record in recent months and in fact over the last several years brought him a great sense of joy and satisfaction. While our hearts are very heavy at this time, we know that he had no greater wish than to see this album released to the world, and we know of no better way to celebrate and remember his 90 years of life than through his music."
The full CHUCK track list includes:
You Go To My Head
3/4 Time (Enchiladas)
Lady B. Goode
She Still Loves You
Eyes Of Man
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.