Chuck Berry Blues

Today, October 18th, is the birthday of Charles Edward Anderson Berry who is better known to us as Chuck Berry. He is one of my favorite all time artists and he could damn sure rock the blues.

Here are some cuts from his years recording for Chess Records, one of the premier blues recording labels of the fifties and sixties.

Chuck BerryDust My Broom

A delicious cover of the Robert Johnson classic featuring distinctive Berry riffs on his beloved Gibson Guitar.

Chuck BerryI Just Want to Make Love to You

Chuck lays down a great version of the Willie Dixon penned tune first recorded by Muddy Waters and which, much later, became a mega hit for Foghat.

Chuck Berry Johnny B. Blues

This is an instrumental version of Johnny B. Goode that is just some badass bluzin’.

Chuck BerryBaby, What You Want Me to Do

Just an awesome rendition of the Jimmy Reed classic.

Chuck BerryConfessin’ the Blues

From his 1960 album, Rockin’ at the Hops, Chuck helped translate the electrified urban blues to an entire generation of teenagers, including John Lennon and Eric Clapton, back in the 1950’s and 1960’s with songs like this one. He is rightly called the father of rock & roll and was one fantastic blues man too!

Chuck Berry was one of the defining artists of his time…..flaws and all. I love his music and hope you do too.


Links in blue are to Spotify

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Ben Vee’s Late July Roadhouse Blues Bin

The summer is blowin’ by and here are some of the albums that I am listening to (song links to Spotify or Youtube are in blue):

The Kokomo Kings – Fighting Fire with Gasoline (2019)

The Kokomo Kings new album Fighting Fire with Gasoline heralds the return of the era when rock & roll and the blues were essentially the same genre. Upbeat and fun, I really enjoyed EVERY tune on this recording done by a mix of band members from Sweden and Denmark. I don’t know if it is somethin’ in the water, but there are a number of great new bands coming out of Copenhagen and Stockholm and the Kokomo Kings are one of the best. The band features Martin Abrahamsson (vocals and guitar), Magnus Lanshammar (bass and guitar), Ronni Boysen (guitar), and Daniel Winerö (drums).

The album is packed with great rockin’ boogie blues tunes that will get your hips and feet movin’ including A Big Pile of Fish, Fighting Fire With Gasoline, Fooled by the City Lights, I Thought I was a Patient Man, If I was an Alien, Tornadohead, and The Fish Won’t Bite. Really loved Heatwave which has a Fabulous Thunderbirds feel to it. And my personal favorite is Tied to the Tracks that has some nice guitar riffs and a Mississippi Hill Country sound.

The influence of Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry pervades the album and I know both are in blues heaven smilin’ down on this fantastic recording. Now…if only I can persuade them to send me a t-shirt with the album cover on it…my summer will be complete!!!

Jason Ricci & the Bad Kind – My Chops Are Rolling (Ellersoul Records 2019)

Since releasing his first recording in 1995, Jason Ricci has earned a reputation as one of the best harmonica players in the music business with two awards (2010 & 2018) from the prestigious Blues Music Foundation for his talent on the instrument. On his second release for Ellersoul Records, My Chops Are Rolling, Jason Ricci & the Bad Kind again lay down some badass roadhouse blues.

I was captivated by the tune The Way That I Hurt Myself that has echoes of Led Zeppelin in the performance. The song highlights Jason’s voice as well as some badass harpin’ and also shines the musical spotlight on the incredible guitar playing of John Lisi.

Additionally, Jason does a stellar instrumental cover of Led Zepp’s Going to California on the album. I also enjoyed Break In the Rain and a song he recorded with his wife, Kaitlin Dibble, entitled If You Should Lose Me. It is a great cover of a song originally performed by Barbara Lynn back in the late 1960’s.

Jason & I share a love for the New Orleans Saints and he put his admiration into words and music on Who Dat Nation! All you Saints fan should give it a listen! And Atlanta Falcon fans might want to avoid the explicit version he also includes 😛

Blue Moon Marquee – Bare Knuckles & Brawn (Factor Canada 2019)

Harkening back to the era of the blues cabaret, Blue Moon Marquee modernizes the sound on their new CD, Bare Knuckles & Brawn. A.W. Cardinal makes it work with gritty vocals and guitar playing and Jasmine Collette lays down some badass upright bass riffs as well as vocals. They are the core of a band that features guest appearances by Darcy Phillips (keyboards), Jerry Cook (Tenor & Bari Sax, Clarinet), Jimmy “Hollywood” Badger (Drums), Jack Garton (trumpet), and Paul Pigat (guitar).

Overall, this is well produced album with a laid back ambiance and a jazzy feel that still maintains an adherence to the blues. I really enjoyed 52nd Street Strut, As I Lay Dying, and the sultry feel of Big Black Mamba. Big Smoke is a great blues tune and Fever Flickering Flame conjures up scenes of a packed dance floor at a 1920 speakeasy. The haunting use of the trumpet and sparse piano licks perfectly frame Jasmine’s voice on Hard Times Hit Parade. And I loved the western swing guitar playing of Paul on The Red Devil Himself.

This is the perfect album to share with friends, a fine cigar, and a dirty martini. Let me know when ya do!!!

Travellin’ Blue Kings – Wired Up (Donor Productions 2019)

A European band that helps defines what I term as the roadhouse blues, the Travellin’ Blue Kings kick out some solid tunes on their new album Wired Up. This four piece band consists of Stephan Hermsen (vocals, harp, guitar), Jimmy Hontelé (guitar), Winne Penninckx (bass), and Marc Gijbels (drums).


This is another album where I loved EVERY cut. Particular favorites are Get It Done, Ninety Minutes, Into the Night, Straight Eight, and The Way It Used to Be. The instrumental title cut Wired Up is also a badass tune featuring some awesome guitar playing.

They are also the first band that I have seen that identify themselves as being from Benelux, an economic union of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. The Travellin’ Blue Kings are doing their part to promote Benelux with one of the best roadhouse blues albums of 2019!


As always, feel free to like my website (MUCH APPRECIATED) and/or leave a comment/reply below!

Ben’s Thursday Roadhouse Blues – 3 pm EST

The 1950’s were a magical time for the blues.  The electric guitar was taking the world by storm and blues artists were its vanguard.  It was also a time when the blues and rock & roll were virtually indistinguishable.  Today’s set celebrates the songs and sounds of the fifties as I play both brand new and classic upbeat roadhouse blues from that era on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com. Tune in at 3 pm EST!!

Below is the intended playlist.

ARTIST TITLE
Elmore James Blacksnake Blues
Arlen Roth White Lightning (ft Steve Cropper)
Peter Ward A Westerly Sunday Night (ft Sugar Ray Norcia)
Mark Wenner’s Blues Warriors King Bee
Peter Ward Train to Key Biscayne (ft Johnny Nicholas)
Howlin’ Wolf Back Door Man
Joe Bonamassa I Can’t Be Satisfied (Live)
Mary Lane Leave That Wine Alone
Harpdog Brown Thinkin’ and Drinkin’
Brandon Santini Drive You Off My Mind
Ronnie Earl And The Broadcasters It Takes Time
Elmore James Fine Line Mama
Crystal Shawanda Hound Dog
Mark Wenner’s Blues Warriors Hello Josephine
Buddy Guy Nine Below Zero
Brian Holden Smokin’ Hot
Peter Ward Coffee Song (ft Michelle Willson)
Big Joe Turner Shake, Rattle & Roll
Hound Dog Taylor Give Me Back My Wig
Chuck Berry House Of Blue Lights
Elvis Presley Ain’t That Loving You Baby
Omar Kent Dykes & Jimmie Vaughan Baby What You Want Me To Do/Bright Lights Big City
James Cotton Honest I Do
Luther Allison Parking Lot
The Derek Trucks Band Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
Joe Bonamassa Shake for Me (Live)
The Rides Talk to Me Baby
Sonny Boy Williamson Help Me
Eugene Hideaway Bridges I Can’t Stop Loving You Baby
Mark Wenner’s Blues Warriors Rock a While
Cyndi Lauper Crossroads (Feat. Johnny Lang)
Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin Sit Down, Baby