[Harp-L] Barrelhouse Chuck

chicago bluesman chicagobluesman@xxxxx
Thu Dec 15 00:37:27 EST 2016

Glad to see a mention of Chuck on this list.  Chuck was a close personal friend, he brought me in on lots of local gigs over the years and I miss him terribly already.   We happened to live only blocks away from one another and we spent lots of time together over the years, locally and on the road.   I can think of few people, if any, as talented, with as deep of an understanding of Chicago blues as Chuck.  He was a curator, a preservationist of the music, someone who dedicated his life to the blues.  He recorded and gigged with a Who's-Who of Chicago blues.  He outlived many of those who he once counted as his mentors and friends--Sunnyland Slim, Little Brother Montgomery, Pinetop Perkins, Blind John Davis--but it feels tragic that he died on Monday at age 58.  Blues piano took him around the world and he lived to perform.  He rarely was satisfied with his own performance, was a blues perfectionist and he brought out the best of anyone playing with him.   Chuck was extremely generous in all respects--he was always trying to give me stuff, always shared the bandstand during gigs and encouraged those sharing his gigs to stretch out and enjoy themselves.  He shared his stories of the masters with whom he'd studied, he encouraged younger musicians to listen deeply and learn, he inspired with the sheer power of his playing.  He documented the blues and collected a vast array of artifacts, recordings and memorabilia related generally to blues, especially Chicago blues.  A few weeks before his death he was featured on two Chicago area TV news segments--WTTW & WGN.  If you google the stations along with his name you'll find a link to the segments which were aired about him and the WGN piece gives a glimpse of his famed collection.  More than any non-harmonica player I've ever met, Chuck's appreciation of blues harp style and technique was deep.  He could instantly identify influences of any blues harp player he heard.  He always pushed the harp to the front of the mix and kept the vibe of true Chicago blues alive.   These days, blues tends to be a guitar-dominated music but there was a time when piano was more prominent in Chicago blues--he kept that tradition alive, also.  He trained with the originators and, while there are strong blues keyboard players now performing, I don't think there is anyone who can quite nail the sound of Chicago blues piano as Chuck could.  So, for those reading this who may be unfamiliar with Chuck check out his recordings.  There are many to choose from but these are, for me, essential: "Got My Eyes On You" (unbeatable, absolutely essential Chicago blues featuring Kim Wilson, others), "Drifting From Town To Town" (another classic Chicago blues CD, with some nice R&B cuts also, featuring Kim Wilson, also Billy Flynn and others), "Prescription For The Blues" (powerful solo piano), "Blues Calling" (you have to hear the voicemail messages left on his home answering machine by blues greats), "Remembering The Masters" (his last CD, much of it with Billy Flynn again on guitar).   Actually...get anything Chuck recorded and you'll be happy with it, you'll learn from it.  I could go on, but I'll stop.  In the meantime, a toast to Chuck!

If you happen to be in the Chicago area, there is a tribute event in Chuck's honor planned for Monday, Jan 9th at SPACE in Evanston.  Very strong line-up of performers and I'm sure there will be many guests celebrating Chuck in song & stories.   Also, a Go Fund Me page has been set up to help offset Chuck's medical expenses, now to aid his wife, Betsy.  You can find it here: https://www.gofundme.com/support-barrelhouse-chuck-2tz5un3p


Support Barrelhouse Chuck by Steven Dolins - GoFundMe<https://www.gofundme.com/support-barrelhouse-chuck-2tz5un3p>
Support Barrelhouse Chuck by Steven Dolins - Barrelhouse Chuck has dedicated his life to Chicago blues piano; he took care of and supported Sunnyland Slim and Little ...

From: Harp-L <harp-l-bounces at xxxxx> on behalf of Charles Faron <charfaron at xxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2016 4:07 AM
To: harp-l at xxxxx
Subject: [Harp-L] Barrelhouse Chuck

Sad to mention the passing of the great pianist ,keyboardist,singer Barrelhouse Chuck ( Charles Goering) at the young age of 58. Barrelhouse recorded with Kim Wilson among others and was a bridge from past Chicago bluesmen to the current scene.RIP Barrelhouse.

Sent from my iPhone

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