Chuck Berry, who died in March 2017 aged 90, is fondly remembered in the release of a new Gibson Custom Shop guitar and a new live album, Live From Blueberry Hill.
Live From Blueberry Hill consists of ten tracks recorded live at the rock ‘n’ roll icon’s legendary hometown shows at St. Louis’ Blueberry Hill, where Berry played over 200 shows between July 2005 and January 2006.
Joe Edwards, the longtime confidante and owner of the beloved St. Louis restaurant Blueberry Hill, remembers the seed being sown for the live shows when Berry said to him, “You know, Joe, I’d like to play a place the size of the ones I played when I first started out.”
From the first gigs, the backing band became known as the Blueberry Hill Band, and evolved into a lineup of daughter Ingrid Berry on harmonica, son Charles Berry, Jr. on guitar, bassist and bandleader Jimmy Marsala, pianist Robert Lohr, and drummer Keith Robinson. This lineup would be the longest-running band of Berry’s 60+ year career.
Gibson have hand made 100 Chuck Berry 1970s ES-355 in Wine Red, based on the 1978 model Berry loved. “Of all the guitars my dad played, the 1978 ES-355 by far was his go-to,” says Chuck’s son Charles Berry Jr. “The guitar travelled the world with my dad for over 36 years.”
Chuck Berry’s last album, Chuck and the new Live From Blueberry Hill album were recorded with the Gibson Wine Red ES-355. “It’s a real road warrior,” Charles says, “and Gibson has done a brilliant job making this run of excellent big bodies. Like his original, these new ones resonate to the point you can feel them singing. It’s a True Tone Monster.
“Tom Murphy’s mad scientists in the Murphy Lab have aged them wonderfully. Put on the Captain’s hat, attach the conduit connector, if you dare, turn it up to 11 and rip.”
The guitar features aged gold hardware, a Maestro Vibrola, Grover tuners, a Varitone switch, and a classic split diamond headstock inlay. The striking Wine Red finish features Murphy Lab custom ageing, giving it the look and feel of the 1978 original.
Chuck’s Captain’s hat is included in the custom case, along with his innovative finger holder, an electrical conduit strap, which allowed him to play his ES-355 over and behind his head.
Chuck Berry: Live From Blueberry Hill is released on 17 December 2021, via Dualtone Records. Pre-order from chuckberry.fanlink.to/livefromblueberryhill
For more information on the Chuck Berry 1970s ES-355 in Wine Red, visit www.gibson.com/Guitar/CUSUR2452/Chuck-Berry-1970s-ES-355/Wine-Red
Live From Blueberry Hill
Roll Over Beethoven
Rock And Roll Music
Let It Rock
Carol / Little Queenie
Sweet Little Sixteen
Around And Around
Mean Old World
Johnny B. Goode