Set features Berry playing on his home turf
Berry played over 200 shows during a special residency at Blueberry Hill in St. Louis. The album makes plain the comfort and freedom Berry felt playing on his home turf in these wonderfully loose and spontaneous performances culled from the Duck Room shows taking place between July 2005 and January 2006. Like most of his shows, it’s packed with the classics fans came to hear like “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Rock and Roll Music,” “Sweet Little Sixteen,” “Nadine,” and, of course, “Johnny B. Goode.”
Berry tears it up on “Let It Rock,” with daughter Ingrid honking on harmonica. “Carol”/“Little Queenie” offers one of those moments when Berry starts in one place and ends up in another, all the while making it clear that it was obviously the right thing to do. There’s a full-tilt take on “Around and Around;” “Bio,” a rollicking blues on which Berry tells his own story as only he can; and “Mean Old World,” a classic slow blues the showed how even the Father of Rock and Roll could acknowledge his forebears.
Berry is known the world over as the Father of Rock and Roll, and rightly so. It was he who married country music to the blues, wrote poetic lyrics that lit the imagination, sang them over motorvatin’ rhythms and played clarion riffs that established the guitar as rock and roll’s iconic instrument.
Berry was the first member inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He’s a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, a recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a Kennedy Center Honor. No less an authority than John Lennon declared that Berry’s name was synonymous with rock and roll itself. Bob Dylan called Berry the “Shakespeare of rock and roll.”