Chuck Berry’s Final Studio Album Coming This Summer


Chuck Berry’s Final Studio Album Coming This Summer

–Joe Lund

Photos by Danny Clinch

Details have been announced regarding the new Chuck Berry album slated for release this summer. Titled Chuck, the LP features 10 new studio recordings, including eight songs written by the late rock and roll legend. Guest artists include Gary Clark Jr., Tom Morello, Nathaniel Rateliff, and Berry’s grandson, Charles Berry III. The album—Berry’s first since 1979’s Rock It—will be released on June 16.

“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,” said the Berry family, said in a Facebook post. “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.”

Some of the songs for the album were conceived as far back as the late ‘80s, as Berry developed the material in his home studio during downtime between tours. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer worked on the LP through 2014, and afterwards continued to oversee its production and planning. Backing him in the studio was his longtime hometown live band, including his children Charles Berry Jr. (guitar) and Ingrid Berry (vocals, harmonica), plus Jimmy Marsala (Berry’s bassist for forty years), Robert Lohr (piano), and Keith Robinson (drums).

Renowned historian Douglas Brinkley penned the album’s liner notes. Highlights are said to include “Lady B. Goode,” a spiritual sequel to the iconic “Johnny B. Goode”; “Darlin’,” a poignant country duet with his daughter, Ingrid; and “Big Boys,” a rave-up that Brinkley describes as “a guitar player’s national anthem.”

Berry’s death on March 18 generated an outpouring of tributes, as musicians throughout the music world reflected on the late artist’s pioneering work and influence. “He was one of rock and roll’s greatest poets,” observed Paul McCartney. “He will be missed but remembered by everyone who ever loved rock and roll.” Below is the track listing for Chuck. To listen to a stream of “Big Boys,” click here.

Track list:

“Wonderful Woman”
“Big Boys”
“You Go To My Head”
“3/4 Time (Enchiladas)”
“Lady B. Goode”
“She Still Loves You”
“Jamaica Moon”
“Eyes Of Man”