Monday, February 8, 2010

Annie Lou... FINALLY!!!!!!

So it finally arrived, and I went straight for pay dirt—a blues “Annie Lou” performed (I think!) solo by Chuck Berry.

Annie Lou
You know how much I love you, Annie Lou
Annie Lou
You know how much I love you, Annie Lou
What makes you treat me, treat me
The way you do?

Maybe it was just a warm up, or a demo. But this one should have been released. It would have broadened the conception of who and what Chuck Berry is.

There’s nothing here but a quiet guitar—I think just one—and a quiet voice (you know the one).

I once wrote that it is a straight shot from Robert Johnson to Chuck Berry. Well—here’s proof. This is Chuck Berry as a traditional bluesman—or perhaps just Chuck Berry in his own living room, which might be more or less the same thing. It opens with the blues intro that Chuck Berry used often in the early 1970s-- i.e., "Mean Old World," "Have Mercy Judge."   I’ve listened three or four times since ripping the package open and can’t tell if there’s overdubbing, or if Chuck Berry is actually finger picking, or if (as I suspect) he’s doing all this himself in one take with his thumbs and a pick—but however it’s done it’s beautiful-- with a quiet guitar bass line punctuated by Chuck Berry’s patented double string blues riffs and a searing riff or two right out of Lightning Hopkins.

It’s amazing to me that this one (along with “Have Mercy Judge,” and “Mean Old World”) wasn’t included on the misguided release called "Blues," because, like “Wee Wee Hours” and those others, it is one of Chuck Berry’s most authentic blues recordings ever.

And this one is special because it is Chuck alone, in a way I've never heard him-- just him and his guitar.  It's like those quiet moments in the film "Hail! Hail!" but this time it's blues instead of ballads.  I love it.

I haven’t listened to anything else on the four disk package yet—but this song is worth the wait, and worth the $90 I paid to get the records sent to me by snail mail.

More later.  Got to ride in my automobile and listen to the rest of this set!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

excellent news mate, tell us more... we cant get it over here yet.. ebay say it limited and the big music stores over here aint having it..