Chuck Berry Announces First New Album in Almost 40 Years
Chuck Berry celebrated his 90th birthday today by announcing the upcoming release of his first album of new material in nearly four decades.
Titled Chuck, the new LP will arrive via Dualtone Records at some point in 2017. According to a press release, the track listing is made up “largely of new songs written and produced” by Berry, who enlisted a band that included bassist Jimmy Marsala, pianist Robert Lohr and drummer Keith Robinson, as well as two of his children, guitarist Charles Berry, Jr. and harmonica player Ingrid Berry.
“It is a great honor to be a part of this record and the broader legacy of Chuck Berry,” enthused Dualtone president Paul Roper. “This body of work stands with the best of his career and will further cement Chuck as one of the greatest icons of rock ‘n’ roll.”
Chuck marks the end of a decades-long drought between records for Berry, whose last release was 1979’s Rock It. Although he scored his highest-charting hit single, the novelty track “My Ding-a-Ling,” earlier in the decade, album sales were tougher to come by; neither Rock It nor its predecessor, 1975’s Chuck Berry, were able to make a dent on the charts. With Chuck, Berry seems ready to put a more fitting cap on his distinguished career.
“This record is dedicated to my beloved Toddy,” said Berry in a statement, referring to his wife of 68 years, Themetta Berry. “My darlin’ I’m growing old! I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!”
“What an honor to be part of this new music,” added Charles Berry, Jr. “The St. Louis band — or as Dad called us, ‘The Blueberry Hill Band’ — fell right into the groove and followed his lead. These songs cover the spectrum from hard-driving rockers to soulful, thought-provoking time capsules of a life’s work.”
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