From the Vault...


Chuck Berry
"St. Louie To Frisco To Memphis"

© Mercury Records

Year of Release: 1967

track listing
  • Rockin' At
    The Fillmore/
    Everyday I
    Have The Blues
  • C.C. Rider
  • Driftin' Blues
  • Feelin' It
  • Flying Home
  • I'm Your Hoochie
    Coochie Man
  • It Hurts Me Too
  • Fillmore Blues
  • Wee Baby Blues
  • Johnny B. Goode
  • Louie To Frisco
  • Ma Dear Ma Dear
  • Soul Rockin'
  • Check Me Out
  • Little Fox
  • Back To Memphis
  • My Tambourine
  • Misery
  • It's Too Dark In There
  • I Do Really Love You
  • I Can't Believe
  • My Heart Will Always
    Belong To You
  • So Long

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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    Chuck Berry
    "St. Louie To Frisco To Memphis"

    Chuck Berry's St. Louie To Frisco To Memphis is a two-record set consisting of a live concert and a studio album; similar to Elvis Presley's From Memphis to Vegas/From Vegas to Memphis, combining his releases Elvis In Person at the International Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada and Back In Memphis. Chuck Berry's live concert Live At The Fillmore Auditiorium is the first two-sides, and the remaining 13 are studio tracks from (I'm assuming) an album release that I do not know the name of.

    The Fillmore concert is available through, but I have yet to see the studio tracks as an individual album or this two-record set on CD as a whole. As an overall review, the live concert showcases Chuck Berry as a more slow blues performer. Having few songs in the traditional 3-chord rockers such as "Johnny B. Goode," what makes the live recording more interesting is how Mr. Berry showcases himself as the slow blues artist. This is heard in such tunes as the slow-paced "C.C. Rider" and the instrumentals "Driftin' Blues" and "Feelin' It." Even Muddy Waters' "I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man" has the slow blues groove feel going, and its quite impressive, vocals and all. "It Hurts Me Too" is another slow blues tune, and features some helpful vocals by an unknown guitar player and vocalist at the time, Steve Miller. More instrumental slow blues continues with the instrumental "Fillmore Blues" and the vocal "Wee Baby Blues."

    If you're looking for the typical 3-chord rockers as in "Johnny B. Goode," you'll find them in the beginning and ending songs of the concert: "Rockin' At The Fillmore/Everyday I Have The Blues" and "Johnny B. Goode," where the beginning of the latter starts out slow, then kicks into the typical 3-chord boogie. Even the instrumental "Flyin' Home" has a nice boogie woogie feel.

    The studio "album" consists of great 3-chord "ditties" (as Chuck Berry calls them), and some impressive slow blues tunes.

    "Louie To Frisco" is a great 3-chord number, and easily gets the CD repeat button method. "Ma Dear Ma Dear" is a little slower, not in the slow blues style, but more of a soul feel. One of my personal favorites is "Soul Rockin'," a 3-chord rocker that simply rocks, just as enjoyable as "Louie To Frisco."

    "Check Me Out," "Little Fox"" and "Misery" starts out with the chord progressions of "Johnny B. Goode," and again, they are 3-chord ditties that are as enjoyable as any typical Chuck Berry rockers.

    "Back To Memphis" has a more upbeat pop sound, combining the Memphis rock soul. "My Tambourine" was something of what was to come in later years: It's a song that resembles lyrics towards what would become "My Ding-A-Ling" in 1972. This is a very interesting tune, for those who are well-known with what would be Chuck Berry's only #1 hit of his career in 1972, "My Ding-A-Ling."

    "It's Too Dark In There" is more blues-inspired, as in the music of Eric Burdon & The Animals. It has a groove blues feel, as in many of the early recordings of The Animals. Rock and slow blues best defines "I Do Really Love You," "I Can't Believe," and "My Heart Will Always Belong To You." Likewise the ending song, "So Long," a song that is a great closing tune for many radio DJs (like myself) closing out their hard-earned shows.

    "St. Louie To Frisco To Memphis" is a fascinating album, as it not only proves Chuck Berry in his usual rock style, with the songs familiar in sound to such classics, as "Johnny B. Goode," "Roll Over Beethoven," and "Sweet Little Sixteen." But what makes it much more interesting, as proved in the Fillmore concert and in songs from the studio, the slow-type blues songs really stands out that not only can Chuck Berry rock, he can also play the blues just as great as any other.

    Dusting off the vinyl on this one, I have yet to see the studio tracks released on CD, likewise this album as a whole on the laser beam. After he left Chess Records, his recorded material for Mercury, and those recordings have never really been any focus on major CD releases. It would be interesting to see his complete works from the post-Chess period. After listening to St. Louie To Frisco To Memphis, you often wonder if there were any other releases that would easily get interesting reviews as entertaining as this release.

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    Previous Review: #736
    Duran Duran--Liberty
    Next Review: #738
    Blues Brothers--The Blues Brothers (Movie Soundtrack)