||From the Vault...
"St. Louie To Frisco To Memphis"
© Mercury Records
Year of Release: 1967
Have The Blues
I'm Your Hoochie
It Hurts Me Too
Wee Baby Blues
Johnny B. Goode
Louie To Frisco
Ma Dear Ma Dear
Check Me Out
Back To Memphis
It's Too Dark In There
I Do Really Love You
I Can't Believe
My Heart Will Always
Belong To You
Chuck Berry related sites:
"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
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,
"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
"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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