Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry - Two Great Guitarsdotdotdotdot
artworkThis CD contains the four tracks from the original album, plus four more, three from Bo Diddley and one from Chuck Berry. The album has long been a fave of mine, and finding it released with 4 bonus tracks makes it all the more essential. These two guys created the foundation for guitar instrumentals, with Chuck Berry's riffs being copped a million times, and Bo Diddley's rhythmic intensity being used repeatedly as well. Both men depended on lead guitar at the birth of rock 'n' roll when their contemporaries mostly relied on sax as the dominant instrument. The joint sessions here show an uneasy alliance of two very diverse styles and sounds.
Picks: Liverpool Drive, Chuck's Beat, When The Saints Go Marching In, Bo's Beat, Fireball, Stay Sharp, Chuckwalk, Stinky

Track by Track Review


Liverpool Drive dotdotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

Chuck Berry's nod to the British Invasion, though his style is dominant here. This is a mighty fine instro, with a solid melody line, and a driving rhythmic base. It was recorded March 26, 1964 with Chuck Berry (guitar), Paul Williams (piano), Odie Payne (drums), and the rest unknown.

Chuck's Beat dotdotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

This fine instro was recorded during the summer of 1964 with Chuck Berry (guitar), Bo Diddley (guitar), Lafayette Leake (piano), Billy Johnson or Chester Lindsey (bass), Billy Downing or Edell Robertson (drums), and Jerome Green (maracas). It has an infectious and driving rhythm and interplay between these two great and different guitarists. It's a long track, full of ideas and chances taken, given it was an "orchestrated" jam. A fine track.

When The Saints Go Marching In dotdotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

This is a low-E grodie rendering of the classic spiritual, with a ton of Bo Diddley feel and sound, and lots of infectious energy. It was recorded April 14 or 15, 1964 with Bo Diddley (guitar), Lafayette Leake (piano), Billy Johnson or Chester Lindsey (bass), Billy Downing or Edell Robertson (drums), and Jerome Green (maracas).

Bo's Beat dotdotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

This fine song has all the necessary elements to live up to it's name. Bo's structures are always interesting, and this is no exception. It was recorded during the summer of 1964 with Chuck Berry (guitar), Bo Diddley (guitar), Lafayette Leake (piano), Billy Johnson or Chester Lindsey (bass), Billy Downing or Edell Robertson (drums), and Jerome Green (maracas).

Fireball dotdotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

Previously unreleased, this track was recorded July 25, 1966 with Bo Diddley (guitar), The Duchess (guitar), Chester Lindsey (bass), and Clifton James (drums).

Stay Sharp dotdotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

Previously unreleased, this track comes from the same "at-home" tape that yielded "Pills." It's murky sound testify to it's demo origins. It was recorded in Washington, D. C. on May 2, 1961 with Bo Diddley (guitar), (possibly) Lady Bo or Billy Johnson (guitar), Jesse James Johnson or Chester Lindsey (bass), Billy Downing or Edell Roberts (drums), and Jerome Green (maracas).

Chuckwalk dotdotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

This previously unreleased track comes from the "Rocking At The Philharmonic" sessions, recorded December 20 or 30, 1957 with Chuck Berry (guitar), Lafayette Leake (piano), Willie Dixon (bass), and Fred Below (drums).

Stinky dotdotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

This track was originally on what became the 500% More Man album master, but was replaced by the title track. It was recorded July 25, 1966 with Bo Diddley (guitar), The Duchess (guitar), Chester Lindsey (bass), and Clifton James (drums).