Barrelhouse Chuck

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Barrelhouse Chuck
Birth name Charles Goering
Born (1958-07-10) July 10, 1958 (age 56)
Columbus, Ohio, United States
Genres Chicago blues, electric blues[1]
Occupations Pianist, singer, keyboardist, songwriter
Instruments Piano, keyboards, vocals
Years active 1970s–present
Labels Various

Barrelhouse Chuck (born Charles Goering, July 10, 1958) is an American Chicago blues and electric blues pianist, keyboardist, singer, and songwriter.[1]

He claims to be the only Chicago blues pianist to have studied under Sunnyland Slim, Pinetop Perkins, Blind John Davis, Detroit Junior and Little Brother Montgomery.[2] To date, his work has appeared on fourteen albums.[3]

Life and career[edit]

He was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, United States, and learned to play the drums by the age of six.[4] He later graduated to the piano, and had relocated with his family to Gainesville, Florida, before he first heard a Muddy Waters record.[2] It was by listening to blues records that Barrelhouse Chuck learned the techniques of blues piano playing.[4] He formed his own bands including The Red Rooster Band and Red House plus Barrelhouse Chuck & The Blue Lights in his teenage years, and followed Muddy Waters around the Southern United States trying to pick up playing tips from his pianist Pinetop Perkins. In 1979, he drove from Florida to Chicago, Illinois, to introduce himself to Sunnyland Slim. Barrelhouse Chuck spent the next decade and a half studying his playing, along with other Chicago blues musicians including Blind John Davis, Little Brother Montgomery and Erwin Helfer. In the company of Montgomery for a long time, Barrelhouse Chuck later remarked "Little Brother was like a grandfather to me".[2]

Over the years, Barrelhouse Chuck has played or recorded with Jimmy Rogers, Eddie Taylor, Hubert Sumlin, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, and Otis "Big Smokey" Smothers.[2] For a time in the late 1990s he played with Mississippi Heat, and undertook a tour with Nick Moss and the Flip Tops.[4]

His debut album, Salute to Sunnyland Slim, was released on Blue Loon Records in 1999, and contained supporting work from S.P. Leary, Calvin "Fuzz" Jones and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith.[5] It was re-issued in 2005. The follow-up was Prescription for the Blues (2002), when Erwin Helfer appeared on three tracks.[6][3] Kim Wilson played the harmonica on Barrelhouse Chuck's 2006 offering, Got My Eyes on You.[7]

In February 2008, Wilson asked Barrelhouse Chuck to assist in recording the soundtrack for the film, Cadillac Records.[2] His other credits include numerous appearances at the Chicago Blues Festival.[2]

As of 2012, Barrelhouse Chuck maintains a full performance schedule in Chicago, around the United States, and occasionally abroad, including a regular solo appearance on Wednesday nights at The Barrelhouse Flat, a bar in Lincoln Park.[8]

On February 24, 2012, Barrelhouse Chuck played at the "Howlin' For Hubert" concert at The Apollo Theater.

In 2013 and 2014, Barrelhouse Chuck was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the 'Pinetop Perkins Piano Player' category. In 2014 Drifting from Town to Town was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the 'Traditional Blues Album Award Of The Year' category.[9][10]


Year Title Record label
1999 Salute to Sunnyland Slim Blue Loon Records
2000 25 Years of Chicago Blues Piano Vol 1. Viola Records
2002 Prescription for the Blues Sirens Records
2002 8 Hands on 88 Keys Sirens Records
2006 Slowdown Sundown Viola Records
2006 25 Years of Chicago Blues Piano Vol. 2 Viola Records
2006 Got My Eyes on You Sirens Records
2008 25 Years of Chicago Blues Piano Vol. 3 Viola Records
2008 25 Years of Chicago Blues Piano Vol. 4 Viola Records
2008 25 Years of Chicago Blues Piano Vol. 5 Viola Records
2010 Combo Classics Viola Records
2011 Blues Calling Viola Records
2013 Drifting from Town to Town Sirens Records
2013 35 Years of Chicago Blues Piano Volumes 1 & 2 Viola Records



  1. ^ a b "Barrelhouse Chuck". Allmusic. Retrieved December 11, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Barrelhouse Chuck Biography". Retrieved December 11, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c "Allmusic ((( Barrelhouse Chuck > Discography > Main Albums )))". 
  4. ^ a b c Hanson, Karen (2007). Today's Chicago Blues (1st ed.). Chicago, Illinois, United States: Lake Claremont Press. pp. 122–3. ISBN 978-1-893121-19-5. 
  5. ^ "Allmusic ((( Salute to Sunnyland Slim > Barrelhouse Chuck > Overview )))". 
  6. ^ "Allmusic ((( Prescription for the Blues > Barrelhouse Chuck > Review )))". 
  7. ^ "Allmusic ((( Got My Eyes on You > Barrelhouse Chuck > Credits )))". 
  8. ^ "Calendar for Barrelhouse Chuck - Chicago Blues Piano". Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  9. ^ "Blues Music Awards Nominees - 2013 - 34th Blues Music Awards". Retrieved 2013-03-21. 
  10. ^ "2014 Blues Music Awards Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2014-05-16.