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Chuck Berry Turns 90, Celebrates With First Album in Nearly Four Decades

"CHUCK" (Dualtone Records)

“Chuck” (Dualtone Records)

Chuck Berry turned 90 Oct. 18 and announced plans to release his first album in almost four decades.

A press release on the legendary musician’s website states the album – titled Chuck – is due in 2017. Consisting of mostly new material, Berry’s children play back up on his newest album since 1979.

Charles Berry Jr. helmed the guitar and Ingrid Berry played the harmonica. Additionally, the rock ‘n’ roll pioneer’s longtime band members contributed as well. They include bassist Jimmy Marsala, pianist Robert Lohr and drummer Keith Robinson.

“This record is dedicated to my beloved Toddy,” Berry said in a statement of wife Themetta Berry. The two have been married since 1948.

“My darlin’ I’m growing old! I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!”

Other details about the record – recorded in Berry’s hometown of St. Louis – will come within the next few weeks.

But Berry, Jr. gave listeners a taste of the album’s sound to tide fans over.

“The St. Louis band, or as dad called us ‘The Blueberry Hill Band,’ fell right into the
groove and followed his lead,” he said. “These songs cover the spectrum from hard driving
rockers to soulful thought provoking time capsules of a life’s work.”

Marsala told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the new album was in the making since Berry’s last album Rock It was released at the end of the ’70s.

“He was constantly working on stuff all the time – on airplanes, writing lyrics down, always coming up with new ideas. ‘Let’s try this, let’s try that.'” the long-time bass player said.

Then, in the last 10 years, Berry poured lots of attention into the project.

Still, for fans hoping to see the legendary artist take his new material on the road, his spokesperson Joe Edwards doesn’t give it much thought.

“Anything can happen,” he told the newspaper, which noted Berry will spend his birthday with family in private. “But he’s enjoying relaxing for the first time.”

However, Marsala said Berry alluded to hitting the road during his last conversation with the “Johnny B. Goode” singer.

“Let’s go get on the bus and kick some ass like we used to,” Berry told Marsala.

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