Utility Blues is Li'l Chuck's follow up to the highly acclaimed 2013 release Blues In Full Swing.
Having spent a lifetime rummaging through the drawers of 1930's - 50's music, Chuck’s mostly original songs are inspired by the sounds of the era - Blues, Early Jazz, Western Swing, Ragtime etc. and are uniquely presented in the style of street performers from those glory days.
Sticking to the traditional one man band format, Chuck plays and records all the instruments simultaneously, no overdubs or edits. Just, Chuck, his skiffle machine and a bunch of mics.
"I have nothing to hide behind other than my drum and my guitar,” says Chuck. "I recorded all songs live in the studio and aimed to capture the best performance I could.”
Captivating story telling intertwines effortlessly with heart stopping harmonica and multiple guitar styles - all underpinned by his left and right feet frantically pounding the kick and hi hat. The listener is left simply wondering, "How the hell does he do that?”
In addition to writing 11 of the 12 songs, Chuck was also Utility Blues’ chief engineer.
He handed the raw files over to Lyttelton audio wizard Ben Edwards (The Eastern, Marlon Williams, Delaney Davidson, Tami Neilson). With his rich understanding of musical ambience, Ben artfully mixed the album, creating the perfect vibe for a collection recorded with such a pared back approach.
In an age where we are rushing around at breakneck speed, where everything is instant, sugar coated, airbrushed and overly polished, Li’l Chuck brings us down to earth with some organic, all natural, whole grain, naked goodness.
Li'l Chuck the One Man Skiffle Machine upcoming shows:
Sat 8th April- Wine Cellar, Auckland - album release show