MUSIC: The Chess Story Volume 1
BEVERAGE: Wolfscraft Frisch-Pils
Words & photos: Vincent Abbate
The Chess Story Volume 1, a Chess Records anthology covering the period from 1948 to 1956, is one of the albums that did it for me. A big bang that sent the blues hurtling into my universe.
Growing up in the States, the blues was familiar to me, but no more so than it was to your average American rock’n’roll fan. That means my concept of what the blues is and where it came from or even what real blues sounded like was vague and limited. I knew of John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters. I’d seen B.B. King on Sanford and Son and Bo Diddley’s cameo in the George Thorogood video. I didn’t think of Jimi Hendrix or Eric Clapton as blues because they were all over FM radio.
Then I found this Chess sampler from 1993 in the bargain bin at a local bookstore. Those were ten Deutschmark well spent. (I’d been living in Germany for maybe two years at that point.) Some of the music I knew – Waters, Chuck Berry – but it was the guys I’d never heard before – Robert Nighthawk, Jimmy Rogers, Lowell Fulson – that made me realize just how many blues treasures were out there waiting to be discovered.
Let’s crack open a bottle of Wolfscraft Frisch-Pils and give this little record a spin…