Barrelhouse Chuck biography
One of the few Chicago blues pianists to have studied under Sunnyland Slim, Pinetop Perkins, Lafayette Leake and Little Brother Montgomery, Barrelhouse Chuck draws on this distinguished lineage to create a blues, boogie-woogie and barrelhouse piano style that places him at the forefront of this celebrated tradition. Born in Ohio (Columbus, OH – July 10, 1958) where he first learned to play the drums at the age of 5, Barrelhouse Chuck, whose real name is Charles Goering, later switched to the piano and was living in Florida when he heard his first Muddy Waters record with Otis Spann on piano. This was a major turning point in Chuck’s life. After that Chuck started buying the records of every blues artist he could find. A quick study on the keyboards it wasn’t long before Chuck had formed his own band and began opening for the likes of Willie Dixon, B.B. King and Bo Diddley. It was also during this time (the late 70’s) that Chuck and some of his friends began following Muddy Waters around to get some first hand exposure to both Muddy and his then current piano player, Pinetop Perkins. Then realizing he needed to immerse himself in blues piano he deciding to go directly to the source. In 1979 he drove 24 hours straight from Florida to Chicago and went directly to B.L.U.E.S on Halsted specifically to see Sunnyland Slim. Chuck spent the next 10 years studying with the living legend, who Chuck called “the great-granddaddy of all the blues piano players”. Through Sunnyland he met all the great blues musicians in Chicago, and often ended up playing with and hanging out with them. People like Pinetop Perkins, Lafayette Leake and Little Brother Montgomery took Chuck under their wings, invited him into their homes and made him feel a part of their families. During that time Chuck developed his immense mastery of blues piano and went on to perform and record with most of the notable blues musicians in Chicago-people like Louis Myers, Jimmy Rogers, Jimmy Dawkins, Billy Boy Arnold, Hubert Sumlin, Henry Townsend, S.P. Leary, Detroit Jr. and Big Smokey Smothers, among others. During the past two decades Chuck has played all over the U.S., Canada, Mexico, South America and tours Europe regularly. He has also appeared more than a half dozen times at the Chicago Blues Festival.