Author Archives: Chuck

Anyone seen the keys?

Have you ever lost your keys? It’s frustrating. CHB have been without a keyboard player for a long time and we’ve finally found one – Claudia Fischer – the newest member of the band. And as if that isn’t enough, Claudia is also a fantastic singer.

Changes for 2016

The new year is quickly approaching and there are a few changes for CHB. There are a few new band members to introduce: Carlos Köhler (Bass) and Bernhard Schönberger (Drums). I’m really looking forward to playing with these guys!

Weilheim Stadttheater

We have a very interesting concert coming up on Friday, 26 June 2015, 8:00pm in the Weilheim Stadttheater. We will be playing together with the Markus Vetter Band.

This is not one of the usual club gigs we do (which I love). Rather, this is a large, luxurious, expansive concert hall with a huge stage. I hope I don’t get lost up there 😀

Come on out, we’d love to see you there

Village People

Thanks again to Dieter and the Village Team in Habach. We had another great time playing two sets. Some special friends from the Village jam sessions sat in with us a a couple of John Mayer classics: Philipp Kuhne (voice) and Markus Vetter (guitar). I can’t wait to do that again!

Thanks Inninger Spectacel

We had a fantastic time at the Inninger Spectacel. We played two rockin’ sets with our new bass player Holger Hetchko who nailed it.

A big thank you to Paul and Martin and the whole Spectacel team – and especially to everyone who came out to hear us play. We can’t wait to see you again.

And on that note, we will be at The Village in Habach (near Murnau) on Friday 12 June 2015 at 21:00. We’ve got a lot of new material, which we will be playing live for the first time. Don’t miss it.


Some upcoming shows

We have a few really interesting shows coming up.

We will be back at the Inninger Spectacel (my second living room) on Wednesday 15 April 2015 at 8:00 pm.

I was in Habach at the Village jam session last night and was able to pin down Dieter for a concert date. We will be a the Village on Friday 12 June 2015 at 9:00 pm.

We hope to see you all there!

Introducing Holger Hetschko

We are very happy to announce that we have found a new bass player – Holger Hetschko. After going through a number of auditions that didn’t really work out so well, things were looking a bit grim. Then my iPhone rang in the middle of a gallery at the Neue Pinakothek, and Holger was on the line. I could tell right away that we would work well together musically – our common love for contemporary blues-rock music. After the first audition, we knew immediately that we had found the right man. And we didn’t have talk him into it either; he was ready to get on board. We’ve been working through the set lists and getting ready for our upcoming concerts … more on that later.

Looking forward to 2015

We had a great time together in 2014 and there are so many people to thank: Paul and Matin at the Inninger Spectacel, the Village Crew in Habach. I’d especially like to thank Gundi Herget, who I’ve played with for so many years now; and Ron Patton, my new friend and Saxophone player from the USA. Most of all a shout-out to Julian Sareyka – our bass player of the last few years. He has now left the band to move on to other things. We’ll miss you.

One major development for 2015 is the new band name “The Chuck Heard Band”. After years as “Chuck Heard the Blues” it more or less became clear that we weren’t really a “blues band” in the traditional sense – and that confused some people (me too after a while). The blues is a very important part of the music and makes up the foundation of many of the songs, but the new material branches out in so many different directions, stylistic labels were just too restricting.

As things develop in 2015 and we have more gigs to report, I’ll let you all know.

Take care

From Freddy King to “Purple Haze”

With so many years past since Jimi Hendrix turned the music world inside out, it is sometimes easy to forget the complete transformation of the electric guitar, which he single-handedly brought about during his short lifetime. One way to gauge Hendrix’s transformative significance is to view his music in the context of other players of his day, in particular 1960s blues players – the creative and artistic pool from which Hendrix came.

The clip below is a very early recording from a British TV show taken a few months before his seminal performance at Monterey Pop. Chronologically hardly a year separates Freddy King’s clip of “She Put a Whammy on Me” in my previous post from this rendition of “Hey Joe/Purple Haze”. Musically, however, Hendrix is already in another universe.

Even though the audio is slightly out of sync with the video in this example, it nevertheless provides a telling glimpse of the immense displacement that will soon be thrust upon the music scene in general and guitar players’ vocabulary in particular. This changes everything.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Swinging Guitar of Freddy King!

In my next life I want to come back as Freddy King. Rocking out on “The Beat” TV show in 1966, backed up with a smoking hot horn section and go-go dancers to keep the energy going – not that King didn’t have enough of that. He was the complete package: the suit, the pompadour hairdo, a Gibson ES-345 slung over the right shoulder rather than around his neck and a stock of blues riffs without end. This is far cooler than allowed by law.

Once one gets past the amazement of the opening scene with the Joker-style set and painted piano, you are hit right away with King’s unique right-hand technique. With picks on his thumb and index finger (more typical for banjo or steel-guitar players) King lights up his Gibson guitar. He pulls and slaps and picks and pokes the strings jolting the amp with each note. And his singing voice … straight from the Pantheon of blues deities.

This is a video that keeps getting better with each passing minute. The energy level builds through the verses and choruses of the first number “She Put a Whammy on Me” and climaxes with an explosive instrumental jam at the end. If I had a time machine, I know where I’d be right now.