Get this crazy baby off my head!


Chris Beard

Chris Beard - Live Wire! - 2005 - NorthernBlues Music

The late Luther Allison was responsible for a sub-genre of Midwest electric blues guitar players. Many of these players do not always do justice to Luther Allison's style, but Chris Beard, as a member of this sub-genre, balances the thin line between blues, and high powered rock n’ roll. Chris Beard lays down some searing guitar here, and his funky horn section really rocks. This is a high-powered live album with excellent songs, top class performances, and great presentation and timing. Often live blues albums can be pipe-line fillers that bands use to sell to inebriated fans off the stage. If this record is an indication of Chris Beard’s live shows then inebriated blues fans are par for the coursse ! It is often said that the drummer is the difference between a “good” band and a “great” band, and: Buddy Honeycutt proves this point by propelling the band through songs like a Russian Ice Cutter through Arctic ice. Chris Beard has created a good album here, without using overplayed blues covers. The album combines live, and studio tracks, and some music critics maintain that tracks like "Tribute to Luther Allison", and " It's Over" are overlong, and self indulgent. These tracks are long, but there is no denying the quality of the music. What do you think? Buy Chris' 1997 "Barwalkin'" album which showcases Chris Beard's talent to the maximum effect.


1 Born to Play the Blues - Beard
2 Ten Toes Up - Beard
3 It's About Time - Beard
4 Tribute to Luther Allison, Pt. 1 - Peterson
5 Tribute to Luther Allison, Pt. 2 - Peterson
6 Caught Up - Beard
7 It's Over, Pt. 1 - Beard
8 It's Over, Pt. 2 - Beard
9 It's Over, Pt. 3 - Beard
10 Street of Broken Dreams - Cain
11 Never Felt No Blues - Walker
12 A Change Must Come - Allison
13 Can't Walk Away - Walker
14 Lock My Dreams - Walker
15 Who You Can Trust - Cain

Recorded at Kingston Mines, Chicago, Illinois; Village Gate, Rochester, New York; Blues At The Mall, Grand Rapids, Michigan (2005).


Chris Beard (vocals, guitar)
Steve Grills, Brother Wilson (guitar) [ B.Wilson plays rhythm guitar on tracks 8, & 10 only], [S.Grills plays rhythm guitar on tracks 10, & 11 only]
Darren Robinson, Tony Jackson, Marvin Parker (bass guitar) [M.Parker plays bass on all tracks, except 7,11, & 12], [T.Jackson plays bass on tracks 7, & 12 only], [D.Robinson plays bass on track 11 only]
George Snell , Alan Murphy, (keyboards) [A.Murphy plays keyboards on all tracks except 7,11, & 12], [G.Snell plays keyboards on tracks 11, & 12 only]
Buddy Honeycutt (drums)
Quinn Lawrence (horns)


Chris Beard, son of blues guitarist Joe Beard, literally grew up at the feet of blues legends like Buddy Guy, Matt "Guitar" Murphy, and of course, his father. Encouraged to play at a young age, he was tutored by the best. By 15, Chris was playing with his father, always keeping in mind the lessons learned from the masters. After years of honing his craft, Beard brings it all home with a real treat entitled Live Wire. Live Wire is a combination of live performances and studio recordings. While that sounds like an odd combination, it's effective, showcasing Beard's ability to express himself in any setting. Whether studio or nightclub, the spontaneity and pure joy in Beard's music is evident. Backed by a talented band, including horns, Chris creates a fully emotional and altogether entertaining CD. My favorite cut is Ten Toes Up, a playful, yet seductive and energetic number that many of my friends have agreed is top-notch blues. I've listened to Live Wire over and over, and I have a feeling you'll do the same. Pick up a copy today. It's worth every penny. © Joan Hunt, Published June 29, 2005, © http://blogcritics.org/music/

You could say that Chris Beard likes to play guitar — the nine minutes of fretboard pyrotechnics that make up the opening "Born to Play the Blues" make that all too apparent. This is a full-on electric blues (mostly) live disc, full of scintillating lead guitar (check out the inspired "Tribute to Luther Allison"), backed by a top-notch band, whose players also get a good workout, like keyboardist Alan Murphy on "It's About Time." But the inevitable focus is on Beard's massive skills. He's a good singer, if not outstanding, but he's a dynamic, inventive guitarist who seems to be at his happiest when dazzling an audience. Those cuts have an immediacy and energy that's missing on the three final studio tracks — even the aching "Lock My Dreams," where he makes his guitar cry, lacks that energy. Having already established his reputation with his previous work, Beard cements his stature with this record, and sets himself up to take a place among the contemporary blues guitar greats. © Chris Nickson, allmusic.com


Guitarist, singer and songwriter Chris Beard is the son of Rochester-area blues guitarist Joe Beard. He has been patiently paying his dues on the club circuit around the Northeast for the last 20 years. Beard, who goes by the nickname "Prince of the Blues," is one of the young lions of blues in the 1990s. He can be safely grouped with other idiom-expanding artists like Larry Garner, Tutu Jones and Michael Hill. Beard began playing guitar at age five, inspired by all the blues talent his father had over to the house — artists like Buddy Guy and Matt "Guitar" Murphy. He learned to play "Green Onions" as a 6-year-old, and at 15 he began playing with a local classic rhythm & blues ensemble. He continued playing in local bands and sitting in with his father's band through high school. After graduation, he began fronting his own group and writing his own songs, taking inspiration from people like Albert King and Johnny "Guitar" Watson. Beard's debut album, Barwalkin', for the London-based JSP Records, is a 12-track showcase of style and songwriting virtuosity. Produced by Johnny Rawls, who also plays guitar on the recording, Beard is accompanied by Hammond B-3 organist Brian Charette, former Johnny Copeland Band bassist Randy Lippincott, and drummer Barry Harrison. The Nutmeg Horns, consisting of Bruce and Robert Feiner on saxophones and Jim Hunt on trumpet, add body to some songs. © Richard Skelly, allmusic.com