British blues and rock grandmaster Bernie Marsden today releases his superb new, 12-track solo album ‘CHESS’ — the second in his ‘Inspirations’ series. But that’s not all:
The album ‘CHESS’marks another triumphant collaboration between Conquest Music and Bernie Marsden’s own Little House Music. The new album is out today 26th November 2021: available on all digital platforms, along with a Special Limited-Edition Digipak CD accompanied by a 16-page booklet.
Following in the wake of its widely acclaimed, chart-topping predecessor, ‘KINGS’, ‘CHESS’ continues Bernie’s pilgrimage into the music of the past that inspired him and formed his own taste in music. You’ll hear him homage the music and artists who inspired him, kindled his passion, and help form the bedrock of his own deep passion for music. And, as he says in ‘The Making of Chess’ these tracks are “the ones I learned to play with when I was a kid.”
It’s important to realise that (as with UK Top 20 album ‘KINGS’), ‘CHESS’ is no mere compilation of covers. It’s full of tracks that Bernie has real love and respect for, reinterpreted in fresh, powerful performances in his own style.
You’ll hear Bernie’s own, nuanced guitar virtuosity and heartfelt vocals, along with the wonderful synergy with the talented musicians he’s brought together for the project: Guitar & Vocals — Bernie Marsden; Bass Guitar — John Gordon; Drums — Jim Russell; Keyboards — Bob Haddrell; Harmonica — Alan Glen.
The album features 10 lightning-charged tracks that were originally released on the fabled Chess label by icons like Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Howlin’ Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters & Elmore James. What’s more, two Bernie Marsden-penned instrumentals appear as bonus tracks on the album.
‘The Making of Chess’ is a 12-minute video documentary that gives Bernie’s many fans a fascinating insight into his love of this music, how it formed and taught him, and led him to become a world-leading musician.
Bernie also talks about ‘The Kings’ from the first Inspirations album: B.B., Albert and Freddie, recounting his personal memories of them, particularly his friendship with B.B. King. Bernie had less personal contact with the Chess label artists, but did see legends like Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker play live. He goes on to mention the importance of British White Blues, like The Yardbirds, to the survival of the form, quoting an insightful conversation with B.B. King, and even explores how such music was part of Whitesnake.
He also speaks of the calibre of the artists with whom he plays on the album and his hope that his Inspirations series will inspire new guitarist and prompt them to check out the music of earlier artists, like Jimmy Rogers.
‘CHESS’ is now available to download/stream on all digital platforms https://smarturl.it/BernieMarsdenChess
Watch the documentary at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sW_08sUT1eQ.