While it's oversimplifying to credit Chuck Berry with single-handedly inventing rock 'n' roll, his remarkable mix of country licks and blues sensibility was a key part of the menu, yoked to catchy, clever tunes about teen angst, love and rebellion. His vocals and madcap performing personality were another important ingredient, duck walk and all. Though he was far from a teenager and had been playing the blues and R&B circuit for many years, Chuck Berry voiced feelings and sentiments among young people that few others acknowledged in the early '50s lightweight pop. It's hard to believe but Berry's now 83, and there's no better band to celebrate and reaffirm his legacy than The Twenty-Eights, a gifted Music City crew that specializes in Berry covers. Their ranks include guitarists Brent Little and Doug Lancio, bassist Dave Roe, ace pianist Jack Irwin (who provides the harmonic contrasts Johnnie Johnson brought to Berry's tunes) and drummer Tommy Meyer. They bring contemporary flash and energy to Berry classics such as "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Maybelline" that helped establish the rock 'n' roll canon.
Sat., Oct. 17, 11 p.m., 2009