Go Bobby go!
Singer-songwriter Bobby Bazini gives a post-Gateway interview on Chuck Berry and his own music.
Chuck Berry died of cardiac arrest at the age of 90, leaving a legacy in rock ‘n’ roll that’s hard to comprehend.
Berry pioneered the “rebellious” style of song writing and performance present in music today, and his contributions to music are now seen as the norm across all genres of music, along with the likes of Elvis Presley, Muddy Waters, and the recently deceased B.B. King.
“He was definitely an influence on me, especially in terms of guitar,” said the Juno-nominated and singer-songwriter Bobby Bazini, who has two platinum albums under his belt.
For the average young person today, the concept of rebellious music is not out of the ordinary. For Berry and the rock ‘n’ roll heavyweights of his day, his style of writing was unfamiliar and obscene.
For example, on his 1972 hit “My Ding-a-ling Berry,” a double-entendre-loaded ode to masturbation, Berry sings about a silver bell that his mother gave him, and he’s always playing with it wherever he goes.
Berry performed the song as a call-and-response at his concerts as a way of making his audience uncomfortable by singing about playing with a “ding-a-ling.”
Berry’s simple and authentic song-writing and emphasis on performance over musical perfection made his songs like “Johnny B. Goode” smash hits. It’s what earned him one of the first spots in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and the Grammy Hall of Fame.
When “Johnny B. Goode” comes on a radio station, Berry’s signature duck walk and smug smile come to mind.
Much like the fabled Goode, Bazini can play his guitar “just like ringin’ a bell.”
Bazini said right after playing a show at The Gateway that he really enjoyed being in a smaller venue.
“It really felt like they wanted to dance,” said Bazini.
Bazini said that his second album, Where I Belong, definitely had more of an “old-school” sound to it, although he also said that musician Bobby Womack had more of an influence on his song-writing than Berry. He added that the old-school sound of guitar-playing and singing that Berry crafted helped to influence his writing and playing.
For Bazini, he said his music is like therapy to him. He seeks to blend both modern-day styles of song-writing with the styles of old.
His latest release and third studio album Summer Is Gone has a more “organic” and modern sound.
Bazini said that he likes his music to have an “edge but with a contemporary feel,” while letting his influences shine through.
Bazini sought out the magic touch of Ed Sheeran’s producer, Jake Gosling to produce his third album, saying that he was “so excited for the sound.”
For Bazini, he said Summer Is Gone is about what he’s going through, but that he’s kept the subject matter broad enough so that his fans will be able to see themselves in it.
“It’s exactly what I wanted to say.”