Li'l Chuck The One Man Skiffle Machine
skiffle:ˈskɪf(ə)l : a style of 1920s and 1930s jazz deriving from blues, ragtime, and folk music, using both improvised and conventional instruments.
Creativity Without Compromise: Li'l Chuck The One Man Skiffle Machine is an authentic one man band performing “good time music with old time style”. Blessed with the ability to handle multiple instruments at a time, Li’l Chuck is the master of coordination: blowin', suckin' and pluckin' simultaneously.
Having spent a lifetime rummaging through the drawers of 1930s, 40s and 50s music, his songs are inspired by the sounds of Blues, Early Jazz, Western Swing and Ragtime. Drawing on the innocence, simplicity and quirkiness of these old time music styles, Li’l Chuck doffs his hat to those that have gone before with his new album Blues In Full Swing.
Centered around the harmonica, resonator guitar and vocals, and perfectly balanced with kick drum, hi hat and kazoo – all at the same time – Blues In Full Swing is all about giving the audience a rollicking good time in the style of street performers from the glory days.
Lighthearted and full of foot tapping good times ,this is the album for those with a love for the quirky and eclectic; and most importantly for those with a love for old-time harmonica.
The Album: While the impetus for this latest venture from talented musician David Thorpe has been building over the last two decades, the Canterbury Earthquakes and raising a young family have been important components in finally bringing this album to life. “The last few years have proven to many that you have to seize the moment, time waits for no-one,” he shares. “Being a one-man band had been in my head too long and I had to start getting it down. If for nothing else than as a personal archive and love letter to my family.”
While quick to claim his latest release isn’t a personal photograph album there is no disguising the personal tragedies, tales and love that play out in his 12 original tracks. The single cover on the album offers a fitting tribute to the song that started it all, Jesse Fuller's SanFrancisco Bay Blues.
Recorded by John Gardener at Peel Productions, mixed by Johnny Pipe and mastered by Ben Delaney, each song illustrates the essence of a one man band, with all of the instruments played and recorded simultaneously. “I wanted the sound to represent exactly what you would hear if I were playing in your living room,” continues David. “I can turn up at any place and play. Just like the street musicians of old.”
The Musician: While his current persona, Li’l Chuck, might be new, the man behind the mask is a seasoned muso with over twenty years of experience, including eleven years with Christchurch’s infamous Black Velvet Band, solo performances as Davey Backyard and numerous other collaborations, dating back to his childhood in the UK. However with a love of music from the 1920s, 30s, 40s and 50s, this is him at his best.
“My mind is like a firework display at the best of times,” laughs David. “I am always juggling projects and life in general. Blessed with the ability to perform by coordinating multiple instruments at one time I am proof that men can indeed multitask!”
See Li'l Chuck The One Man Skiffle Machine live at the following dates:
Cricket World Cup Fanzone - Saturday 14 February
Cricket World Cup Fan Trail - Monday 23 February
Waipara Wine and Food Festival - Sunday 22 March