It was by listening to blues records that Barrelhouse Chuck learned the techniques of blues piano playing. He formed his own bands in his teenage years, including the Red Rooster Band, Red House, and Barrelhouse Chuck & the Blue Lights, and followed Muddy Waters around the South, trying to pick up playing tips from Waters's pianist, Pinetop Perkins. In 1979, he drove from Florida to Chicago to introduce himself to Sunnyland Slim. Barrelhouse Chuck spent the next decade and a half studying his playing, along with that of other Chicago blues musicians, including Blind John Davis, Little Brother Montgomery, and Erwin Helfer.
In the company of Montgomery for a long time, Barrelhouse Chuck later remarked, "Little Brother was like a grandfather to me". Barrelhouse Chuck has played or recorded with Jimmy Rogers, Eddie Taylor, Hubert Sumlin, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, and Otis "Big Smokey" Smothers. For a time in the late 1990s he played with Mississippi Heat, and he undertook a tour with Nick Moss and the Flip Tops. His debut album, Salute to Sunnyland Slim, released by Blue Loon Records in 1999, contained supporting work from S.P. Leary, Calvin "Fuzz" Jones and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith. It was reissued in 2005.
The follow-up was Prescription for the Blues (2002), with Erwin Helfer playing on three tracks. Barrelhouse Chuck released the album Got My Eyes on You in 2006, with Kim Wilson playing the harmonica. In February 2008, Wilson asked Barrelhouse Chuck to assist in recording the soundtrack for the film Cadillac Records. His other credits include numerous appearances at the Chicago Blues Festival. As of 2012, Barrelhouse Chuck maintains a full performance schedule in Chicago, around the United States, and occasionally abroad, including a regular solo appearance on Wednesday nights at the Barrelhouse Flat, a bar in Lincoln Park. On February 24, 2012, Barrelhouse Chuck played at the "Howlin' for Hubert" concert at the Apollo Theater. In 2013 and 2014, Barrelhouse Chuck was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the category Pinetop Perkins Piano Player. In 2014 Drifting from Town to Town was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the category Traditional Blues Album of the Year. On December 12, 2016 Barrelhouse Chuck passed away after a long battle with cancer. Read more on Last.fm.
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