Red Beans and Weiss – Bohemia Blues

Maybe you’re like me (or maybe you’re not, lucky you haha!). Perhaps you have searched around this weekend for some music that will stick to your ribs. My yen started yesterday at Barnes & Noble‘s magazine rack. I had picked out a pile of music and technical magazines to leaf through when I stumbled upon an article about Chuck E. Weiss. It turned out to be an Exclusive article for Mojo The World’s Best Music Magazine, “Johnny Depp Interviews His Hero”.

Watch Chuck E. Weiss’s reaction when he sees Johnny Depp step onstage to play with the G-d Liars on the Jimmy Kimmel Live Show.

Los Angeles-based bluesman Chuck E. Weiss left the production of Red Beans and Weiss, his first album since 2006, in very capable hands: Tom Waits and Johnny Depp teamed up to serve as  the album’s executive producers, and both say it’s Weiss’ best work yet.


Explain the album cover of “Red Beans and Weiss,” please, with all the faces. . .I could only name about seven, I guess.

Nate Merritt did it. The concept was mine. It took a couple of months to go over the whole thing with him. Wanted to do a mock Sgt. Pepper but with my own guys. There are almost sixty. Rimsky-Korsakov: cause I love everything he’s ever done. He’s one of my heroes, man. Scheherazade, It’s like Don Ray. Don Ray. He wrote “This is My Country,” but he also wrote “Down the Road Apiece” and “Beat Me Daddy Eight to the Bar,” and the “Icabod Crane Song,” and the Jabberwock song for the Cheshire Cat. I loved all these songs as a kid, and then found out he wrote them all. Lord Buckley. Harry the Hipster Gibson. Lester Young. Jimmy Durante Sandy Koufax, Slim Gaillard, Slam Stewart, Lee Allen (lot of the solos in the Fats Domino and Little Richard songs and Dr. John—tenor sax.) Marshall McLuhan’s on there, of course. Just somebody that has been overlooked. Every time somebody says “fifteen minutes of fame,” they attribute to Andy Warhol, but that was McLuhan’s quote, and it was five minutes. Hank Williams, Anita O’ Day, Bessie Smith. – Copyright 20i4 American Songwriter Magazine

Zany, unrepentantly retro, and drenched in an era that revivalists can’t touch, Red Beans and Weiss is a greasy, gritty report from one of L.A.’s last original rock & roll street denizens. It has a grimy charm all its own.

Nate Merritt also hand drew this cartoon for the “Boston Blackie” track.

Here are the songs on the “Red Beans and Weiss” album that Johnny Depp plays and/or sings on:

Boston Blackie
Drums:  Johnny Depp, Bill “Beano” Hanti
Guitar: J. J. Holiday, Johnny Depp
Bass: Bruce Witkin
Background Vocals: Johnny Depp, Jack Depp, Bruce Witkin, Joey Malone, Bill “Beano” Hanti, Starling Jenkins

Bomb the Tracks
Background Vocals: Johnny Depp, Bruce Witkin

Kokomo (Boy Bruce)
Guitar: Tony Gilkyson, J. J. Holiday, Johnny Depp

The Hink-A-Dink
Drums: Johnny Depp
Percussion: Don Heffington
Guitar: Tony Gilkyson
Bass:  Johnny Depp, Will MacGregor

Willy’s in the Pee Pee House
Background Vocals:  Johnny Depp, Don Heffington, Nathan Holmes, Rachel Hathaway, Boo, Bruce Witkin


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