Hail! Hail! Chuck Berry! anchors LouFest with tribute to St. Louis legend | St. Louis Public Radio

Hail! Hail! Chuck Berry! anchors LouFest with tribute to St. Louis legend

Sep 8, 2017

The annual LouFest music festival will be anchored in part this year by a celebration of St. Louis rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry.

A tribute Saturday, titled “Hail! Hail! Chuck Berry!” will feature musicians from national acts The Roots, Spoon, Huey Lewis, and St. Louis’s own Pokey LaFarge, Bryan Greenberg and Chris Chew. Berry’s grandsons Charles Berry III and Jahi Eskridge also will share the stage. The event will take place on the main Bud Light Stage from 8 to 9 p.m., before headliner Snoop Dogg performs.

Hail! Hail! producer Jonathan Azu says he was inspired in part by a tribute Berry threw for St. Louis pianist Johnnie Johnson. 

“I remember when Johnnie Johnson passed away, I was living in St. Louis, and there’s this amazing tribute Chuck put together for him,” Azu said. “I felt like we should do the same thing for him.”

Azu said the multi-generational aspect of the event highlights how Berry’s music influence groups that might not sound like traditional rock 'n' roll.


Young the Giant at LouFest 2015
Credit Jess Luther | St. Louis Public Radio

He said the performance will appeal to old fans and hopefully make some new ones. 

“You know his music has, is at the root of so many styles that have sprouted from there,” he said. “So I think it’s really important to not only do his songs justice but also to kind of show the growth and what’s come out of what he started.”

Musical director Eric Krasno says performers intend to put on a show that honors Berry’s musical legacy.


“Pretty much anyone playing rock 'n' roll or blues music came from what Chuck started,” said Krasno. “So being a guitar player, being a musician, I absolutely jumped at the chance to do this.”  

Local performers include Mvstermind, Jack Grelle, 18andCounting & TheOnlyEnsemble, Beth Bombara, and Mathias & The Pirates. National groups Weezer, Run the Jewels, Huey Lewis & The News, Lizzo and Nathanial Rateliff & The Night Sweats. 

The full schedule and list of events can be found at the festival’s website.

Follow Willis on Twitter: @WillisRArnold