Chris Beard

Chris Beard

Modern blues guitarist and singer Chris Beard has firsthand experience learning from the generation before, as the son of acclaimed bluesman, Joe Beard, and his famous friends who taught him the trade at an early age. His new album, Pass It On Down, is a living tribute to those who have come before, and a willing testimony created to appeal to the future generation. The ten-song collection is a mix of traditional blues and modern R&B produced by the Rochester based artist and his working band; Guitarist Brother Wilson and Marvin Parker on bass, drummer Carlton Campbell, keyboardists John Tucker and Jonathan Curry with special guest appearances from Johnny Rawls, Mary Ellen Haden, Richard Rodolph, Kenny Neal and his band and of course his father Joe Beard. The nine originals written by Beard include previously released tracks that have been carefully remixed and remastered and one special cover for his seventh career album and debut release on Blue Heart Records.

Campbell opens the album with a blazing display of his gospel drum chops on the funky rocker “Let The Chips Fall,” with fiery lead guitar and vocals from Beard. More fresh sounds follow on the tale of desperation, “One More Cry For Love.” The saucy number, “Big Girl,” is an old-school R&B groover about a man with a bad case of infatuation for a lady just beyond his reach. Beard shares the mic with Joe on the sentimental title track that blooms into an emotional father and son duet celebrating the family business. The dynamic power ballad “House Of Shame,” is given a new coat of polish emphasizing the nuances of the impressive performances.

“When Love Comes Knocking” is a bundle of New Orleans street beat style funk with hot horn jabs and greasy organ ready to fill the dance floor. Beard traveled to Baton Rouge Louisiana to record “Son I Never Knew,” a gritty soulful lament that first appeared on Kenny Neal‘s 1989 album Devil Child and is reworked here with even more intensity. Beard demonstrates his dynamic vocal range on the lush ballad of love and devotion “Keeps Me Believing.” Fueled by a funky clavinet riff, “Who Do You Think You’re Foolin’” is a fun-loving throwback 70’s dance party anthem. Beard closes the set cast as a man done wrong on the down and dirty blues “Bitter Baby,” working out his feelings with his guitar.

Pass It On Down by Chris Beard is a fine album filled with passion and power.

Rick J Bowen


Chris Beard is a modern blues guitarist and singer like no other. His personal connections to the blues were forged with the living blues men he sat with since childhood. Born in 1957, Beard is the son of blues guitarist, Joe Beard, who grew up on Beale Street in the 1950s. When family friends like Matt “Guitar” Murphy and Buddy Guy stopped by to visit, young Beard became their willing pupil. Chris says, “when your father grew up on Beale Street and music was in your DNA, then blues is who you are and what you do.” “Blues is my roots,” continues Chris, “as Joe Beard’s son, I grew up around some of the best blues men. The influence of Buddy has been major for me. All he had to say to me was, ‘keep on doing what you’re doing’ and Matt always told me, ‘the guitar has to become an extension of you’, that will always stick with me.”

After years playing clubs in and around Rochester, NY, Chris was offered the opportunity to record. In 1998, he released his debut recording, Barwalkin, on JSP Records. That record earned Beard a W.C. Handy nomination as the Best New Blues Artist. Chris produced his follow-up disc, Born To Play the Blues, in 2001 to the critical acclaim of the blues press and earned Beard the title, ‘Prince of the Blues.’ In 2005, Beard released Live Wire, a stirring combination of live and studio performances for Northern Blues. Beard’s next recording, Who Am I And What I Do, depicts his live story of growing up in a house full of blues and sings of his family commitment to keeping the blues alive.

Five years later Beard formed his own label, Destin Records, and released, Eye Of The Witch, with ear catching lines and true-life stories that accurately capture the complications of modern male vulnerabilities and strengths. Beard released his sixth record in 2020. His next album, his debut on Blues Heart Records, Pass It On Down, will be released on September 15, 2023.





SEPTEMBER 15, 2023