Barry Joseph Goldberg (born December 25, 1942) is a blues and rock keyboardist, songwriter, and record producer.
As a teenager in Chicago, Goldberg sat in with Muddy Waters, Otis Rush, and Howlin’ Wolf. He played keyboards with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band backing Bob Dylan during his 1965 newly ‘electrified’ appearance at the Newport Folk Festival. He formed The Electric Flag with Mike Bloomfield in 1967, and later formed the ‘Barry Goldberg Reunion’ in 1968.
In 1965, after moving to Chicago to play the blues, Steve Miller and keyboardist Barry Goldberg founded the Goldberg-Miller Blues Band along with bassist Roy Ruby, rhythm guitarist Craymore Stevens, and drummer Maurice McKinley. The band contracted to Epic Records and recorded a single, “The Mother Song”, which they performed on Hullabaloo, before Miller left the group to go to San Francisco.
Goldberg’s songs (some of which co-written with Gerry Goffin) have been recorded by many musicians including Rod Stewart, Gladys Knight, Joe Cocker, Steve Miller, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Gram Parsons and B. J. Thomas.
Goldberg’s first professional recording session was “Devil with the Blue Dress On”/”Good Golly Miss Molly” by Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels. Among the albums he contributed to are Leonard Cohen’s Death of a Ladies’ Man, The Ramones’ End of the Century, The Flying Burrito Brothers’ The Gilded Palace of Sin, and Super Session which featured Michael Bloomfield, Stephen Stills, and Al Kooper.
Goldberg also has co-produced albums by Percy Sledge including Blue Night (Grammy nominated and WC Handy soul album of the year) as well as Shining Through the Rain, Charlie Musselwhite, James Cotton, The Textones, plus Bob Dylan’s version of Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready”.
In 1992 he played keyboards with the Carla Olson & Mick Taylor band, which resulted in the live CD Too Hot for Snakes, featuring the talents of artists like Ian McLagan, Jesse Sublett and John “Juke” Logan.
In 1994, Goldberg and Saul Davis produced Blue Night by Percy Sledge, which featured Bobby Womack, Steve Cropper, Mick Taylor, Greg Leisz, Bob Glaub, Ed Greene, Mikael Rickfors, The Waters… with songs written by Rickfors, Gregg Sutton, Pat Robinson, Carla Olson, the Bee Gees, Quinton Claunch, Fats Domino, and Otis Redding.
By 1999, Goldberg both wrote and performed the theme to the Disney Channel original movie Smart House, entitled “The House is Jumpin’,” with Phil Shenale and Sterling Smith, with vocals by Chan André. He wrote the song with Jill Wisoff and Joel Diamond.
In 2002, he was featured on the Bo Diddley tribute album Hey Bo Diddley – A Tribute!, playing piano on the songs “Pills”, “I’m A Man” and “Before You Accuse Me” (produced by Carla Olson). Carla also produced Barry’s Stoned Again album which featured Denny Freeman, Mick Taylor and Ernie Watts.
In 2004, Shining Through The Rain by Percy also co-produced by Davis and Goldberg, featuring Larry Byrom, Denny Freeman, Clayton Ivey, Ed Greene, Phil Upchurch, Bob Glaub, the Waters, Jakob Dylan… and songs by the Bee Gees, Mikael Rickfors, Carla Olson, Jackie Lomax, Earl Carson, Bobby Moore.
In 2005-2006, he toured with the ‘Chicago Blues Reunion’ featuring Nick Gravenites, Harvey Mandel, Tracy Nelson and Corky Siegel. Their debut CD reached #2 on the Billboard Blues Chart and received a four star review from Rolling Stone magazine’s David Fricke.
On July 7, 2009 Goldberg’s self-titled 1974 Atco album was reissued with the originally recorded, but never-released tracks and a restored sound. The album was produced by Dylan and Jerry Wexler.
In 2012, Stephen Stills recruited Goldberg in founding a new band dubbed The Rides, culling some of Stills’s best work from the past, adding guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd and session drummer Chris Layton. Goldberg co-wrote four songs on their first album titled, Can’t Get Enough, released that year. The feature track is “Word Game”. Much of the album reflects the work Stills did on the Super Session album with Mike Bloomfield in 1968.
Goldberg appears on the Carla Olson album Have Harmony, Will Travel (released April 15, 2013, on Busted Flat Records) playing Hammond B3 organ on Del Shannon’s “Keep Searchin’ ” sung by Carla and Peter Case, and piano and organ on the Little Steven song, “All I Needed Was You”, sung by Scott Kempner (The Del-Lords).
The long-awaited film Born in Chicago documenting Chicago blues was released in 2013, premiering at the SXSW Film Festival in March. Goldberg had been working on this project for a few years. It includes unique contributions by Bob Dylan, BB King, Buddy Guy, Hubert Sumlin, Eric Burdon, and many others.
Goldberg produced three tracks on the 2013 EP (Drown in the Crimson Tide) by The Voice Season One semi-finalist, Nakia, with longtime friend, Johnny Lee Schell.
Can’t Get Enough, the album by The Rides (Stephen Stills, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Goldberg) was nominated for a 2014 Blues Music Award for “Best Rock Blues Album.”
In 2016, Neil Young jammed with The Rides at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles at the “Light Up The Blues” event.
Goldberg produced and composed additional musical score to the documentary feature film BANG! The Bert Berns Story which premiered at SXSW in 2016 and will be released theatrically in 2017.
His latest CD, In The Groove, was released on June 15 on Sunset Blvd Records. The album consists of new and classic instrumentals and features Goldberg on Hammond B3 organ, piano and Wurlitzer piano. Among the featured musicians and guests are Denny Freeman, Tony Marsico, Don Heffington, Rob Stone, Joe Sublett, Darrell Leonard, James Inveldt, Johnny Lee Schell, Reggie McBride, Craig Fundyga, Victor Bisetti and jazz legend Les McCann. The album was produced by Carla Olson.
Goldberg’s uncle was Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg. Barry’s wife is named Gail and their son is Aram. (wikipedia)
This album of rarities, titled ‘It’s All My Vault’, featuring performances by Mick Taylor, Carla Olsen and Terry Reid.
As for this album, the story is that Barry took a look around and found that he had all of these tunes just laying around in his “vault” so he turned them over to ItsAboutMusic.com so that all of his fans could now enjoy them. The label hopes it’s only volume one of this series and that he has many more tracks collecting dust that they can release in the future. (Press release)
This is blues from one of its greatest homes and keyboard legends. The slow, working class blues that came north, up the Mississippi River to find its home is presented in its raw intensity. This is a great collection of some of the best music of that era and showcases Barry’s talents well. If you like Chicago blues the way it used to be played you’ll have to have this album in your collection.
“After You’ve Gone (Empty Blues)”, opens with that Doors’, “Cars Hiss By My Window” beat and organ to it. The guitar work is amazing and puts you in that same hazy summer relaxing mood. Nice way to open the album.
“Holy High” is a slow spiritual song full of great piano and slow guitar. The horn adds the high notes and bright rays to this slow dirge. On this one it’s Barry on piano that is showcased well. The drums keep perfect rhythm with the guitar, as this wonderful procession moves on.
“Special Sauce” opens to a rockin’ beat with Barry gliding smoothly over those organ keys. This is a nice traveling song. That grand organ sounds wonderful, bringing back that familiar sound. The drums are dynamic and full of sparkle. The guitar solos are fantastic on this instrumental.Boogie woogie, rockabilly piano opens “Never Too Late”. Barry does a fantastic job building a great Chuck Berry melody with the keys. The bass and keys support well, with the lead guitar peeling back the years right through the middle.
“Slip and Slide” will bring back memories of the Blues Brothers soundtrack. But of course that was fictional. Barry lived the real thing and you can hear the power coming through in these songs. This one will have you up and dancing.
“Blue Dreams” is a slow groove blues track with Barry and Jack Sherman, on guitar, bringing this song to life. Perfect for relaxing on the front porch or real slow dances.
“Rollin’ On” is full of great drums and Barry playing the keys to Sherman’s guitar. “Goodbye So Long” is a wonderful boogie woogie full of great guitar from Howie Epstein. “Rock It” is a harmonica filled, fast paced blues number.
Melanie Herrold’s vocals rock “Going to Chicago (Live)”, along with Barry’s keys, Sherman’s guitar and Stan Berhen’s blues harp. Get up and dance!
Melanie is back for “Crazy About You Baby (Live)”. The blues harp, Barry’s piano and Sherman’s guitar work blends well with those exploding drums from David Raven.
Fred McDowell’s “You Gotta Move (Live)” is the closer on this set of music. The slow grinding keys and Berhen’s harmonica build the story with sound here. Terry Reid brings the vocal power along with Gary Malliber’s drums. (Mark Johnson)
And I include a very interesting interview with Barry Goldberg.
Stan Behrens (harmonica)
Brian Brown (guitar)
Howie Epstein (guitar, bass)
Barry Goldberg (keyboards)
Mark Goldberg (bass)
Rick Hemmert (drums)
Melanie Herrold (vocals on 10.)
Gary Mallaber (drums)
Carla Olson (guitars)
David Raven (drums)
Terry Reid (vocals on 12.)
Jack Sherman (guitar)
Gregg Sutton (bass)
Mick Taylor (guitar on 01., slide-guitar on 06.)
01. After You’ve Gone (Empty Blues) (Goldberg/Taylor/Olson) 4.56
02. Holy High (Goldberg) 4.44
03. Special Sauce (Goldberg) 4.01
04. Never Too Late (Goldberg) 3.38
05. Slip And Slide (Goldberg) 3.32
06. Blue Dreams (Goldberg) 4.25
07. Rollin’ On (Goldberg) 3.13
08. Goodbye, So Long (Goldberg) 3.18
09. Rock It (Goldberg) 3.53
10. Goin’ To Chicago (Goldberg/Herrold) 4.52
11. Crazy ’bout You Baby (Turner(Williamson) 4.51
12. You Gotta Move (McDowell)