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Friday, February 22, 2013

Texas Johnny Brown

Texas Johnny Brown is truly one of the legendary figures of the American blues scene. Johnny began his professional musical career in Houston in the mid- 1940s with Amos Milburn's "Aladdin Chickenshackers". Johnny played guitar on many of Milburn's recordings on Aladdin Records, and Milburn and other members of his band backed Johnny during his Atlantic Records recording session in 1949. Johnny also appeared on Ruth Brown's first Atlantic Records recordings, which were cut during those sessions. Three of Johnny's original songs from his Atlantic session, There Goes the Blues, Bongo Boogie and Blues Rock, were included on an Atlantic compilation of blues guitarists in 1986. Johnny recut There Goes the Blues for his debut full-length CD, Nothin' But the Truth, which was released in 1998 by Choctaw Creek Records. Johnny toured with Bobby "Blue" Bland and Junior Parker in the 1950s and 1960s as guitarist and bandleader and was a studio musician for Houston's Duke/Peacock Records. He recorded a number of his own compositions for Duke/Peacock, including Snakehips and Suspense, and his distinctive guitar style graced the recordings of numerous other Duke/Peacock blues artists, including Bland, Parker and Joe Hinton. Johnny also wrote the beautiful blues classic, Two Steps from the Blues, which was one of Bland's biggest hits. Nothin' But the Truth marks the first time that Johnny recorded Two Steps from the Blues himself. Nothin' But the Truth also contains nine new original compositions by Johnny and an instrumental version of Aretha Franklin's Am 't No Way. Nothin' But the Truth was nominated for a W.C. Handy Blues Award (1999) for Comeback Album of the Year and received Real Blues Magazine '5 Real Blues Awards as Best Texas Blues CD (New) and Best Independently Released Blues CD for 1998. Since returning to music full-time in 1991, Johnny has played the Telluride, Colorado Blues & Brews Festival (2000), the Baltimore (2000), W.C. Handy Blues Awards (1999),Chicago (1998 and 1996), Houston Juneteenth (1998, 1996 and 1995), Pocono (1997), Molde(1997), Long Beach (1996) and Bowie Street (1999, 1996 and 1995) Blues Festivals, the 2001Mardi Gras Galveston Festival, the 2000, 1999, 1996 and 1995 Houston International Festivals, the 1999 Reliant Energy Power of Houston Festival, the 1998 Bluestock Festival and the 1992 Blues Estafette, and has toured in the United States and Europe. He is scheduled to play the Houston International Festival in April 2001. He has also been featured on the cover of Juke Blues Magazine (issue 41; July, 1998) and in Living Blues Magazine (January/February, 1997) and Soul Bag (Fall, 1996). Johnny also won the 2000 Houston Press Music Awards for Best Blues and Best Male Vocalist and the 1999 Houston Press Music Awards for Best Guitarist and Best Male Vocalist.

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