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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Interview with the dynamic Rockin’ Johnny Burgin

Bman: Hi Johnny, Haven’t seen you in a while. I'm really sorry that I missed your show in Phoenix. I was in Europe and just got back. One show I really wanted to see. How did it go?


RJB: I had a great show in Phoenix. "Bob Corritore and " Dave Riley sat in.  I had a great bassist from Alburquerque, J.D. Sipe, and Brian Fahey from The Paladains on drums.  I hadn't played with him since a tour in Europe three or so years ago with Mud Morganfield and Taildragger.

Bman: Wow. That must have been a great show! Damn. I really wanted to see you. Are you coming back again this year?

RJB: I hope to be back in October.

Bman: Great! I should be  good then. I don't think I have anything planned for October. Last I heard you were in Europe with Aki Kumar . I love Europe. How did the tour go? Where were you?

RJB: I left for Europe on Halloween, and got back at Christmas.  The first two weeks of the tour were with Aki Kumar and our West Coast Meets Chicago project.  We hit Sweden (w/ Trickbag ), the Netherlands, and the Bay Car Blues Festival in France and some FR club dates.  Then Aki went home, and I went to Finland, Italy and Spain.   

Bman:  So you’ve been back on US soil for a while. What have you been up to? Still touring or in the studio?

RJB: In January, I was in the Bay area the whole time.  I played New Year's Eve with Nick Gravenites and long time Elvin Bishop drummer Gary Silva on drums. That was fun.  In January, I cut material for a new Rockin Johnny Burgin CD, Neoprene Fedora .
 


It'll be out by March 15.  I had Nancy Wright on it, Vance Ehlers, June Core (the rhythm section on Greaseland), not to mention 3 zydeco songs I wrote with Billy Williams on rub board and Steve Willis (plays w Elvin) on accordion.  Kid Andersen and Bob Welsh played guitars and pianos, and Aki was on it as well.  He did two songs on vocal, and Alabama Mike did two songs I wrote.  Out of 16 tunes, I did three covers, a Johnny Littlejohn song, an LV Banks song, and a Little Joe Blue Song.  And Aki did a song by Willie Williams, which makes 12 originals-- that's a record.






Bman: Outstanding! I love the stuff that comes out of Greaseland and that lineup is top notch. I'm looking forward to see what you came up with. I also heard that you caught up with Quique Gomez in Spain. Outstanding! I'm really looking forward to hearing it.

RJB: Quique is a good friend, I've worked with him in Spain and America many, many times.  When Aki went home I caught up with him. I cut a cd's worth of stuff with Quique  in Toledo.  It'll come out in the summer. I'm glad we finally did a cd together. 

Bman: Weren’t you also in session with Mike Mettalia?

RJB: Yes, I've known Mike since the Smoke Daddy days in the 90s.  He wanted to do some sessions with Little Jerry Jones, Mary Lane, and Milwaukee Slim (and me!) so I acted as a liaison.  We've done some nice shows together over the years.  He's really keeping the blues alive in my book! 

Bman:  I really need to check that out! What else have you got cooking as if that isn’t enough?

RJB: Right now I'm doing a three month tour that started in San Jose, then went to Phoenix, Alburquerque, Dallas, it's going to  Houston, Clarksdale, Springfield, Chicago, Minneapolis, Toronto, France, Russia, then flying back to Chicago and driving back to SF doing gigs in NE and Utah.   Doing a session with Jeremy Johnson in Minneapolis in March, he's a great engineer (he did RJ Mischo's latest cd) drummer and guitarist.  I've always wanted to record with him.
Also doing a session on this trip with Sugar Brown (Ken Kawashima) in Toronto.  We're old college buddies and started out together with Taildragger He's a great player and songwriter.  

Bman: Yeah, I like Sugar Brown's work. Lot of talent there.

RJB: I am doing a tour in Sweden in May with Aki and Trickbag.  I'm doing the 10th anniversary Blues Fest after party at Reggie's with special guests TBA in Chicago in June.  Also I'm playing the Bluesfest with Mary Lane.  Playing King Biscuit with Taildragger in October  and I'll be touring a lot to promote Neoprene Fedora , as well and my release wtih Quique when it comes out.

Bman: Man. You are a busy guy. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me. Now I got to get some CD's and sit back and enjoy!

RJB: Thanks a lot Bman


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