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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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Showing posts with label Brian Fahey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brian Fahey. Show all posts

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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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Chicago Blues Extraveganza - Rhythm Room - Phoenix Arizona - Excellent Concert Review

Bob Corritore, one of the top Chicago blues harp players on the planet today and owner of the Rhythm Room in Phoenix, AZ brought a terrific concert to town last night and I was fortunate enough to be in attendance. Corritore, a native of Chicago moved to Arizona over 30 years ago and is such a part of the blues music fabric here that he is sometimes taken for granted by locals. Making routine appearances here around his own recording and touring schedule he often becomes a complimentary musician to guests in his own house. His instrumental release, Taboo is certainly one of the best contemporary blues harp releases that I have heard. Last night, hosting a great group of Chicago musicians, Corritore took the stage with Eddie Taylor Jr. (guitar and lead vocal),Illinois Slim (guitar) and Brian Fahey (drums).
This was a terrific set of straight up Chicago blues showing just how good Taylor is both as a lead singer and blues guitarist and giving Corritore the opportunity to really shine.This initial set was maybe 6 -10 songs and was extremely well received. Exceptional bassist and vocalist Bob Stroger joined the group on bass and lead vocals. Stroger is an exceptional performer who stands out as a musician when in a back up role but as a leader really takes control. Having performed with Eddie King, Odie Payne, Otis Rush, Sunnyland Slim, Willie Big Eyes Smith and Carey Bell, he knows how to do his business and he took control. This was a short but powerful set with Strogers queezing solid gutsy blues from this set of excellent musicians.

This probably isn't a secret to any of my daily readers but I was especially here to see Rockin' Johnny Burgin. Johnny took the stage like wild fire playing two dynamic tracks from his most recent release, Greetings from Greaseland which is exceptional. I had only seen Johnny on video, backing others such as Tail Dragger on his DVD Live At Rooster's Lounge and on Youtube so I was extremely anxious to see him in person. This guy has his own style of guitar playing and is a really super singer. Now don't go off half cocked thinking I'm saying he's Stevie Ray Vaughn or Joe Bonamassa. He's Johnny Burgin and he takes his craft seriously, playing the rocking edge of the Chicago blues and doing it with dynamic style. Burgin only played two tracks as a band leader/lead vocalist, but I've been to concerts where there weren't two songs that I enjoyed as much as these two tracks so don't take that lightly.
Next up was ninety year old Henry Gray has played with a literal who's who of blues including Sonny Boy Williamson II, Homesick James, Robert Lockwood, Jr., Billy Boy Arnold, Muddy Waters, Johnny Shines, Hubert Sumlin, Lazy Lester, Little Walter Jacobs, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, James Cotton, Little Milton Campbell, Jimmy Rogers, Jimmy Reed, and Koko Taylor.  I reviewed his most recent release with Corritore, Blues Won't Let Me Take My Rest and his appearance in person was dynamic and memorable. His vocals are solid and his piano playing inspiring. His style to my ear is somewhat similar to one of my favorites, Booker T Laury and his set as a leader was really great as well.
Finally Tail Dragger took the stage, or the entire room as the case was, singing to and hugging most everyone in the room. Kneeling, crawling and growling the entire way, Tail Dragger lived up to every show of his that I have ever seen. Check out my review of his most recent release, Stop Lyin' from 2013. Burgin, who is a now regular with Dragger had some super opportunities to fan the flames and although careful to never take over the show, was super hot gasoline on the smoking fire. Needless to say this was an exceptional show. If you have the opportunity to see this line up, do it. It won't happen too many times and clocking in at over 3 hours, you get way more than your monies worth!  Oh, and Rockin Johnny has some terrific hot blue t shirts. If you know the Bman, you know he's all about the blue (s) so don't be afraid to ask Mr Burgin. They are very affordable and really cool. Mine's in the mail so don't be surprised to see me sporting one at the next blues show!

  View Bman Blueswriter's profile on LinkedIn 

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”