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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 Johnny Main. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Johnny Main. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Rockin' Johnny Burgin at the Rhythm Room - March 9, 2019

We all see ordinary talent in shows around town but there are a few bands that will draw me out late at night every time they tour because of their artistry and Rockin' Johnny is definitely one. When I saw that he was playing the Rhythm Room, definitely the best place to see a band in Phoenix, I made it a date. The club was packed and I sat in the corner because I arrived just before the show started but I wouldn't miss it. Johnny came on stage carrying his classic Emperor and his classic tone. He did a short set, maybe 6 or 8 tracks and he didn't take a note to get on track. He was hitting on 12 cylinders from note one. I don't know if you've seen Johnny, but this is a guy who is all about style. He isn't Jeff Beck who wrote every trick in the books, nor Joe Bonamassa who plays every Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton riff. This is a pure Chicago blues guy who has been around the block and has assembled some absolutely terrific old style riffs that he applies at just the right time and in style. He's a serious player and an excellent singer. I don't think that he knows how good a singer he is having played lead guitar behind leaders like Tail Dragger but this guys vocals are strong and sometimes downright exceptional. But the really cool part about Johnny's playing is his style. Here's a guy who is standing up with a band of 3, carrying most of the weight himself, and then just blowing out a riff that curls your hair. We're not talking about blistering speed like a metal rocker. We're talking old school riffs that make you was a great riff and the man can go! But here's the great part... after he plays it, he seems to look around quietly and say to himself... I did it... and smile with accomplishment.  No pretense...pure love for his trade. The band took a short break and then club owner and world renown harp player Bob Corritore stepped up to the mic announcing that they had some surprises for the crowd. Due to a larger blues event, Blues Bash, that was happening in Phoenix this weekend, there were a number of performers on hand. A man with deep blues roots and quite a pedigree, Jimi "Prime Time" Smith was there and took the stage with Rockin' Johnny and Corritore. The crowd really loved Smith with is silky vocals and license plate guitar. He put on a really good show including walking the audience while playing and singing.

Johnny Main, guitar and lead vocals of the 44's set up (using Rockin' Johnny's guitar) and a really hot guitar player that I hadn't seen, Henry Carvahal (Rod Piazza Mighty Flyers among others) was on fire. This guy is a powerhouse and has great hands. matched with the balance of RJB's band these guys were electric.

After another short break, Rockin' Johnny took the stage again with Corritore, and local blues legends, singer George Bowman, and guitar player Donnie Dean. This bands focus was primarily prime Chicago style blues providing a stable base for players who don't play together daily and Corritore's harp work was really strong. Bowman's vocals were solid and guitar exchanges between Dean and Burgin really cool. After maybe another 5 tracks, Burgin took the stage back to his basic 3 piece ensemble and closed out the night. He brought along a solid bodied Danelectro and in open tuning, played some really nice slide. Johnny really knows how to put on a show and with a sea of talent in the room, this was a really great show for what is a fairly small club. This was likely one of the best blues shows in Phoenix for 2019. If it sounds like I had fun, I rolled into bed around 2am. This band literally played till shutdown. Very very nice. Watch for a review of Corritore's upcoming release, Do The Hip-Shake Baby! in the next few weeks. 

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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Smokin Joe Kubek has passed - My thoughts and prayers are with his family

Johnny Main of the 44's has posted that Smokin Joe Kubek has suffered a heart attack in his room before his show. He is reportedly passed. I will provide more information as I have it. It is a sad day indeed.

Born in Grove City, Pennsylvania, Kubek grew up in the Dallas, Texas area. In the 1970s during his teen years, he played with the likes of Freddie King and in the 1980s began performing with Louisiana-born singer, Bnois King. In 1985, Kubek released his first record on Bird Records, a 45 RPM single with the tracks "Driving Sideways" (written by Freddie King and Sonny Thompson) and "Other Side Of Love" (written by Doyle Bramhall, Sr.). The single was executively produced by Clint Birdwell and co-produced by Charley Wirz and Kubek. The two tracks reappeared on Kubek's 2012 album, Let That Right Hand Go, produced by Clint Birdwell and issued on Birdwell's label, Bird Records Texas. The album is a collection of mostly unreleased material recorded since the 1980s (with the 1985 single's track, "Other Side Of Love", entitled "The Other Side Of Love"). In 1991, Kubek released his first full-length album entitled Steppin' Out Texas Style (Bullseye Blues Records) and has since released over a dozen albums on various labels.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Blues Guns A'Blazin: Johnny Main, Tex Nakamura of The 44s Play The VCBS Jam This Wednesday!

          Johnny Main (l) and Tex Nakamura (r) of the celebrated blues group The 44s are the very
       Special Guests at this week's Ventura County Blues Society-sponsored jam, Wed., March 6.
   (VENTURA, Calif.) - Someone better alert the Ventura Fire Department that the flames sure to be emanating from The Tavern in Ventura this Wednesday night, March 6 aren't from the popular nightclub catching fire; but rather, from the sure-to-be blazing performances of guitarist Johnny Main and harpist Tex Nakamura, who join host Tommy Marsh and Bad Dog for this Wednesday night's Ventura County Blues Society-sponsored Blues Jam. Main and Nakamura are one-half of Rip Cat Records' recording artists The 44s, one of the most in-demand blues groups in the Southland. The Tavern is at 211 Santa Clara Ave. 9 p.m. And best of's free! Info: (805) 643-3264
    Check out a great interview with Tommy in the latest issue of Blues E-News