The hot, movin' Chicago blues band formed by Rockin' Johnny Burgin is no joke. Their slickly entranced groove follows them wherever they go, and this time they were found at B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted for these live recordings. This marks the third CD for the band following two other successful efforts on the Delmark label. Johnny, and his trademark Rickenbacher guitar show again why they're one of the best draws in the Windy City.
Johnny actively pushes his axe work forward and he handles the vocals chores throughout as well. Sho Komiya is heard ringing the bass notes, Kenny Smith handles the work behind the drum kit, and on rhythm guitar is Rick Kreher. Special guests include Eddie Shaw on the sax for two cuts, and young Jesse Scinto taking the sax for one also. Billy Flynn comes out for guitar on one song, and Mark Cihler take charge of the harp duty for one, too.
The raucous set of covers takes flight with Little Arthur Duncan's "Duncan Donuts" and Eddie Shaw's blazing sax lighting it up. "My Man", played as an instrumental gives Johnny and company further room to run. Earl Hooker's "Swear To Tell The Truth", "Universal Rock", and "Guitar Rag" all give Rockin' Johnny plenty of fret-fryin' space as he picks his solos like a true ax slayer. On "Chicken Heads", Sho Komiya paces with his funked bass lines; and "Blues In B", a Mark Cihlar tune, gives the writer a slice of pie to showcase his harp skills also.
This set climaxes with PeeWee Crayton's slow groove "Blues After Hours" and Willie Dixon's "Shake For Me"; both of which allow the band to stretch into some longer five and six-minute jams. "Ode To Billy Joe" completes the platter and set and it is also well-done with a bluesier arrangement. The Rockin' Johnny Band is a movin' and ' experience in any venue or format. This disc is no exception ... powered-up Chicago blues from a group living the life, and doing it right! Don't miss out, this is worth looking for!
Marquis Records; P.O. Box 117; 3023 N. Clark; Chicago, IL 60657:
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