Formed in the summer of 1997, Junkyardmen have risen to the top of the Memphis blues heap, synergizing their Delta region roots in the city known as the apex of the blues world. The band has steadily built a reputation as one of the premiere blues bands in the region, with repeated touring dates through Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas and Mississippi. They've earned slots on the main stages of the 1998 King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Ark. and on the City Stages Music Festival in Birmingham, Ala.
Junkyardmen are four young and talented, hard working musicians with roots deep in the traditions of the Mississippi Delta, and branches reaching out to today's contemporary blues audience.
John Scalici is the band's founder and driving force. Folks might have heard of him before; he played drums in the blues/rock trio Gravy. Jackson, Miss. native Billy Gibson, who handles harmonica and back vocals, is currently known as "the hottest harp player in Memphis." A talented producer and arranger with two self-produced solo projects to his credit, he is the only harmonica player to be accepted into the University of Memphis' School of Jazz. Gibson has performed with James Cotton, Frank Frost and Bobby Little, among others.
Guitarist/back vocalist Jessie Hoggard, a Jonesboro, Ark. native, has toured the eastern half of the United States as the guitarist for the Famous Unknowns. A regular performer at King Biscuit Blues Festival, Jesse has shared the stage with Little Howlin' Wolf, Gary Primich, Doc Tomato, Frank Frost and Sam Carr (a.k.a. JellyRoll Kings).
Kevin Sheahan handles the bass guitar as well as back vocals when he is not out jazzing around the local clubs and jams.
The band has toured extensively to promote their Jim Gaine's produced "Keep on Workin'", opening for Buddy Guy, Chris Duarte, Tab Benoit, the Allman Brothers Band and Gov't Mule. The band is sponsored by Anheuser-Busch, and officially a Budweiser "In Concert Series" band.
This review is copyright © 2000 by Matt Alcott, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.