Johnny And The Headhunters review…August 26, 2018….

JOHNNY AND THE HEADHUNTERS

THAT’S ALL I NEED

JT 0006

THAT’S ALL I NEED–LEAD ME ON–BODY AND FENDER MAN–CHICKEN HOUSE–ROCK ‘EM DEAD–SHAKE YOUR MONEYMAKER–ACE OF SPADES–WATCH AND CHAIN (HEY GYP)–ALL MY WHOLE LIFE–COLLINS MAMBO

Johnny Ticktin started playing guitar at the age of six, and was always drawn toward the blues, even after obtaining a degree in psychology from the University of Miami.  He’s shared the stage with a host of the legends, including Louisiana Red, for whom he was guitarist for a number of years.  They toured, along with harp man Larry Wise, as “Nobody’s Children,” leading to several festival gigs.  Johnny, with his band, The Headhunters, has just released his eighth album overall, this one titled “That’s All I Need.”  Here, we get his versatility on guitar on ten swingin’ covers, from everyone from his beloved Magic Sam to Bobby Bland, and, even Donovan.

One of his odes to Sam Maghett opens the program, with a swampy, back-scratchin’ groove defining the title cut.  A bit later, he revisits Sam’s canon with a Wes Cide rockin’ version of “All My Whole Life.”  We mentioned his versatility earlier, and it’s readily evident on a couple of powerhouse instrumentals.  “Ace Of Spades,” originally from Link Wray, is full of struttin’ twang and surf-abilly, and he closes the set with an Austin Powers-ish tribute to the Master of the Telecaster, “Collins Mambo.”

We had two favorites, too.  Back in the day, Johnny had a “day job” at JT Auto Service, so it’s no stretch that all the little girls understand he’s one helluva “Body And Fender Man.”  ready to “check yo’ oil,” and “pound out your dents!”  And, sho’ nuff, nothin’ beats the slide-drenched juke joint boogie of “Shake Your Moneymaker and roll your aggravator!”

Johnny makes the Washington, D. C. area his home base of operations, and plays venues there, plus all up and down the East Coast, most notably at Manny’s Car Wash on Manhattan’s trendy Upper East Side.  He rocks the house everywhere he goes, and he goes just about everywhere!  “That’s All I Need” is a brilliant testimony  to his bandleader skills!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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