Midnite Johnny review…October 3, 2018….

MIDNITE JOHNNY

LONG ROAD HOME

MOSHER STREET RECORDS   PLP 1850

YOUR NEW OCCUPATION–SLOW BURN INSIDE–CRAZY MAMA–LONG ROAD HOME–LOOKIN GOOD–TIRED OF FOOLIN AROUND–ALL THE BLUES–MOTELS, WHISKEY, AND ME–BETCHA BY NOW–BABY BATTER–HEARD THAT ONE BEFORE–KEY TO THE HIGHWAY–OUTTA TIME–THAT’S ALL YOU GONNA GET–LONG ROAD HOME (ACOUSTIC)

Guitarist Midnite Johnny (Morana) was long a mainstay of the south Florida blues scene,  and, since his relocation to the UK, virtually the whole round blues world knows he’s here!  His latest set is the aptly-titled “Long Road Home,” thirteen originals and one cover that shows his penchant for blues, rock, and roots music.  With a style of playing rooted in that of the masters, he opens the set with a favorite, the infectious boogie of his lover’s “New Occupation–makin’ a fool outta me!”  A fine, jazzy, slow-blues cut might well play out Johnny’s life as a road-warrior bluesman, for, sometimes, all that’s left is “Motels, Whiskey,And Me!”  Johnny hits a strong Clapton-inspired vibe on a tune to which we can all relate, as Steve Zoyes’ acoustic piano rides over Johnny’s shout-out to all his debtors, “I can’t give what I ain’t got, and that’s All You’re Gonna Get!”

Johnny covers two standards in his own inimitable way, too. His slide guitar is the catalyst on an uptempo read of J. J. Cale’s “Crazy Mama,” while Big Bill’s “Key To The Highway” is presented in the spirit in which it was written–Johnny’s vocal and guitar only.

We had two other favorites, too.  “Long Road Home” digs on a Muddy groove, with a rollin’, tumblin slide, as our hero proclaims he “coulda had religion, but bad luck and whiskey would not let me pray!”  The set closes with this song presented in an entirely different light–it is done in an acoustic setting complete with a string section, and becomes an ethereal, almost reverential, beautiful ending to this album.

Midnite Johnny has won over legions of fans “on both sides of the Pond!”  His may have been a “Long Road Home,”  but,we believe he’d say it’s all been worth the ride!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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