Rockin’ Johnny Burgin review…November 2, 2019….

ROCKIN JOHNNY BURGIN

LIVE

DELMARK RECORDS  DE 858

YOU GOT TO MAKE A CHANGE–CAN’T MAKE IT BLUES–SHE GAVE ME THE SLIP–YOU’RE MY TRINKET–THE LEADING BRAND–I GOT TO FIND ME A WOMAN–LATE NIGHT DATE NIGHT–YOU TOOK THE BAIT–DADDY’S GOT THE PERSONAL TOUCH–LOUISIANA WALK–BLUES FALLING–CALIFORNIA BLUES–WHEN THE BLUESMAN COMES TO TOWN–JODY’S JAZZ

Rockin’ Johnny Burgin has been one of our favorites since his recording career began, back in the Nineties in Chicago when he cut “Straight Outta Chicago” for Delmark Records.  In 2016, he followed Nat King Cole’s advice and motored west, catching on with the lively contemporary scene in the Frisco-San Jose region, also home to guitarist Kid Andersen.  Johnny always preferred playing in front of a crowd, and on January 5, 2019, he did just that, at the Redwood Cafe in Cotati, CA.  The tapes were rolling, and the exquisite results are his latest release for Delmark, “Live.”

This set is fourteen cuts, ten of which are Johnny’s originals and co-writes, and features guests Charlie Musselwhite on harp, Nancy Wright on sax, and Portland, OR, powerhouse Rae Gordon on vocals on four cuts.  The show kicks off with Aki Kumar on harp on the shufflin’, scufflin’, “You Got To Make A Change.”  Next up is a classic, West Side slow-blues jam, recalling the sounds of Magic Sam and Jimmy Dawkins, with Johnny havin’ those “Can’t Make It Blues.”  His playing is passionate and soulful, as is his singing.  One of our favorites has always been Earl Hooker’s instrumental,  “The Leading Brand,” and, on this one, Johnny, Kid, and Aki make it a sweet ride, indeed.

Blues-beltin’ mama Rae Gordon steps to the mic for four great vocals, including the playful duet with Johnny, “Got To Find Me A Woman,” and the rhumba-groovin’ good time of “Daddy’s Got The Personal Touch,” with Nancy Wright on sax.  Our other favorite was one of Johnny’s originals, dealing with his westward travels.  “California Blues” has Charlie Musselwhite on harp.  It begins with a slow intro, then busts out all over the place, and features Kid on piano for this mighty fine, rockin’ road trip!

Johnny Burgin makes like Mr. Chesterfield and sho’ nuff satisfies your blues Jones with this brilliant “Live” set!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

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