Friday, August 31, 2012

Rockin' Johnny Band, Grim Reaper

Hey, Rockin' Johnny and his band get some great blues rocking going. His second (I think) CD, Grim Reaper (Delmark 820) fits my mood right now and does it in the right way. Rockin' Johnny has a vocal style that reminds a little of early Paul Butterfield, as does the general style happening with the band. Johnny is no Michael Bloomfield (and of course only Michael B could do Michael B), but he plays with soul and blues authenticity, whatever that is (you know when you hear it). The band is driving and tight.

And it works too because Rockin' Johnny reworks the blues message and comes up with new twists: "Shoe Leather and Tire Rubber" is about trying to find a gig, "Grim Reaper" pits Johnny with the angel of death, and there are other good songs about the tough times we are in. The blues get you out of the blues. . . and to paraphrase and mess with Ray Charles's maxim, nowadays "everybody has the blues!" So the time is right, for the blues, for Rockin' Johnny.

This one's got it. So get it and get out of it!

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