Blues Logo><br><br>
<img SRC=

Blues CD Reviews 103
Line Divide

Val Starr And The Blues Rocket
To The Blues And Back Again
Sandwich Factory Records
By Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro © May 2024

The latest release by Val Starr And The Blues Rocket is titled To The Blues And Back Again. Interestingly, the timing for this review could not have been more perfect. With Val having just returned from a fun filled (yes, I saw it all on Facebook), and blues filled week at the Blues Music Awards in Memphis, TN, she pretty much was just to the blues and back again.

For this project, the musicians making up The Blues Rocket are: Val Starr on lead vocals and rhythm guitar; John Ellis on bass, lead guitar and backup vocals; Frankie Munz on harmonica; Pamela Charles Arthur on keyboards; Kirk Hooper on drums; and Timothy Brisson on lead guitar. Other Rocketeers, if I may, include: Dave Segal on lead and slide guitar; Stephen Kimball and B. Christopher on lead guitar; Marty Deradoorian and Saxophone Zot on saxophone; and Darrell Lee Echols on drums.

To The Blues And Back Again contains thirteen original tracks of Val's, and they are a good mix of blues shuffles and ballads; jump and swing tunes; contemporary and rock blues; and some good ol' Americana. Val is calling this "her deepest and most powerful album to date". Let's go listen to some of it...

With powerful lyrics like "No use stopping at the crossroads hashing over troubles you've had. No use crying over spilled milk and picking at your scabs", the title track - "Been To The Blues And Back Again" addresses moving on. All that matters is "You've survived it all, and you're still standing tall". Musically, the track features the nucleus of the band with John (bass), Kirk (drums) and Pamela (keys) in a tight rhythm groove; Timothy and Frank, respectively shining on sharp guitar and harp leads: and Val is vocally belting out the songs inspiring lyrics.

The thirty second scorching guitar intro by B. Christopher on "Bitter Pill" pretty much told me that this one was going to be a killer slow blues ballad.....and B. didn't lie. For the tracks' additional five minutes, I was in slow blues heaven. With her intense organ groove, Pamela led the same rhythm section as above into the perfect slow blues direction; Val sang her heart out with an emotional and compelling vocal performance; and with his only performance on the disc, B. - with no disrespect to any of the other guitarists - continued to lay down the best blues guitar licks on the disc. Wow!

With it's 'Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy' vibe, this jazzy swinger is titled "If You Don't Blues It You'll Lose It" and it's surely a dance floor filler. Short of saying I may have jumped the gun on the best guitar licks on the disc comment, let me just say that on this one, Timothy is at his personal best on guitar. As long I'm giving out 'best of the disc' awards, I gotta tell you, Pamela is absolutely shining on the piano and John and Kirk are indeed laying down some of its most profound rhythm.

I guess the band was enjoying the groove they were in on that last track as much as I was, because other than the title - "Gratitude Is The Best Cure For The Blues" - not a whole lot has changed, it's all still going on right here. That said, Marty did kick things up a few notches with his wailing sax leads.

Anyone who regularly reads my reviews knows that I am a sucker for a female vocalist knocking a blues ballad out of the box. That said, on "The Blues That Move Me", Val did just that. She's also got a keen ear when it comes to picking blues guitarists for particular songs. On his only appearance, Stephen Kimball - one of five lead guitarists - lives up to being picked for this spot with his killer slow blues licks..... Similar thoughts apply to "Bluesin'". It's a laid-back shuffle that again features another fabulous guitarist. This time it's Dave Segal nailing the slide guitar leads.

Although it's Val's song, "Worn Down Blues" sounds like something from the songbook of America. It's one of those kinds of songs that you might hear a folk singer like Joni Mitchell do; a rocker like Bruce Springsteen do; an Americana band like CSNY do; a country artist like Wynonna Judd do; or a genre crossing artist like its writer, Val Starr, do.

Other tracks on what just might very well be Val Starr's "deepest and most powerful album to date" include: "Take A Stand For Love"; "Ask Me No Questions"; "Patience"; "Move Over Baby"; "Big City Blues (Rescue Me)"; and "Did You Ever Notice".

To find out more about Val Star & The Blues Rocket, just go to - - and should you have not yet received your copy of To The Blues And Back Again for airplay, please email John Ellis at - Remember, be it Val or John that you contact, please tell them the Blewzzman sent you.

Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro
Blues Editor @
2011 Keeping The Blues Alive Award Recipient

Musical Bar

Big Harp George
Cooking With Gas
Blue Mountain Records
Publicity: Blind Raccoon
By Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro © May 2024

With his Big Harp George Does Christmas sandwiched right between his fifth release - Cut My Spirit Loose, and his seventh - Cooking With Gas, this is George's very impressive third release in barely thirteen months. Making it even more impressive is that we're talking all original music here.

As with those other releases, Cooking With Gas was recorded in Greaseland Studios and the players include many of the usual suspects. Joining Big Harp George, a.k.a. George Bisharat, on lead vocals and chromatic harmonica are: Chris Burns, the disc's producer, on keyboards; Derrick D'Mar Martin on drums and percussion; Kid Andersen on guitar and bass; Joe Kyle Jr and Jerry Jemmott on bass; June Core on drums; Aaron Lington and Doug Rowan on baritone sax; Ed Morrison on trumpet; Michael Peloquin on tenor sax, soprano sax and diatonic harmonica; Mike Rinta on trombone; and the Sons Of The Soul Revivers (James, Dwayne and Walter Morgan) on backing vocals.

Having about eighteen years restaurant experience, mostly as an owner, one of the earliest things I learned about dealing with ranting chefs is to stay away from them while they are screaming and waving dangerous kitchen tools. However, since this tantrum George is throwing on the title track - "Cooking With Gas" - is in his kitchen at home, it appears it's his spouse, not his co-workers, who needs to be concerned that that spatula he's holding may just become a cleaver.

When it comes to writing songs, a few of Big Harp George's characteristics include humor, satire and a whole lot of sarcasm. On a swinger titled "Cellphone Hater 2.0", all of those are quite evident. As his frustrations with his cellphone escalate, George becomes desperate enough to take a walk onto the Golden Gate Bridge....not to jump, but to toss the phone into the San Francisco Bay. Along with the song's well sung lyrics; the fabulous sounds George is blownin' on harp; and the dynamite foot tappin' rhythm; this one is highlighted by the background antics of the 'Greaseland Gang'. Equal to the high-quality production and amazing group of studio musicians that come with recording there, is the craziness this crew adds to a song with their probable ad-libbed background vocals/noises/sounds. They excel in making sounding horrible sound good, and putting smiles on your face while listening.

Although George gets credit for the composition, I know a few thousand people who might want to be considered as co-writers of "Wine Is My Friend". Now don't get him wrong, rum, gin and whiskey are his friends too, but none of them will treat him as nice as that red wine is gonna do. Speaking of red wine, it sounds to me like one of the background vocalists may have had a sip too many. Ya gotta love it!

With this one being an instrumental, George and the guys have put the parody process temporarily aside. "Maceosity", written by saxophonist Michael Peloquin, is all about the music. The band indeed rose to the occasion as they paid tribute to the legendary funk, soul and jazz saxman - Maceo Parker. On it, Michael not only excels on the tenor and soprano saxophones, but he blows the heck out of a harmonica as well. Additionally, with Derrick, Jerry, and Doug absolutely on fire on the drums/percussion, bass, and baritone respectively, this one features the disc's most powerful rhythm. Wow!

Another instrumental is titled "June's Tune" and coincidentally (or not), it's the only track on which June Core showcases his fabulous drum skills. Rhythm wise, his partners Joe Kyle (bass) and Chris Burns (organ) are showing off some of their own skills as well. Then there's a matter of what that wild looking man on the disc's cover is holding in his other hand. He may or may not know what to do with that spatula, but he sure as hell does know what to do with that chromatic harmonica.

Meanwhile, back at the zaniness, George has a story to tell us about his "DIY Mama". Without going into too much detail, let me just say that it is not a spatula - or any other kitchen device; and it isn't a harmonica - or any other musical instrument; that is George's wife's tool of choice. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure the sound it makes is indeed like music to her ears. As George tells it: "I started tickling ivories at three years of age, and one year later I appeared on stage. I was like a little Mozart, flabbergasting everyone with my art"; "Took up chess at the tender age of nine, won my first tournament and everything was fine. The Queens Gambit was my favorite attack, I beat Bobby Fischer and never looked back"; "You might think all I had was a mighty big brain, I was a stud athlete of city-wide fame. I made Steph Curry look like a playground punk, solely with my signature tomahawk dunk"; "By rights I should have been famous, a damn legend in my own time. The only way that I can explain it, "The Older We Get" the better I was". All that said, on this - possibly the disc's best track - the older this band is getting the better they are sounding.

Other tracks on what has become a staple for Big Harp George - very entertaining and very well performed releases - are: "Doom Loop"; "Awkward Me"; "What The Missus Misses"; "Paradise Is Burning"; and another absolutely beautiful instrumental titled "When I First Held Valerie".

If you've not yet received a copy of Cooking With Gas for airplay, please contact Betsie Brown at - - and should like to find out more about Big Harp George, just go to - Remember, wherever you go and whomever you speak with, please tell them their friend the Blewzzman sent you.

Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro
Blues Editor @
2011 Keeping The Blues Alive Award Recipient

Musical Bar

Bart Bryant
Backstage II
Horizon Music Group
Publicity: Blind Raccoon
By Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro © May 2024

Somehow, this twenty-five year veteran, who has worked with some highly recognizable names from many genres, has slipped through the cracks at the House of Blewzz. That said, I am now happy to have finally discovered Bart Bryant. Bart's latest release is titled Backstage II, and mixed in with eight covers are four of Bart's well written originals.

On the project, Bart - on guitar and vocals - is joined by: Robert Liptrot, Scott Spray and Dave Anderson on bass; Alex Giosa, Tyger MacNeal, Ernie Durawa, Bobby Torello and Liviu Pop on drums; Bill Holloman on piano, organ and horns; Floyd Domino on piano; Tony Cafiero on synthesizer; Jordan Giangreco on organ; Kenneth Mellilo on harmonica, and Simone Young-Brown on vocals.

Bart and the band light it up on their rendition of "If You Love Me Like You Say", a song by sixties and seventies soulman Little Johnny Taylor that was a much bigger hit for Albert Collins. As with pretty much every version I've ever heard, the song is a smokin', funk filled, dance floor filler. With Scott (bass) and Alex (drums) all over the rhythm, the track is highlighted by Bill's fiery organ and horn leads and Bart's sizzling blues guitar leads and quite soulful vocals. This is how you cover a cover.

Slowing things down a bit...actually, make that a lot...the guys ease into a killer cover of Willie Dixon's "I Can't Quit You Baby". Putting a smile on my face, this one is nearly seven minutes of slow blues bliss. Scott, and this time Tyger on the drums, are perfectly doing what a song like this mandates they do on rhythm; Floyd's nailing it with the high end, right hand, blues piano melodies; and the boss - while belting the hell out of the blues vocally - is putting on a "I gotta stop typing, turn up the volume and pay very close attention to this" type performance on guitar. Can you say replay?

The forty second intro to Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Empty Arms", featured such blazing guitar leads, thunderous rhythm, and pounding of piano keys, that it had me thinking it was going to be an all-out, jam mode, instrumental version. Then, Bart jumped in with his gritty vocals, and the song became an an all-out musical jam with powerhouse vocals. This one is a Smoker with a capital S.

The first of Bart's originals is another slow blues burner. It's highlighted by a powerfully emotional vocal presentation in which Bart is clearly not yet "Past The Pain" of a scornful break up. Additionally, on his only appearance, Kenneth does one heck of a job blowing hot, high end blues harmonica leads throughout the track.

"You Make Me Move" is another excellent original. With yet another combination of players, the deep rhythm on this one is coming from Tony on synthesizer, Scott on bass and bobby on drums. Guitar wise, there's a lot more note pickin' than runs and they all sound dynamite.

Another of Bart's originals is an absolutely beautifully written and performed ballad titled "Out Of This Blue". Straight off the top, the disc's producer - Vic Steffens - needs to be praised for his work on this one. The way the rhythm - with Scott on bass, Alex on drums, Floyd on piano, and Bill on organ - crescendos from a soothing groove to a powerful peak - then brought back down by a heavenly flute highlight from Bill - is nothing short of masterful. Then there's Bart! Although it's been present on many of the other tracks, the vocal range he showcases on this one is absolutely awe-inspiring. Take a bow everyone, because I'm giving you all a large applause.

Other tracks on this killer release include: "Day Of The Eagle", a full tilt rocker by Robin Trower; "Mess Of Blues", a shuffle by Doc Pomus & Mort Shuman; "Motown Groove", another of Bart's originals; and three classics by several legends - "I'm Ready" (Willie Dixon); "Born Under A Band Sign" (King/Bell/Jones); and "Whiskey, Beer, and Wine" (Buddy Guy & Tom Hambridge). Regardless of your preference of blues styles, Backstage II will satisfy it.

If you've not yet received a copy of Backstage II for airplay, please contact Betsie Brown at - - and should you like to find out more about Bart Bryant, just go to - Remember, wherever you go and whomever you speak with, please tell them their friend the Blewzzman sent you.

Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro
Blues Editor @
2011 Keeping The Blues Alive Award Recipient

Musical Bar

Markey Blue Ric Latina Project
Blue Eyed Soul
SoulOSound Records
Publicity: The Galaxie Agency
By Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro © May 2024

As the note on the one sheet claims, "This album is a gathering of most of the Markey Blue Ric Latina family", and as Markey further points out, "We wanted to bring everyone together for this collection of some of the most beautiful music we've ever made". With that said, the talented group of musicians assembled for Blue Eyed Soul is indeed plentiful. So plentiful in fact, that they are too numerous to mention. However, I will tell you that Markey Blue - on all vocals, and Ric Latina - on all guitars, are joined by about half a dozen each of different bassists; different drummers; different keyboardists (of which one is Markey); different horn players; and different background vocalists (of which one is Markey). The disc's twelve tracks are all Markey (Jeanette Markey) and Ric (Eric B Latina) originals.

Simply because the opening track - "Crazy Without You", is amazingly beautiful in every way, it immediately validates Markey's "Some of the most beautiful music we've made" comment. Her lead and backing vocals - along with those of Vickie Carisco and Lauren Anderson - are celestial; Ric's guitar leads are both scintillating and silkily subtle; the laid-back rhythm of Randy Coleman on bass, David Northrop on drums, and Markey on organ is immaculate; and the sound of Shannon Wickline's synthesized strings is purely paradisaical. Beautiful indeed!

Although some of the players have changed, a track titled "So Much" is similarly beautiful. The way in which Ric replaces runs and decibels with simple and crisp notes on his guitar is totally masterful; the rhythm - this time with Randy (Bass) being joined by Dino Clay on drums, with Mark T. Jordan and James Sonnetag on keys - is precision perfect; and the catchy sing-a-long chorus line of "do, do,, do, do............." with Markey doing the lead and Shaun Murphy doing the harmony back-ups is pure magic. This is put a smile on your face music at its best.

"Baby I'm Crying" is one of the more slightly aggressive tracks. It's an up-tempo ballad that features Markey - with harmony backing from Anna Marie and Tracey Palfalvi - showcasing her fabulous vocal range while soulfully and emotionally belting out the melancholic lyrics associated with a breakup. The track also features some of Ric's more prominent lead guitar licks mixed in with some funky rhythm runs. Speaking of funky, on their only appearance, Sean O'Brien Smith on the bass and David "Smitty" Smith on the drums are being just that.

Another slightly funky track is one called "Set My Heart Free". With yet another different mix of players: Truman Virder on bass; Dion Clay on drums; and Chris Tuttle on organ, continue to lay down what has quickly become the disc's common denominator - excellent rhythm. Again, speaking of rhythm, adding Dana Robbins on sax and Jim Williamson on trumpet and flugelhorn kicks that up a notch.

Although the lyrics of Markey's fabulously flawless vocals on this track have no relation whatsoever to these, "When I Close My Eyes" and listen to Ric's stunning guitar work on this track, I trip out. This is Ric Latina at his very best. Replays of this one will be many.

So here I am telling you about the sixth of my favorite tracks, and I find myself about to tell you about the sixth rhythm configuration as well. This one is titled "Can't Let You Go" and it features Anthony Joiner (bass) and Tim Smith (drums) continuing to lay down rhythm as fabulous as the maestros before them. Also helping out in that department are Shannon - once again shining on organ; and Miqui Gutierrez, on the sax, now joining Jim and lighting it up on the horns. Then there are the Mr. and the Mrs. doing their usual thing - belting out fabulous guitar and vocal leads.

Over the many years I've known Markey Blue; the many times I've see her - then later on, her and Ric perform; the many of her - then later on, her and Ric's music I've reviewed; and the many styles of songs I've heard her sing; What she did here on Blue Eyed Soul was indeed some of best and most beautiful work ever.

Other tracks on this wonderful release include: "Raining Down On Me"; "Yes, I Do"; "Me Missing You"; "Come On"; "With You"; and "What Am I Gonna Do".

Another interesting note on the one sheet mentioned that "Six of the twelve songs on this album have already been picked up for television placement", and to that I'd like to add that with all of them being the perfect length, I can honestly see all twelve being picked up for airplay.

To find out more about the Markey Blue Ric Latina Project just go to their website - - and if you haven't yet received your copy of Blue Eyed Soul for airplay, please contact Gina Hughes of the Galaxie Agency at - or Michelle Castiglia at - Of course, wherever you go and whomever you contact, please make sure you tell them their friend the Blewzzman sent you.

Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro
Blues Editor @
2011 Keeping The Blues Alive Award Recipient

Musical Bar

Blind Lemon Pledge
Oh So Good
OFEH Records
Publicity: Blind Raccoon
By Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro © April 2024

Although it ever happening is a long shot, should you ever run into Blind Lemon Pledge while he's with his parents, I don't suggest you greet them as Mr. & Mrs. Pledge. Instead, the proper way to address them would be with Mr. & Mrs. Byfield, the proud parents of a highly creative character whose real name is James Byfield

A few years ago, when I reviewed his Goin' Home CD, I commented on the fact that being his eighth release in twelve years, Blind Lemon was impressively releasing new and mostly original music every year-and-a-half. Now, just like clockwork, here he is with Oh So Good - his tenth release in fifteen years.

On Oh So Good, the band is an acoustic trio featuring Blind Lemon Pledge on vocals and guitar; Peter Grenell on bass; and Juli Moscovitz on drums. The recording contains eleven James Byfield originals and a cover of "House Of The Risin' Sun".

The disc opens with a track titled "Big Bill". Just to give you an idea of the kind of character Bill is, think slaves workin' a field of cotton; chain gangs workin' along southern highways; or any similar situation where the crews refer to someone as "boss man". That said, the song is actually about the boss man's daughter, is don't even think about looking at Adeline any longer than a blink. Blind Lemon's vocal's will attest that he has no plans of ever doing so and his acoustic slide guitar work is killer - as in what Big Bill will become if he does.

The title track - "Oh So Good" - in typical Blind Lemon style is a love song of sorts. Admitting to having been a player over most of his life, he has a unique way of claiming he's a changed man. His preferred way of professing his loyalty includes saying things like "I've been being "Oh So Good", better than I thought I would. I've been being "Oh So Good" since I got it bad for you". The fabulous guitar and rhythm work are a mixed bag of bluegrass, honky-tonk, folk, and more, making a song for just about anyone to want to dance to.

So, my favorite combination of a slow blues song being the longest track on the disc takes place on a track titled "How Can I Still Love You?" With powerfully melancholic lyrics like "How can I still miss you when all you've ever been is gone?"; "How do I want to kiss you when all you've ever been is wrong?"; "How do I still be faithful when nothin' that you say is true?"; "How do I still see roses when all I ever get is blue?"; and "How can I still go on dreamin' when you drove Mr. Sandman out?"; that are sung with amazingly deep emotion; you just can't not share Blind Lemon's pain. Musically, Peter and Juli are in that perfect sullen rhythm groove while Lemon plays some of the best acoustic blues on the disc. Yep, I'm saying it....."Song Of The Year" material right here.

More often than I personally care for, during an acoustic show at a club, the audiences tends to be more involved with their mouths instead of their ears. On the other hand, there are those compelling performances that will make those yakking jaws drop to a point of being able to hear a pin drop. This offering of "Moon Over Memphis" is that performance.

Too bad this song wasn't written and released back in the American Bandstand era, because I would have loved to see a bunch of teenagers doing the "Jump The Willie".....I think! On the other hand, no matter where it's played or the demographic it's being played for, at Blind Lemon Pledge live shows, this has to be a dance floor filler.

"Give My Poor Heart Ease" finds James making a heartfelt offering to the Lord. It's pretty much a conversation that might be heard in a confessional, solemnly being put to music. Based on sincerity alone, I can hear the priest saying "Say an 'Act of Contrition' and two 'Hail Marys' and the Lord will forgive you".

The disc closes with what could possibly be one of the most covered songs in the history of music - "The House Of the Risin' Sun" (Traditional). Considering it's an acoustic rendition, I'm quite impressed with its aggressive presentation. Some of the disc's best instrumentation is definitely happening right here.

Other tracks on what might be Blind Lemon Pledge's best release to date are: "Junkyard Dog"; "Hard Heart Honey Bee"; "Ma Belle Cherie"; "Cora Lee"; and "Come Back Little Sheba".

If you've not yet received a copy of Oh So Good for airplay, please contact Betsie Brown at - - and should you like to find out more about Blind Lemon Pledge, just go to -

Remember, wherever you go and whomever you speak with, please tell them their friend the Blewzzman sent you.

Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro
Blues Editor @
2011 Keeping The Blues Alive Award Recipient

Musical Bar

Johnny Burgin
Ramblin' From Coast To Coast
Straight Shooter Records
Publicity: The Galaxie Agency
By Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro © April 2024

Using a play on the title of his new release, while rambling from coast to coast, Rockin' Johnny Burgin - as he was billed back then - has actually passed through several times. The first time was back in 2018, on a recording he made with the late Mike Mettalia and others titled "Chicago/The Blues Legends Today", and another was when he was featured with the Mike Bourne Band on a release titled "Cruisin' Kansas City". That said, I'm very happy to once again be writing about the music of this veteran Chicago bluesman.

Johnny Burgin's latest release is titled Ramblin' From Coast To Coast, and as he usually is, on this recording Johnny is joined by a star-studded cast. Joining Johnny - on guitar, vocals and harmonica - are: Danny Banks, Reo Casey, David Plouffe and Shorty Starr on drums; Dylan Bishop and Jad Tariq on guitar; Christian Dozzler, Hanna PK and Ben Levin on piano; Jon Hay, Chris Matheos; and Mike Morgan on bass; Barry Seelen on organ; John Blues Boyd and Rae Gordon on vocals; and Lisa Leuschner, Marina Crouse and Jill Dineen on backup vocals. Of the disc's twelve tracks, ten are Johnny Burgin originals.

The title track actually evolved from a breakup. Not being able to deal with going to the same old places, in the same old town, seeing the same old people 'they' used to know as a couple, getting dumped sent Johnny "Ramblin' From Coast To Coast". Claiming he now has "the blues from coast to coast", makes it appear he's still suffering, but just in different places. Musically, the progressive rhythm Jon Hay (bass) and Danny Banks (drums) are rolling out is certainly one for traveling; should Johnny need it, the smokin' guitar leads Jad Tariq is laying down will definitely light a fire under his ass.

"Silently Suffering" is a song of Billy Flynn's that Johnny took the liberty of adding some lyrics to. Of course, being long-time friends going back to their college days - where Johnny actually took guitar lessons from him - Billy won't mind at all. Contrary to the title, Johnny's suffering - which can clearly be heard and felt in his emotional vocals and stinging guitar leads - is not at all silent. Additionally, Mike Morgan (bass), Reo Casey (drums) and Christian Dozzler (piano) add the perfect slow blues rhythm to the mix.

Two cities Johnny obviously rambled through on this coast to coast run of his were Cincinnati and Fresno. While in "The 'Nati", he teamed up with local piano prodigy Ben Levin, and together they rocked out on a track quite appropriately titled "Cincinnati Boogie"; and while in Fresno, that "Fresno Woman" he met could very well be the start of him forgetting why he hit the road in the first place. This shuffle features a lot more smokin' piano/guitar antics, this time with Hanna PK ticklin' the hell out of the ivories and Johnny kickin' the hell out of the slide guitar.

Having worked with her before, a statement on the one sheet makes it quite obvious that Johnny couldn't wait to once again join forces with powerhouse vocalist Rae Gordon. I don't think there could be a more emphatic compliment than saying that "If Johnny won the lottery, Rae would be his feature vocalist for all eternity". It doesn't take more than a listen to "Older And Wiser" to know why. These two seem to magically bring out the best in each other.

The second of the two covers is an Eddie Boyd composition called "Vacation From The Blues" - something I never want. It's a Texas style shuffle that features tandem guitar runs from Johnny and Dylan Bishop; and scorching honky-tonk piano from Christian Dozzler.

The disc closes with a straight up, old school, Chicago blues number. As Johnny tells it, he "Never Tried To Get Ahead", he just wanted to be his own man, have a good time, and get by the best he can. That said, right here, his vocals and guitar work are indeed the best they can be. Similarly, that can also be said for Hanna PK and her stellar piano performance.

Other songs on Ramblin' From Coast To Coast include: "Getting My Blues On"; "I Need Something Sweet"; "Stepladder Blues"; "I'm Playing Straight"; and "I Was Right The First Time".

Although it's a year or so away, don't be surprised to see this one make some noise when the '25 awards season rolls around.

To find out more about Johnny Burgin just go to his website - - and if you haven't yet received your copy of Ramblin' From Coast To Coast for airplay, please contact Gina Hughes of the Galaxie Agency at - or Michelle Castiglia at - Of course, wherever you go and whomever you contact, please make sure you tell them their friend the Blewzzman sent you.

Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro
Blues Editor @
2011 Keeping The Blues Alive Award Recipient

Musical Bar


Click Here To Return To The CD Review Index
Click Here For The Blues Portal
Click Here For The Indie Portal
Click Here To Visit Our Music Gift Shop

Want your CD reviewed?
Click HERE to email us for information.


Send Us Email!

*All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner.
Additional content © 1998-2023 All Rights Reserved.