Johnny Drummer – Unleaded Blues
Earwig celebrates the multi-talented Johnny Drummer, a Chicago South Side musician who plays and writes "in the key of life," on his second album for Earwig Music. Johnny is a great vocalist, songwriter under a groove, arranger and bandleader. This new album contains blues, soulful original tunes with a rhythmic groove and a hook, and love ballads.
He is backed by Allan Batts, piano; Dave Jefferson, drums; Felton Crews, bass; Luther "Slim" Adams, guitar; Chuck Kramer, guitar; Anthony Palmer, guitar; and Calvin "Kadakie" Tucker, congas. Special guest vocalists: Liz Mandville Greeson, Bruce Thompson, and Michelle Thompson.
"Johnny Drummer is a keyboardist and, mainly, a sweet-singing blue-soul man. Drummer's suave vocals are rich and full of character. He's written a batch of good songs, most of which deal with matters of the heart, and there are some clever touches. The band members are fine players all, backing one of modern-day Chicago's most compelling singers." -- Blues Revue "
Johnny can rock the house with his own distinctive Chicago style blues: his ballads and duets with other artists are beautiful and sexy. Drummer is a professional and his arrangements for this session really show the guy's a master. This album is a heavyweight with a whole lot of moves--dig it!" - Twin Cities Blues News
1. I'm Gonna Sell My Cadillac, Buy Myself a Mule - 4:32 2. Born in the Delta - 4:45 3. I'm Missing You - 4:29 4. Stop Cheating - 4:17 5. How Many Times - 3:54 6. Put Your Suitcase Down - 4:26 7. Anything But Without You - 5:44 8. I Feel So Good - 2:59 9. You Got Trouble - 4:30 10. Serious - 4:49 11. Unleaded Blues - 3:58 12. Fall Out of Love - 4:09 13. Take Care of Your Homework - 3:56 14. Somebody Please Give Me a Job - 5:23
Johnny Drummer (vocals, piano on 11) , Anthony Palmer (lead guitar on 3,4,7,13,14) , Luther "Slim" Adams (lead guitar on 22.214.171.124.11, rhythm guitar on 1,2,8,12) , Chuck Kramer (rhythm guitar on 3,4,5,6,7,9,10,11,13,14, lead guitar on 1,2,12) , Allen Batts (piano) , Felton Crews (bass), Dave Jefferson (drums) , Calvin 'Kadakie' Tucker (congas on 6) , Bruce Thompson, Michelle Thompson, Liz Mandville Greeson (background vocals).
1. AllMusic - Scott Yanow
Johnny Drummer, a fine vocalist and composer, wrote 12 of the 14 songs on this CD. His singing is soulful and the music goes far beyond blues into R&B, soul, pop/rock, and modern folk music. Most of the selections are taken at slow-medium tempos and many emphasize minor chords. The backup group is fine (with plenty of guitar solos), but the main spotlight is on the leader. Since Drummer crosses many stylistic boundaries, this set is definitely not for blues purists, but it is well-worth checking out by most other listeners interested in these genres.
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