Johnny Drummer – Rockin’ In The Juke Joint
Johnny Drummer, keyboardist, vocalist and bandleader of one of the tightest small combos in Chicago, has long been known for his high-energy shows in small clubs on the South and West Sides of the Windy City. Rockin' in the Juke Joint, Johnny's third Earwig release, offers his humorous takes on male/female relationships, in a variety of musical styles - funky blues, contemporary soul, passionate ballads and jukin' dance tunes. Johnny handles lead vocals, harmonica, and electronic keyboards, and is backed by a stellar cast of Chicago's finest musicians.
1. Rockin' in the Juke Joint - 3:49 2. I Had a Dream - 4:54 3. Keep It a Secret - 5:36 4. You Are Breaking Me Down - 4:49 5. Working with Your Mojo - 3:29 6. A Blind Man - 2:58 7. Too Much Information - 5:15 8. Have Your Fun - 5:20 9. Third Finger Left Hand - 4:17 10. Stress Reliever - 5:13 11. Looking for My Baby - 3:04 12. Shake a Hand - 5:13 13. Love Jonz - 4:48
Johnny Drummer (vocals, harmonica, keyboard) , Alvin 'Al Guitar' Short (lead guitar) , Charles Krane (rhythm guitar on 1,4,6,8,10,13) , Walter Scott (rhythm guitar on 2,3,5,7,9,11) , Danny O'Connor (bass on 1,4,6,8,10,12,13) , Kenny Hampton (bass on 2,3,5,.7,9,11) , Dave Jefferson (drums) , Kenny Barker (piano, organ) , Diane Madison, Theresa Davis, Kay Reed (background vocals)
1. www.chicagobluesguide.com - Eric Steiner
I had the good fortune to see Johnny Drummer and the Starliters at a Chicago Blues Festival after-set in 2007 at the Willie Dixon’s Blues Heaven Foundation fundraiser at 2120 South Michigan Avenue. Drummer’s 2006 Earwig release, Rockin’ In the Juke Joint, brings back many pleasant memories from that show. Rockin’ in the Juke Joint is an exceptional CD of post-war Chicago blues, and the title cut, “You’re Breaking Me Down,” “Working With Your Mojo,” and “Have Your Fun” are my favorites on this CD.
Johnny is a regular at Lee’s Unleaded Blues on Chicago’s far South Side (also the title of one of his other two Earwig CDs), and his electronic keyboard complements the spot-on lead guitar work of “Al Guitar” Short nicely. I’ve never seen a six-foot portable electronic keyboard played like a guitar before checking out Johnny Drummer, but in his capable hands, it more than works. Thanks in part to tutelage from Junior Wells early in his career, and Johnny's own mastery of the Mississippi saxophone, Johnny plays some pretty mean harp parts on this CD, too.
On Rockin’ in the Juke Joint, Johnny’s got a full band that includes Diane Madison, Theresa Davis and Kay Reed on background vocals on several cuts, and this CD offers a full, rich, big-band sound that’s a solid counterpoint to the smaller, blues trio format that seems to be gaining steam in many national blues markets. If you're looking for some great South Side Chicago blues action, look no further than www.johnnydrummermusic.com.
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