Johnny Burgin @ Ruthie’s Bar-B-Q, Blues & Pizza, Montclair, NJ
64 1/2 Chestnut St, Montclair, NJ 07042
Johnny Burgin performs over 200 shows a year in Europe, Japan and coast to coast in the US. Johnny grew up in Mississippi and went to University of Chicago at 18, but ended up attending “blues university”. Johnny met a DJ on the college radio station who took him to see the Howlin’ Wolf style singer Tail Dragger on the West Side of Chicago. Tail Dragger took Johnny under his wing and gave him his first professional gigs, and from there Johnny learned quickly and went on to tour or gig with blues legends such as Pinetop Perkins, Sam Lay and Billy Boy Arnold. He’s been praised by the Cascade Blues Association for his “stunning guitar playing– the pure Chicago styled sound”.
Johnny’s played on dozens of records as a sideman and as a leader, he’s released ten CDs on Delmark and Vizztone records. His most recent efforts are Johnny Burgin Live, which features special guests Charlie Musselwhite, Nancy Wright and Rae Gordon and debuted at #3 on the Living Blues Blues Radio Chart. No Border Blues: Japan came from Johnny’s many tours and long relationships in Japan and is the first American compilation of the underground Japanese blues scene. Vintage Guitar stated: “Stellar fretwork, gloriously loose, earthy and immediate Chicago blues”. He was nominated for a BMA for Best Traditional Blues CD of 2017 for Howlin’ at Greaseland, a Howlin’ Wolf tribute, and by Blast Blast for Best Live Release in 2020.
Featured guitarist/vocalist Marie Martens grew up in Sweden and is now based in Wisconsin. Audiences love her raucous slide guitar and soulful vocals, she released her debut CD “Travelled” in 2019.
“Stellar Guitar Playing”: Vintage Guitar
Facebook Fan Page : Johnny Burgin Live
YouTube: JohnnyBurginBlues YouTube Channel
JOHNNY BURGIN – COAST TO COAST CHICAGO BLUES -LONGTIME DELMARK RECORDING ARTIST AMAZES HIS FANS, NEW AND OLD, ON HIS NEVER ENDING BLUES TOUR! JOHNNY CLEARLY LOVES TO PLAY, AND EVERY SINGLE SHOW IS DIFFERENT- HE’S A TRUE ROAD WARRIOR, ROLLIN’ STONE! MAJOR EAST COAST TOUR IN SEPTEMBER WITH MARIE MARTENS.
August 31, 2022 Leave a Comment
Check out his amazing Delmark recordings here:
Delmark recording artist Johnny Burgin took the same long path of blues apprenticeship as so many others, working with legends such as Sam Lay, Pinetop Perkins, Tail Dragger and Billy Boy Arnold. Johnny’s no rock-blues player– last summer he was even the guitar instructor at the Pinetop Perkins Workshop Experience working alongside traditionalists as Bob Margolin and Billy Branch. But Johnny’s brand of traditional blues has always had a certain edge. Living Blues stated “Johnny’s unhinged Chicago blues… will keep transcriptionists busy for a long while.” and Bman’s Blues Report stated “Johnny has that raw looseness on guitar that is so lost from blues recordings today”. And he’s always sought out interesting new contexts to work within: his latest CD, “No Border Blues:Japan”, was the first American compilation of the underground Japanese blues scene, was a critical and musical success.
Delmark is happy to see and hear his latest musical partnership with Swedish Slide guitar queen Marie Martens. Audiences go to a special corner of vintage blues nirvana when Marie puts down the bass and straps on her open turned electric, and the pair jump into Elmore James-style overdrive. Marie is a veteran of the Stockholm blues scene in the 90s and moved to Wisconsin in the aughts. She released her first CD “Travelled” in 2019. Midwest Record stated, “She is forging her own path… way cool stuff!”.
Johnny and Marie will be joined by Johnny’s long-time road drummer Stephen Dougherty, also based in Wisconsin, who’s worked with Gary Primich, Billy Flynn, and Bryan Lee. He contributed to Johnny’s live Delmark CD/LP featuring Charlie Musselwhite which debuted at #3 on the Living Blues radio chart. HI-RES PHOTO LINK: Link to Johnny Burgin Bio/EpkJohnny Burgin Hi Res PhotosLink to Marie Martens hi res photo.
CONTACT: Johnny Burgin, 630-432-4940, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.johnnyburgin.com,
Kevin Johnson, Delmark Records email@example.com 773-539-5001
FULL TOUR ITINERARY: Johnny’s shows page.
Look at this upcoming schedule!
Sept 1 @ RUNAWAY NANOBREWERY, Burlington, WI
Sept 3 @ Marquette Area Blues Festival, Marquette, MI W TAIL DRAGGER
Sept 4 @ Tonic Tavern, Milwaukee WI W TAIL DRAGGER
Sept 8 @ JV’s RESTAURANT, Falls Church VA
Sept 10 @ Birdland Music Store, Virginia Beach
Sept 15 @ MENOTOMY, Arlington, VA
Sept 22 @ Tooky Mills Pub, Hillsboro, NH
Sept 23 @ Cady’s Tavern, Glocester, RI
Sept 25 @ The Stomping Ground, Putnam, CT
Sept 28 @ Stitch Bar and Blues, New York City
Sept 29 @ Ruthie’s BBQ, Montclair, NJ
Sept 30 @ Red Bank Women’s Club, Red Bank, NJ
Oct 1 @Pattenburg House, Asbury, NJ
Oct 2 @ Hank Dietle’s Tavern, Rockville, MD
Oct 7 @ CAROLINA DOWNHOME BLUES FESTIVAL, Camden, SC
Oct 8 @ WILD WING CAFE, Macon, GA
Oct 9 @ LA FAYETTE’S BON TEMPS, Fayetteville, GA
Oct 2 @ HANK DIETLE’S, Rockville, MD (matinee show)
Oct 14 @ KEY CITY BREWING, Vicksburg, MS (solo show)
Oct 13 @ SEITHER’S SEAFOOD, Harahan, LA (solo show)
Oct 16 @ THE BARTONVILLE STORE, Bartonville, TX
Oct 20: @ MARBLE BREWERY DOWNTOWN, Albuquerque, NM
Oct 21 @ Rhythm Room, with Thornetta Davis, Jimi Primetime Smith and Bob Corritore
Oct 23 @ Malainey’s Grill, Long Beach, CA
Oct 24 @ Maui Sugar Mill, Tarzana, CA
Oct 26 @ The Starlet Room, Sacramento, CA
Oct 27 @ The Elephant in the Room, Healdsburg, CA
Oct 28 @ The Saloon, San Francisco, CA
Oct 30 @ Wild Eye Pub, Grass Valley, CA
Nov 1 @ Harrah’s Casino, South Lake Tahoe
Nov 2 @ Club Fox, Redwood City, CA
Nov 4 @ Elks Lodge, Eureka, CA
Nov 5 @ The Heights Casino, Trinidad, CA
Nov 6 @ The Jam, Arcata, CA
Nov 12 @ Conway Muse, Conway WA w Joel Astley
Nov 16 @ 331 CLUB, Minneapolis, with Joel Astley
Nov 17 @ SKOKIE THEATRE, w Ben Levin, Joel Astley and Marie Martens
Nov 26 @Jamey’s House of Music, Lansdowne, PA
Special guest of Slim and the Percolators
Nov 27 @ George’s, St Georges, DE
Special Guest of Slim and the Percolators
Dec 2 @ THE LOFT, Columbus, GA
Dec 3 @ BLIND WILLIES, Atlanta, GA
Dec 4 @ Neighborhood Theatre, Charlotte, NC
Rockin Johnny Burgin is one of the hardest touring and well recognized traditional Chicago blues guitarists and singers today. Since his start in the 90s on Chicago’s West Side with blues singer Taildragger, he has become a leading blues attraction throughout the United States and Europe. He’s been featured in major media outlets such as The Chicago Tribune, WGN’s After Hours with Rick Kogan, The Illinois Times, and KPFA’s Blues by the Bay. Rockin Johnny is a Delmark recording artist with 7 CDs to his credit, including his latest critically acclaimed release, “Neoprene Fedora”, of which David Mac of Blues Junction said, “Everything is thrown into this ambitious ocean of ideas.. On Neoprene Fedora the contemporary and traditional drink out of the same glass– my highest recommendation “. Johnny currently does close to 250 shows a year worldwide. He is also in demand as a session player and has recorded with many blues greats including Billy Boy Arnold, Taildragger, Paul DeLay, Jimmy Burns, Andre Williams, Eddie Taylor Jr., Jimmy Lee Robinson and others.
Johnny Burgin grew up in Starkville MS and Greenville SC, and while he was still in high school, he got to see many touring blues bands such as Guitar Jr, Gatemouth Brown and Eddie Clearwater. His father was an actor and folk musician and taught him the basics on guitar. He went to University of Chicago with the intention of becoming a writer, but a different path unfolded and he fell headfirst into the Chicago blues scene. After learning from the masters by touring with such artists as Pinetop Perkins and Howlin’ Wolf drummer Sam Lay, he put his own band together. Things started happening fast after The Rockin Johnny Band (with guest vocalist Jimmy Burns) took a Monday night residency at the Smoke Daddy in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Their original, energetic approach made them a strong local draw week after week and year after year. The atmosphere the band generated was so electric that the prestigious local label Delmark Records offered them a contract after hearing just one set.
Since those days, Johnny played the Chicago blues festival many times, toured Europe regularly, and has headlined festivals all over the US. Over the years, he has developed from a blues guitar slinger and local blues hero into a fully fledged singer, harmonica player, a dynamic and engaging bandleader, and a mature, seasoned guitarist. One look at Johnny’s tour schedule confirms his status as an in-demand blues performer. Rockin Johnny also plays solo and duo shows, has a great West Coast Meets Chicago package with rising harmonica star Aki Kumar, and does guitar and blues workshops worldwide. He puts on the kind of satisfying and exciting show that only years of touring can develop. Elmore magazine remarked on Johnny’s “commanding vocals and stinging guitar”, but Elvin Bishop may have said it best: “his guitar style is raw and rude and real—on the vocal side, a nice original style–he’s damn good!”
Johnny Burgin grew up in the South and went to University of Chicago with the intention of becoming a writer. When a fellow DJ at the college radio station took him out to a West Side ghetto club to hear the blues singer Tail Dragger, it was a conversion moment. The blues came to life for Johnny and he fell headfirst into the vibrant Chicago blues scene. Choosing the blues clubs over the library, Johnny eagerly absorbed the lessons from the blues masters who practiced their craft nightly. By persistence and practice, Johnny gained a spot in Tail Dragger’s band, and started gigging and recording with traditional blues veterans like Sam Lay, Billy Boy Arnold, and Pinetop Perkins. By the late 90s, Johnny was working regularly in Chicagoland blues clubs under his own name. Johnny started a Monday night residency at The Smoke Daddy in Wicker Park, featuring vocalist Jimmy Burns. The band featured other future blues notables who were also at beginning of their careers, such as Kenny Smith on drums and Martin Lang on harp, and they created quite a buzz. They packed the club every Monday with a younger, hip crowd, as well as blues veterans stopping by to sit in such as Dave Meyers, Jesse Fortune, Barkin’ Bill, etc. Their success led to a record deal with Delmark and the first of several European tours.
The shangri-la of being “King of Division Street” eventually ran its course. In the early aughts, Johnny dropped off the scene entirely to raise a daughter. When the music eventually called Johnny back, his comeback was noted by The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Blues Guide, and the Dutch blues magazine BLOCK. As noted blues producer Dick Shurman wrote, “Johnny’s skills, passion and committment were undiminished.” His move to the Bay Area in 2016 led to a creative burst and his most notable recordings. In a few short years, Johnny cranked out the Cali/Chicago blues mashups Greetings from Greaseland, Neoprene Fedora, the Howlin’ Wolf tribute Howlin’ at Greaseland (nominated for a BMA for Best Traditional Blues Recording) and Johnny Burgin Live, which featured Charlie Musselwhite and was nominated for a Blues Blast Best Live Recording Award for 2019. Throughout, Johnny managed to play 250 dates a year since 2014 in Europe, Japan and coast to coast in the States, right up until the pandemic. By 2022, he’d ramped back up to the same demanding schedule.
Johnny’s produced ten CDs as a leader to his credit and dozens more as a sideman, from veterans like Johnny Sansone, Paul DeLay, Bob Corritore to up and comers like Aki Kumar and Ben Levin. Johnny’s developed from a young guitar slinger and local blues hero to a matured bluesman, fully fledged singer and the confident and engaging bandleader. In recent years, he has been a resident instructor at the Pinetop Perkins Foundation and the Chicago Blues Network and has developed a loyal following on Youtube for his weekly looks at the blues guitar greats. Johnny’s recordings have evolved from being very Chicago-centric, to a fusion of West Coast and Chicago styles, and finally,to a more inclusive, international approach. His latest CD, No Border Blues Japan, is the first American compilation of the underground Japanese blues scene. The success of this collaboration led Johnny and his partner, producer Stephanie Tice, to create and host the podcast No Border Blues, which focuses on the international blues scene.