Johnny Burgin @ Tooky Mills Pub, Hillsboro, NH

Sept 22 @ Tooky Mills Pub, Hillsboro, NH


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,,  
Kevin Johnson, Delmark Records  773-539-5001

FULL TOUR ITINERARY: Johnny’s shows page.  

YOUTUBE: Chicago Blues guitarist Johnny Burgin teams up with Swedish slide guitar queen Marie Martens

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 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


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 LayBilly 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 MeyersJesse FortuneBarkin’ 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 DeLayBob 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.

“His guitar style is raw and rude and real– on the vocal side, a nice original style– he’s damn good!”  –Elvin Bishop

An adventurous musician who’s never shy about taking chances.  
–Marty Gunther, Blues Blast 

This veteran blues musician has been on a roll of late turning out one exceptional album after another.
–David Mac, Blues Junction

The well-traveled and prolific Chicago bluesman.. brings something different each time he issues a solo album.
–Jim Hynes, Glide Magazine 

Johnny’s ego-free dedication to the music is refreshing.  In a world where everyone wants to be a superstar, Johnny shines brightly.  He is truly an old-school bluesman.
–Bill Wilson, Reflections in Blue

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