Johnny Burgin @ The Alley at Clayton’s Rail, Morris, IL
View All Concerts – CHICAGO BLUES FROM COAST TO COAST!
721 Liberty St
Morris, IL 60450
Oct 14, 2023
7:00 PM CDT
Johnny’s motto is “Chicago Blues from Coast to Coast”, and he lives up to it by performing up to 250 shows a year in Europe, Japan and all over the US. Johnny started his career in the neighborhood blues joints on Chicago’s West Side with Howlin’ Wolf disciple Tail Dragger, and went on to tour and record 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”, and his fans love Johnny’s take on the intense, stripped-down “West Side sound” of Otis Rush, Magic Sam and Buddy Guy. Johnny is a Delmark and Vizztone recording artist with 9 CDs to his credit. He was nominated for a BMA for Best Traditional Blues CD of 2017 for “Howlin’ at Greaseland”, a Howlin’ Wolf tribute.
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. Things started happening fast after Johnny (at that time featuring guest vocalist Jimmy Burns) took a Monday night residency at the Smoke Daddy in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. They soon became a strong draw, and the atmosphere they generated was so electric that Bob Koester of 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. 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!”
For more info, please see www.johnnyburgin.com.
“I’m knocked out! I already liked what you were doing, but you’ve really moved WAY up. What did you do, go to the crossroads or something?” –Charlie Musselwhite
“I first saw Rockin’ Johnny years back at the Utrecht Blues Estafette, and was very impressed. The years have added maturity, his vocals are soulful and his guitar playing is always top notch. Impressed, you bet I was!” –Phil Wight, Blues and Rhythm magazine, UK
“The great thing about Rockin’ Johnny is that his sound is fully rooted in the old style Chicago Blues sound, but his approach is original and contemporary.” –Karen Hansen, Today’s Chicago Blues blog
“Burgin proves to be a strong writer here… commanding vocals and stinging guitar” –Jim Hynes, Making a Scene
Johnny Burgin – Live
Johnny Burgin – Live
Delmark DE 858 (2019)
My thing has always been live music. Going to shows, booking shows, playing shows. Playing with the best musicians I could. More than anything, I loved the feeling of getting in the van and going. Even better, once I got there, I love the feeling of knockin’ em dead.
It’s been nearly 20 years since my last live CD. That one, More Real Folk Blues Live, was Chicago in every way, back when living in Chicago was like Christmas for me every day. It was the result of seeing and playing with great blues artists all the time– artists like Eddie C. Campbell, Tail Dragger, Sam Lay, Eddie Taylor Jr., Jimmy Dawkins, Eddie Shaw, Little Arthur Duncan, Jimmy Burns, Big Smokey Smothers, L.V. Banks, Eddy Clearwater– and many others. It was a recording borne of a long, self-imposed apprenticeship– the kind musicians like me came to Chicago from all over the world to get. Although that apprenticeship ended some time ago, I have begun another journey that’s taken me from coast to coast in the US and all around the world, across Europe, to Russia, Japan and beyond.
Live recordings often just repeat well-worn songs played by well-oiled machines. This live session is the exact opposite. It offers twelve brand-new originals done by artists who don’t play together regularly, performed for a packed house of enthusiastic fans of course! We had just one night to nail it– which made this recording a crazy, but thrilling, high wire act! The many miles and musical clairvoyance I’ve enjoyed with my road band of bassist Chris Matheos and drummer Steve Dougherty gave me the confidence for this do-or-die session. I drew from the great Bay Area blues talent pool that lured me to the West Coast back in 2016. I count all my special guests as friends and knew their contributions would carry me through. Blues legend Charlie Musselwhite’s driving boogie-woogie harp on “California Blues” is an absolute highlight. The end result is a raw, fresh, and original all-star set of blues, shot through with live energy.
Chicago Blues sax legend Eddie Shaw once said, “It takes 20 years to make a bluesman.” Here I am, ready to play my blues for you.
@JohnnyBurginBlues3.13K subscribers178 videos
This channel features my guitar lessons and music Over the years I’ve gigged, toured and recorded with lots of great blues legends (Pinetop Perkins, Sam Lay, Tail Dragger, Paul DeLay, Billy Boy Arnold etc), and I find it rewarding to try to pass on this hard-earned bandstand knowledge. If you’re a Chicago Blues freak, you’re in the right place! Subscribe and hit me back with any comments or questions– it’s great to hear from you. * Contact me by email at email@example.com and/or visit www.johnnyburgin.com tour dates, CD’s, booking or skype/zoom lessons. *If you feel inspired, any Palpal or Venmo donations within your budget will be greatly appreciated. * PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org * Venmo: @Johnny-Burgin-1 Connect * Instagram: @johnnyburgin * Facebook: Johnny Burgin Live *Twitter @burginjohnny And check out the No Border Blues podcast playlist too about international blues artists you should know! Thank you very much for all your support– see you on the road!