ROCKIN JOHNNY BURGIN
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 Chicagos West Side with blues singer Taildragger, he has become a leading blues attraction throughout the United States and Europe. Hes been featured in major media outlets such as The Chicago Tribune, WGNs After Hours with Rick Kogan, The Illinois Times, and KPFAs Blues by the Bay. Rockin Johnny is a Delmark recording artist with 6 cds to his credit, including his latest critically acclaimed release, Greetings from Greaseland, of which Chicago Blues Guide said, plays out like a great set of live blues, as authentic as it will ever get. He currently does 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 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 Chicagos 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 Johnnys 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 Johnnys commanding vocals and stinging guitar, but Elvin Bishop may have said it best: his guitar style is raw and rude and realon the vocal side, a nice original stylehes damn good!
Sonoma County's local band "The Blues Defenders" are dazzling crowds with their "gritty" roadhouse style of passionate West Coast Blues. Individually, they have played with some of the greats in blues music from Tower of Power, Doobie Brothers, Boz Skaggs, Cold Blood, Johnny Lee, and other legendary greats who shaped the world of blues music. The Blues Defenders can "hold their own" on any stage, and are the West Coast support band for the great Mississippi Blues-man "Johnny Rawls". Jeff Piche's gritty vocals and soulful harmonica front the funky bass sounds of Donny Mederos, Mighty Mike Rippee on drums, David Scott's smooth blues saxophone, and Matt Silva's wailing guitar keep the crowd on their feet all night long.