Monday, March 23, 2015

Johnny A. -- Jammin Java - Mar 22 2015

Johnny A. - This is my first time encountering this veteran Boston guitar maestro. He is touring with a guitarist and rhythm section and brings his highly stylized guitar work to a long set of instrumental music. It is clearly blues based from the outset, but the style is nearly progressive with its intricacy and expansive genre bending moves. This becomes more clear as he does a Beatles tribute set of songs and works in lots of riffs and other songs, either complete like a Bee Gees cover, or partial takes on famed Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin riffs. It all works because of his great skill at interpretation and repurposing these songs into his band's approach. When you are lacking vocals, it is as important to do that as well as have the underlying talent. He and his band certainly have the talent and the fairly sizable Sunday night crowd is really digging in and enjoying the set. His humorous patter is also effective in keeping things lively, and he even uses humor in his playing like when returning to 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' for a few bars after he had worked in the whole song about a half hour earlier in the set. I particularly enjoyed his dynamic volume shifts, going 'wicked quiet' for a solo, before kicking in the monster riffs. Guitar fantatics and players will obviously enjoy his work, but with personality and style like this, he easily appeals to a wide range of blues and rock fans.
Quote of the Night: Johnny A - "This is from the 'Sometime Tuesday Morning' album. Anybody got that one?"
crowd - "Oh yeah!"
"Yeah, I got a shitload of them, too."

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