Rockin Johnny Burgin hosts the Big C Jamboree!
9:30pm - NO COVER - 21+
After 25 years, The Big C Jamboree, will be ending in May 2017. A night of drinking, dancing, socializing, networking and non-stop music since 1992. For die hard rockabilly devotees and civilian music fans. Over the last decade, this highly organized vibrant jam session, held the first Thursday of every month at Martyrs', has become rockabilly central for many of the musicians & fans of Chicago's American roots scene. Although the monthly jam is devoted to rockabilly, the Big C Jamboree has also offered the span of '40's-'50's Amereicn roots music from Hillbilly Boogie to Western Swing, Jump Blues and 1st generation Rock-n-Roll. The night is run swiftly and simply: a host band performs a short set, followed by a myriad of roots musicians who do 3 songs each. The party like atmosphere includes socializing, drinking & dancing galore while the rotating line-up onstage usually features the raucous sounds of pompadoured rockabilly musicians wailing away on upright basses and hallow-bodied electric guitars; and there's NEVER a cover! It's one of the most dedicated evenings of music in the city.
The Rockin' Johnny Band has been one of Chicago's most loved blues bands since 1995. Their music has been played on WXRT's "Local Anaesthetic" and "Blues Breakers" radio shows, the band has often been featured at The Chicago Blues Festival, and they regularly work in Chicagoland's best blues clubs such as Buddy Guy's Legends. Their CDs and live performances have drawn great reviews in Living Blues, The Chicago Sun Times, Pioneer Press, and National Public Radio's "848". Guitarist Johnny Burgin came to Chicago from South Carolina to attend the University of Chicago, and earned the name "Rockin' Johnny" as a DJ at the college radio station WHPK. Rockin' Johnny began playing in the ghetto clubs of Chicago's West Side with blues singer Taildragger, and then began touring nationally as a sideman with former Howlin' Wolf drummer Sam Lay and blues piano legend Pinetop Perkins. After learning from the masters, he put his own band together. Things started happening for the Rockin' Johnny Band after they took a Monday night residency at The Smoke Daddy in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood. Their original, energetic approach soon made them a strong local draw week after week and year after year, bringing in blues aficionados, every musician in town, and a younger crowd that normally didn't go to hear blues bands. The atmosphere the band generated was so electric, that Delmark Records offered them a contract after hearing just one set. This was especially exciting because the prestigious Chicago label is revered by blues aficionados as the home of Junior Wells and Johnny's idol, Magic Sam! Since those days, they've regularly toured Europe, played festivals and headlined clubs all over the Midwest. The Rockin' Johnny Band has recorded five CDs including "Grim Reaper", released in April of 2012. A true "musician's musician",Rockin' Johnny has been one of Chicago's most in-demand blues session men since the 90s, contributing his incisive playing to over a dozen CDs by artists such as Billy Boy Arnold, Jimmy Burns, Tail Dragger, Little Arthur Duncan, Paul DeLay and many more. The Rockin' Johnny Band plays vintage Chicago blues, but also is known for a wide repertoire which ventures into Stax style soul, swing, and lots of originals that are harder to classify. On stage, the band performs with spontaneity and fun, always showcasing fantastic guitar playing. Living Blues states: "top notch ensemble work, with power, drive, and a keen sense of dynamics". The band consists of true veterans: Rick Kreher (rhythm guitar) played rhythm guitar with Muddy Waters for four years; John Sefner (bass) was formerly with Studebaker John and Eddie Kirkland; and Steve Bass (drums) also plays with Chicago blues legend Eddy Clearwater. Here's what some of Chicago's most in the know critics and music business figures have to say about Rockin' Johnny and The Rockin Johnny Band: Bruce Iglauer, Alligator Records: "Rockin Johnny delivers the raw, rough-edged spirit of real Chicago blues". Dick Shurman, writer for Living Blues, blues producer: "Rockin' Johnny has brought a refreshing jolt of talent, feeling and affirmation of the Windy City's guitar tradition. Johnny has always been known as a crowd pleaser with rawness, drive, a tight band and a scholarly and musical mastery of the local blues repertoire and vocabulary. He's extra interesting and distinctive because, instead of the overdone warhorses sometimes called "the set list from hell," Johnny mines more obscure building blocks like Little Smokey Smothers, Hip Linkchain or Willie James Lyons, adding to his appeal to hard core purists as well as more casual lovers of powerful Chicago blues. It adds up to a winning combination of depth, a bite like the winter wind, tradition and an up-to-the minute wallop, and offers a guaranteed winner for all who see or book the band." Quotes:"Rockin' Johnny plays great guitar in the style of Earl Hooker or a young Buddy Guy" Bruce Stovall, The Yardbird Suite, Edmonton, CA"His take on early 60's Chicago blues is in the pocket." James Porter, Time Out Chicago"Rockin Johnny shows a sixth sense for building irresistable tension in his leads.", Jack Oudiz, Blues AccessRockin' Johnny has that "West Side" Chicago sound down cold and fronts one of the hottest young blues bands anywhere! Hawaii Blues Society“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. “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
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