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Chicago Blues

TBT – Johnny B. Moore Is All The Way “Live At Blue Chicago”

June 05
23:09 2014

JBMoore_pcimageSome folks just play the blues, straight-up, from the heart. No fuss, no muss, just raw, gritty, and real. Johnny B. Moore has always played that kind of blues. Moore has said that his earliest influences were Jimmy Reed and Robert Nighthawk, beginning when he was only eight years old. By the time he was 13, Moore had gone up to Chicago from Clarksdale, MS, and was playing with Reed. He played in Koko Taylor’s band, The Blues Machine, as the lead guitarist. He also played and toured with Willie Dixon. He has recorded several albums as a solo artist, and has also appeared as a guest on other artist’s records.

Recorded in July of 1995 in the basement of the Blue Chicago club, Live At Blue Chicago (Delmark Records) is a triumph of understated, emotional electric blues guitar. At 69 minutes there is plenty of music here, and Moore and company throw down with feeling. Personnel are Johnny B. Moore on guitar, Ken Saydak – keyboards, bass player extraordinaire Johnny B. Gayden, Baldhead Pete on skins, and Bob Levis liberates top shelf rhythm from his guitar. As a live recording, the sound and mix here are very good, enticing the listener to pull up a chair and join in.

The 12 songs performed here are a great mix of tempos and styles. There’s the light and rhythmic “Turn On Your Love Light,” and “Same Thing,” with its Magic Sam feel, albeit, more sparse, and slower. “All My Whole Life” has definite echoes of the great Lowell Fulson. “All of Your Love” is just wonderful with its perfect touch of soul, and “Mean Mistreater” is even more soulful, and amply punctuated with pointed guitar leads.

What makes Live At Blue Chicago such a treat is the overall space that Moore gives the music to breathe; nothing is hurried or overdone here. There is an almost Delta feel to the music, yet at the same time, the music is electric Chicago blues all the way. This album is such a pleasure to listen to. Your iPod and/or turntable is calling to you … go ahead, heed the call, and feed the beast Live At Blue Chicago.

Johnny B. Moore


About Author

Barry Kerzner

Barry Kerzner

For as long as I can remember I have loved music, especially Blues & Jazz. Now I write and share that love of music with others. To see my photoart, visit

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