Johnny Sansone has grown in leaps and bounds right before our very eyes in the years he has been in New Orleans. He came onto the scene slowly around 1990 after kicking around the west for a spell from his native West Orange, NJ. He came into town mostly playing straight ahead Chicago Blues via Jimmy Reed; then the flavors and nuances of New Orleans began to shape his music more and more. He absorbed, or was infiltrated by the smells, sights, and most notably the sounds of NOLA, and it crept into his music bit by subtle bit, until he was so infused with New Orleans he became synonymous with the city's blues scene. His vision of the blues expanded to include Zydeco, Swamp, and that raging spice that permeates all that is NOLA. As he grew, his songwriting began to inject these new tastes into his music for the listeners to savor.
On this disc, which is produced by Anders Osborne, who also plays guitar, piano and sings background vocals. There is an all-star cast of musicians—Stanton Moore on drums and percussion, Robert Mercurio on bass, Maggie Koerner on background vocals and Mr. Sansone himself on harmonica, accordion, and vocals. To call it a tight band is an understatement. Johnny on this disc is mixing the elements and spices of New Orleans music filtering it with the mystery of the Swamp that infiltrates all of NOLA, and going all the way up river to the Chicago area to honor some of his mentors on the harmonica. Whatever twists and turns this music takes, Johnny wrote 10 of the 11 songs, and Anders wrote the remaining one, this band sticks tight to him as they are all veterans of various bands such as Galactic, Garage A Trois and working with people such as Willie Dixon, Eric Lindell and Ivan Neville.
As good as this disc is you don't get the full effect until you see Johnny Sansone in person. He is known for his furious (Ranton With Stanton), and at the same time sensitive harp work (Goodbye) which is outstanding, however his vocals are more than Blues growls and grunts with some excellent singing. Go with him on this comeback disc way outside the borders of New Orleans as he looks in on the world, who knows what is coming next.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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