Johnny Roy & The RubTones

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Johnny Roy & The RubTones

Postby blueswriter » Tue May 24, 2005 8:57 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON May-24-05 AT 05:26 PM (EST)]Johnny Roy & The RubTones
Call Johnny Roy!!
Lextone (2005) LX 444

http://www.the-blindman.com/JR.jpg

13 tracks, 72 minutes. Recommended. Hailing from Lexington, Kentucky, Johnny Roy & The RubTones, a storming blues trio called in harp wizard Terry Bean for the new disc Call Johnny Roy!! While Lexington might not be a known hotbed for blues, there's little doubt that Roy and company went headlong into this project with their hearts in the right place... recording in Clarksdale, Mississippi at Jimbo Mathus' Delta Recording Studio couldn't hurt either. Roy is a completely rounded guitarist with a warehouse-sized vocabulary and a booming voice that soars above, below, and around the grooves on this baker's dozen. With eight self-penned originals aboard, JR shows his skills well to the fore in It Never Seems To Happen That Way, a bristling shuffle with torrid guitar, the crushing Chicago march of Red Meat, Women & Whiskey, and Blues Take Me Home, the disc's eleven-minute masterpiece which explains, in gripping detail, a man's quest for the heart, soul, and meaning of blues. Roy's partners in crime, Sean McLaughlin on bass and Jim Turner on drums, prove to be an exceptional rhythm section driving things along steadily without a hitch. Covers include Little Junior Parker's Man Or Mouse and the Wynonie Harris gem I Love My Baby's Puddin' - both well-done. Cell Phone Baby, another fine original, shows that you can still write strong blues in the 21st century if you're aware of life in the fast lane. Terry Bean's harp is superb on I Go Into Orbit and Little Demons (coming in two separate mixes), while The Real Deal displays his excellence on chromatic. Perhaps the biggest surprise is that this project was recorded 'live' in the studio without any gimmickry or magic tricks (save for the fine backing vocals of Donald and Shanna Mayes in Blues Take Me Home), and that Bean himself had no rehearsal at all, proving that blues is best when recorded off-the-cuff with a formidable band leading the charge. A tip of the hat to Jimbo Mathus and Roy for solid production. Bonus points for creative liner notes from JR and the superb artwork deserves special mention. There are countless outfits across the country laying their blue souls bare, but few match the wit, ease, and teamwork of Johnny Roy & The RubTones - these guys are certainly the real deal. Call Johnny Roy!! Indeed.

http://johnnyroy.com/home.html

© 2005 by Craig Ruskey

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RE: Johnny Roy & The RubTones

Postby jeffl » Tue May 24, 2005 9:19 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON May-24-05 AT 05:28 PM (EST)]Once again, B-dub, your wonderful command of the language put me right between the speakers! I think I'll buy this one.(in fact, I just did.)
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RE: Johnny Roy & The RubTones

Postby blueswriter » Wed May 25, 2005 3:01 am

Once again, B-dub, your wonderful command of the language put me right between the speakers! I think I'll buy this one.(in fact, I just did.)

Thanks for the kind words, Jeff. I think you'll enjoy the disc quite a bit. Let us know your thoughts when you receive it and have given it a spin.
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RE: Johnny Roy & The RubTones

Postby jeffl » Wed May 25, 2005 12:21 pm

I got a confirmation of the PayPal payment from Johnny this morning, and a nice thank you e-mail; nice touch.....(BTW B-dub, have you considered doing some reviews on live shows for us....?)
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RE: Johnny Roy & The RubTones

Postby bluesmcgoo » Wed May 25, 2005 1:04 pm

Nice review, B-Dub.

I'm more than a little taken with that cover art. }8)>
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RE: Johnny Roy & The RubTones

Postby blueswriter » Wed May 25, 2005 3:07 pm

Thanks for the comments, folks. I agree the cover art on Johnny's CD is exceptional... he got an extra point for that as I've always been a big fan of 1940s and 50s pin-up art.

As for reviewing 'live' shows, if there was enough going on around here, I would but the Boston scene has been suffering for a number of years now. I will going to see The Fabulous Thunderbirds in early July and that's one I'm looking forward to. I haven't seen them in a couple years, and with the new additions (relatively speaking) of Kirk Fletcher and Nick Curran, it should be a strong one. The last time I saw them was when Troy Gonyea was aboard and it was a rather lackluster show - much of that due to a soundman who had his head firmly implanted in his rectal cavity.
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RE: Johnny Roy & The RubTones

Postby jeffl » Wed May 25, 2005 3:35 pm

I caught Leon Russell at an outdoor venue a while back; he was preceded by a couple local bands who sounded great. When Russell's band got up, their sound mix stunk. I found out later that the company who provided the sound equipment and engineers was "bounced" by Russell's crew, via a contract clause. That turned out to be a huge miscalculation on their part.
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RE: Johnny Roy & The RubTones

Postby jeffl » Wed Jun 01, 2005 2:22 am

I've listened to this several times, and it's great listening. But, it is a great CD to play harp to....! If you have any kinda background, you should be able to wind around the harp parts recorded, and have a fun time doin' it. I cranked up my system, and my rig, and had a blast with it. Bosco, these guys are from Lexington; that isn't that far from you; check it out. Maybe you know 'em already, huh. It isn't that often that you can jam with another harper on a tune, and have it come out alright, but this CD is like sliced butter for that type of fun. Thanks,B-dub. I'm especially impressed with the responsiveness of Johnny when attending to business.
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