Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Johnny J & The Hitmen - (Who Dat) Hound Dog \ Lookin

This morning I awoke to the sight of Johnny J. (or at least I assumed it was Johnny J) standing in the doorway before me, about to kill me being a hitman and all. Granted, I hadn't even opened my eyes, I was merely jostled awake by the A\C window unit by me turning on (loud as a bomb, dumb thing). Later in the wake-up process I would invent some story about "legendary rock critic" Wanda Jackson meeting her end by jumpin off a balcony into a kiddie pool full of green dye during spring break. I took these as a sign that I should go ahead and make my Johnny J. post as soon as I reach the coherent stage of the wake-up process.

I'm not terribly familiar with Johnny J. but I've sampled a few songs while digging through vinyl at WTUL. Thankfully, he's still active and playing with this group, so I can one day go catch him and find out what the real deal is because, honestly, I've never really been too stirred up by his music. Unlike local guitar master CC Adcock, I haven't picked up a terribly distinctive style or exceptional energy from his recorded music.

However, he's probably the most consistent and faithful rockabilly revivalist in New Orleans, and that's a fact that I'll always appreciate. The bulk of what I've heard was off his album Nuclear Hayride, which I seem to remember as being pretty straightforward (though well done) rockabilly except in the 80's. Then again, it's rare that I love ANYTHING recorded in the 80's as the recording quality tends to render the music listless. See the Raybeats. Yeah I know, you all love the Raybeats, I'm terribly sorry.

Anyway, this little 7" on Roman Records (I believe his work is now on Blue Viper) doesn't really help his case by presenting us with covers, but Hound Dog has certainly got a little certain local flavor. The surprise is kind of given away by the parentheses. Anybody coming down for Jazz Fest (or the Ponderosa Stomp, god bless you) should familiarize yourself with this chant, there's a chance you might find yourself amongst people hooting the same thing.
Hound Dog
No idea what's up with the streaming right now, working on that

Lookin' doesn't employ such gimmicks but it's a pretty strong and catchy rockabilly tune. Doesn't really knock me off my feet in any manner, but doesn't offend either.

Johnny's got a little information about himself on his website, though the bio page reads more like a resume.

And just in case, you haven't heard, Obama named his dog after Bo Diddley

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