Monday, September 28, 2009
R.J. MISCHO - West Wind Blowin' 1999
Chicago Blues is one of the hardest styles to make a name for yourself in. Immensely popular since the 1950's, the genre has attracted thousands of practioners. On the harmonica there are literally hundreds of Little Walter imitators and standing out in the crowd really takes some doing.
RJ Mischo was living in Minneapolis when he had the opportunity to see Muddy Waters in concert. The event was life-changing for Mischo and since that time he's made it his quest to perfect the Chicago sound. Surrounding himself with other Blues practioners Mischo leads his band with an impressive amount of authority. His harmonica playing shows that he has studied the masters and has mastered the art of Chicago-style harmonica playing. The songs on this CD are impressive and definitely fit well into the library of Chicago Blues recordings.
This CD is definitely worth listening to.
By Peter Krampert.
Minneapolis native, R.J. Mischo began playing the harmonica more than 20 years ago and has gained a reputation as one of the best interpreters of classic Chicago blues harmonica. During his days in Minnesota R.J. played with most of the Twin Cities’ blues legends including Mojo Buford, Sonny Rogers, Percy Strother and Milwaukee Slim. After forming his own band R.J. was introduced to audiences worldwide when he and guitarist Teddy Morgan began playing as the RJ & Kid Morgan Blues Band featuring Percy Strother. In 1992 they released their critically acclaimed "Ready To Go" album on Blue Loon Records. That album was followed in 1994 with "Gonna Rock Tonight." With band personnel changes, R.J. formed R.J. Mischo and his Red Hot Blues Band and quickly became one of the regions top blues acts, winning several Minnesota Music Academy Awards including the award for Best Harmonica Player in 1996. After several successful tours of Europe, R.J. Mischo and his Red Hot Blues Band recorded 2 more CD’s, "Rough ‘N’ Ready" (1996), and "Cool Disposition" (1997), on the prestigious German label, Crosscut Records. In 1998 R.J. moved to San Francisco and began performing regularly in the Bay area as well as touring extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe. R.J.’s newest release, "West Wind Blowin’" (1999) features more of his robust harp playing with guest appearances by Rusty Zinn and Steve Freund. Whether R.J. Mischo is playing down-and-dirty, back-alley-blues or supercharged West Coast jump he always delivers some of the best blues harmonica playing found anywhere today.
For many years, R.J. used to live in Minneapolis.
Two years ago he moved to California, and that's where his new one was recorded. It sounds a little rougher than the last one. In the spotlight are R.J.'s superb harp technique, but also the collaboration of two fine guitarists. Mischos fat and low tone builds a nice contrast to Zinn's elegant guitar phrasing, and Freund's Chicago style picking. This is another great one from R.J.!
R.J. Mischo, Rusty Zinn, Steve Freund, Johnny Ace, Walter Shufflesworth.
01. Money Back Guarantee (3:09)
02. RJ Get Up! Milk That Cow (2:23)
03. Watch Out (3:15)
04. What I Got To Have (3:53)
05. West Winds Are Blowing (3:38)
06. Bit Off More Than I Could Chew (4:39)
07. Goat Whiskers (3:00)
08. Goin' In Your Direction (2:57)
09. Jelly Sellin' Woman (5:33)
10. I Feel So Good (4:51)
11. Courtin' In a Cadillac (2:13)
12. Miss Heidi Ho (3:55)
13. It's My Life (5:07)
14. How Much More (4:16)
15. South City Fog (3:51)