- Artist: Johnny B & the Goodes
- Format: CD
- Release Date:8/19/2008
Johnny Bishop's roots are in the south. He grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia, home to the University of Virginia. Charlottesville was a small college town that had a hot and active music scene in the late 60's and early 70's. Checking out the bar bands and sneaking into 'Frat' parties were daily events. Many bands came through Charlottesville and stopped for a show as they travelled between Atlanta, Washington DC and New York. They included Muddy Waters, Charlie Musselwhite, Sugar Ray Norcia, Ronnie Earl, Bob Margolin, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Delbert McClinton, The Charlottesville Blues Allstars & The Nighthawks. Johnny lived at these shows, watching, listening, learning and soaking up all he could. Ultimately, this was the best education he could get in the field. Johnny was elementally moved the first time he heard the blues and has never looked back. Now, over 30 years later, he's still at it. A six year stint working at Hohner USA in Richmond, Virginia, was a turning point. From then on, music became his full time passion. Now residing in New Hampshire he performs with a new version of his Charlottesville band, Johnny B and The Goodes. Johnny has been seen sitting in blowing harp with Muddy Water's Legendary Blues Band, Bob Margolin, Tinsley Ellis, The Nighthawks, Little Charlie and the Nightcats and The Fabulous Thunderbirds. "Johnny has command of his harmonica and is able to infuse excitement into his playing, which is what an audience can feel'. Rod Piazza Blue Light -- Lovely version of this classic. Really nice harp tone and fatness. Walter would be happy. I really like your harp work a lot. -- Bruce Iglauer, Alligator Records 'New Hampshire harmonica ace Johnny Bishop fronts Johnny B and the Goodes on Have Mercy (Big Mo Records). The combo toes the traditional Chicago line, covering Muddy Waters twice, Little Walter three times, Sonny Boy Williamson II, and Big Walter (a hard-hitting 'Hard Hearted Woman'), rounded out by a pair of originals. Unlike many of their colleagues in the retro camp, the Goodes opt for a sizzling hi-fi mix. Bishop possesses a no-nonsense singing style and a fat harp tone tempered only on the chromatic jazz of 'Mood Tuesday'. Guitarist Ed Eastridge favors a popping, bright sound and has a jazzman's knack for coy quotations, citing 'Day Tripper' during his solo in a pumping, sped-up 'Nine Below Zero'. - Blues Review Magazine 3/2009 'Johnny Bishop's long time commitment to the true blues is in full evidence on his debut CD. He's always been a deep harp man with a big full tone, but I don't know what took him so long to start singing! He plays AND sings with a genuine heartfelt sincerity that is uncommonly refreshing.' - Rick Estrin "It was a real pleasant surprise to receive a CD from Big Mo Records, a label that released some of the finest Blues albums of the 1990s, and to also discover that the talent/dynamics level hasn't changed one iota in the last decade. Johnny B is actually Johnny Bishop, a long-time Blues Harmonica Ace with over 30 years playing under his belt, and to show just where he stands, his peers, friends and admirers include Joe Filisko, Rod Piazza, Steve Guyger and Paul Oscher." "...Bishop then shows his stuff by tackling Little Walter's most beautiful and difficult instrumental "Blue Lights" and it's done to perfection with a Johnny B and The Goodes stamp on it. The 'Harmonica Mafia' will be talking about this recording and rightly so." In any event, Johnny B and The Goodes have just increased their profile by leaps and bounds thanks to an excellent CD and chances are they'll be traveling most of 2009. This CD should get them over to Europe. Andy Grigg - Real Blues Magazine "After working for years at the Hohner company and personally tending to the harmonica needs of numerous great players, one would expect that the experience, knowledge and abilities amassed by Johnny B would be immense. A listen to this new CD is proof that he made the most of that priceless opportunity and is well on his way to making his own distinctive mark in the blues harmonica history books." Joe Filisko "Johnny Bishop knows the blues; at least he knows how to sing them. And he really knows how to play them on the harmonica. Have Mercy is the real deal. This album is blues from beginning to end. If you like blues and blues harmonica, you'll like this CD. Bishop's vocals are strong throughout the album, but his harp playing is even stronger." Warren Johnston - Valley News, Lebanon, New Hampshire "Harp player Johnny Bishop is a steady presence in the area music scene since moving north from Virginia a few years back. Blues fans that have enjoyed him in bands like Blue Monday and Have Blues Will Travel, will be pleased with this CD, the first from Bishop's main band." Michael Witthaus - Connecticut Valley News Spectator 'When it comes to classic harmonica blues you have this sound nailed just right, Johnny. It's obvious that you have been listening to old school bluesmen such as Junior Wells or Little Walter. You are all about tone and mood, I like that a lot. You make songs like "Blue Lights", "Nine Below Zero" or "It's Too Late" sound fresh again. But from all those cool covers I like your song the most, "Mood Tuesday". It's so unique, with a little bit of French and Spanish flavors. Congratulations on that. Together with a tight group of seasoned musicians and some strong singing "Have Mercy" is a CD well worth listening and having in one's blues library. Good stuff!' Przemek Draheim - Blues Radio Show Host - Poland website: www. Blues. Pl/draheim.