Rockin’ Johnny Burgin: Greetings From Greaseland California

Old-school Chicago bar blues by a veteran singer-guitarist.

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Burgin made a couple of albums in the 90s and one in 2012, all for Delmark, a label whose fondness for Chicago blues he shares; his CV includes work with Tail Dragger and Jimmy Burns.

His latest release has a classic ensemble sound and a setlist derived from artists such as Robert Lockwood Jr (Western Horizon), T-Bone Walker (She’s A Hit) and Hip Linkchain (Cold Chills). Burgin’s singing is idiomatic but lightweight, and on the slow blues Telephone Angel it seems pallid after the pungency of his guitar-playing. He does better with Otis Rush’s Homework, or the closing Tell The World I Do, which replicates the drowsy rhythm of Jimmy Reed.