Very few young Chicago bluesmen bring the depth and knowledge of tradition to the table that Johnny B. Moore does. His sound is a slightly contemporized version of what's been going down on the West side for decades, emblazoned with Moore's sparkling rhythmic lead guitar lines and growling vocals.
Moore first met the legendary Jimmy Reed in Clarksdale, when he was only eight years old. By the time he was 13 or so, Moore was sharing a bandstand or two with Reed up in Chicago. Letha Jones, widow of piano great Johnny Jones, took an interest in Moore's musical development, spinning stacks of blues wax for the budding guitarist.
Moore joined Koko Taylor's Blues Machine in 1975, touring and recording with the Chicago blues queen (on her 1978 LP for Alligator, The Earthshaker). He went out on his own around the turn of the '80s, waxing a fine 1987 album for B.L.U.E.S. R&B, Hard Times, that impressively spotlighted his versatility.
After some rough spots, Moore is now more visible than ever on the Chicago circuit, with two new albums (one for Austrian Wolf, the other, Live at Blue Chicago, for Delmark). In addition to playing as a leader, Moore is likely to turn up on local stages as a sideman behind everyone from Mary Lane and Karen Carroll to rock-solid bassist Willie Kent. If Johnny B. Moore isn't a star in the making, there's no justice in the blues world. ~ Bill Dahl
© 2014 Rovi Corporation.