Thursday, January 26, 2023

Dennis Johnson & The Mississippi Ramblers

Crystal Hotel - Al's Den

7 p.m.

$10 in advance, $10 day of show
Limited Seating, first come first serve.
Expect standing room.

21 and over

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About Dennis Johnson & The Mississippi Ramblers

Americana, Roots, Slide Guitar

Dennis Johnson & The Mississippi Ramblers

"To evolve as an artist you take chances and learn new things. I went exciting new directions on this record." Dennis Johnson says of his new album Revelation. "I am thrilled with the results. This is a stellar rockin album."

Known as a world class slide guitar player, Johnson delivers an album of blues rockers, roots standouts mixed with gospel and country elements, and a slide guitar infused emotional instrumental. "I learned a lot making this record from arranging and finding great grooves to recording unique guitar tones." Johnson explained. "It always is about the getting the groove first. If you can find it, the rest flows naturally."

The rhythm section on the album is anchored by legendary drummer Anton Fig, who has recorded and performed with numerous music luminaries including Joe Bonamassa. Anton Fig is well known as the drummer for Late Night with David Letterman. "Bringing Anton Fig onboard for this record really set the bar with some extraordinary grooves." Johnson said. "He is one of the best drummers on the world."

Playing piano and B3 on the album is phenomenal keyboardist Bob Fridzema, known for his work with Walter Trout and Joanna Shaw Taylor. "Bob is a player with great ears to pick spots to weave into a song with a vocal or guitar part." Johnson said. "Bob really rocked it on this record."

Bassist Jonathan Stoyanoff provides grooving basslines and backing vocals. Stoyanoff, known for this work with Joe Craven, has performed with Dennis Johnson for years. "Jonathan and I were really able to hone in the connection between the bass and guitar for this album." Johnson explained. "Its our best work together."

Engineer Chris Bell, renowned for his works with the likes of Kenny Wayne Shepard, Samantha Fish, and The Eagles, mixed nine songs for the album. Chris stated "I had a blast mixing this record. The pocket and groove are extraordinary!" Famed producer and engineer Kevin Shirley who has worked with Joe Bonnamassa, Aerosmith, and Led Zeppelin, mixed one of the songs for the album.

His passion for slide guitar drove Dennis Johnson to teach himself guitar and through a career that includes four albums to date. His first album Slide Show reached the heights of the Roots Music Reports charts. His second album Slide Avenue rose to the top of the Roots Music Report radio charts: #1 Songs - UK Roots Radio Charts (The Wind is Howlin and Back on my Feet), #6 Song - US Roots Radio Charts (Swingin At The Savoy), #2 Album - UK Roots Radio Charts (5 consecutive weeks). His next album Rhythmland received national and international acclaim.

His new album Revelation reached the #1 Blues Rock Album, #1 Blues Song (Talk To You), #1 Blues Rock Songs (32-20 Blues, Don't Owe You A Thing), and Top 50 Blues Rock Album for 14 weeks on the Worldwide Roots Music Report Charts.

Johnson's evolution as a slide guitarist comes from years of dedicated work on pushing slide guitar to its limits. "In the past few years, I have really focused on articulations with a slide - types of vibrato, sliding up or down to a note, and moving the slide at various angles like a lap steel player to connect notes - which my made my playing way more expressive." Johnson explained. "This resulted from years of dedicated practice motivated by passion for slide guitar. I like to work on my weaknesses as a player and turn them into strengths"

A major shift in Dennis Johnson's guitar tone occurred for this album. "I like notes to bark as Larry Carlton would say. Give me a Fender Tweed Deluxe with a 5e3 circuit and set it to where the amp is relatively clean with a light touch, but when you play a little harder the amp breaks up. Its emulative of the human voice changing at different volumes." You can hear exactly that on the song Revelation. The guitar tone starts off relatively clean but slowly changes as the song progresses to a more broken up tone. Dennis explained "There were no pedals used on the track just a difference in how hard my fingers touch the string.

It really showcases why the touch sensitivity of Leo Fender's 5e3 circuit on the Tweed Deluxe is genius."

 

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