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Well as a man he was a good natured fellow to meet, very kind. Well thought of and everybody liked him, wouldn't do nobody no harm at all. He do like most blind men do when they have a family or wife, do all they can to take care of them - Rev. Gary Davis describes Blind Boy Fuller, in Oh, What A Beautiful City

Author Topic: Johnny Shines  (Read 5727 times)

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Offline doctorpep

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Johnny Shines
« on: January 21, 2008, 10:25:48 PM »
Hello, everyone! Am I the only one here who enjoys Johnny Shines just as much as Robert Johnson, if not more? Shines' voice was more powerful than Howlin' Wolf's. He could go from a whisper to a yell in one second. He's the only guy whose music causes me to constantly adjust the volume on my computer, which can be a bit irritating. His slide work was great, though I've heard some people say he wasn't a wonderful all-around guitar player. And the man deserves a lot of credit for writing country blues songs (like "The Devil's Daughter") decades after the heyday of country blues, just like Alvin Youngblood Hart (example: "Them Fair Weather Friends"). Few others are able to do this without making the country blues sound whitebread (Toby Walker comes to mind). Shines' electric recordings also contained a lot of intensity, again evident in his powerhouse voice (example: "Ain't Doin' No Good" and "No Name Blues"). He was also capable of doing more R&B flavored stuff like "Just a Little Tenderness" and "Give My Heart a Break." And we also have to consider the guy's incredibly poetic taste in lyrics. Along with Alex Moore and perhaps Blind Lemon, he was the most original lyricist in all of blues (even considering the many floating verses he used in songs). What I'm wondering is why everyone always mentions Robert Johnson in the same breath as Johnny, and why Johnny wasn't fully appreciated during his lifetime. The guy survived into the 1990s, so there must be plenty of information available on him to write a biography. I'd love to see his autobiography come out, as well. For those who share my feelings about Johnny, I want to let you know that Blues Reference recently re-released his "Takin' The Blues Back South." It's a great disc!
"There ain't no Heaven, ain't no burning Hell. Where I go when I die, can't nobody tell."

http://www.hardluckchild.blogspot.com/

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Johnny Shines
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2008, 01:34:57 AM »
I agree about Johnny Shines.  I have quite a few LPs and CDs by him (nothing on my computer!), which make for very enjoyable listening.  As well as his accomplished slide playing, I think he had a great voice, full of expression.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2011, 04:49:34 AM by Parlor Picker »
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline jostber

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Re: Johnny Shines
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2008, 05:48:25 AM »
Totally agree. I love mr.Shines music, and especially this one:




Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Johnny Shines
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2008, 09:52:08 AM »
May I be so bold as to suggest folk check out the Johnny Shines entry in the oft overlloked Tags as well as this excellent discography by you know who ;)

http://www.wirz.de/music/shinefrm.htm

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Johnny Shines
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2008, 11:38:00 AM »
I was lucky enough to meet Johnny Shines and see him play at very close quarters at the Mariposa Folk Festival in Toronto in the early seventies. He was an extremely cultured, intelligent, dignified and patient man, even when being pestered with stupid questions by a  23 year old me who didn't know any better! And what a voice - loud, clear, and at times chilling. His guitar playing was expressive and could be bouncy and funky! I remember wishing his Gibson guitar would have done better justice to his slide work, as it was quite quiet, didn't sustain a lot, and sounded like the action was set too low for slide. However the slide guitar work itself was superb and the delicacy of some of it was a perfect foil to that crying voice. I remember cringing on his behalf when people would ask him RJ questions instead of Johnny Shines questions! A great player and a great man, IMO.

Offline doctorpep

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Re: Johnny Shines
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2008, 03:01:51 PM »
Prof. Scratchy, that's awesome that you got to meet Johnny Shines! I know this was a long time ago, but do you remember any specific quotes from him about anything at all? (it can be about Blues, hamburgers, Nixon; it doesn't matter! haha). Unfortunately for me, I was born way too late to have met any great Country Blues originals. I wonder if anyone knows of a live Johnny Shines album that was recorded in Japan. I think it's never been issued on cd. The name of the arena or city escapes me at the moment, but I know that many artists (Blues and non-Blues) have albums with the same title- "Live at the (insert city or arena's name)". It's not the Budokan! haha. I'm just curious, because it's some of the only Shines stuff that I don't own on cd. Thanks!
"There ain't no Heaven, ain't no burning Hell. Where I go when I die, can't nobody tell."

http://www.hardluckchild.blogspot.com/

Offline Stuart

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  • "The Voice of Almiqui"
Re: Johnny Shines
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2008, 03:26:51 PM »
I wonder if anyone knows of a live Johnny Shines album that was recorded in Japan. I think it's never been issued on cd. The name of the arena or city escapes me at the moment, but I know that many artists (Blues and non-Blues) have albums with the same title- "Live at the (insert city or arena's name)". It's not the Budokan! haha. I'm just curious, because it's some of the only Shines stuff that I don't own on cd. Thanks!

http://cgi.ebay.com/Johnny-Shines-JAPAN-1975-LIVE-LP_W0QQitemZ190191807310QQcmdZViewItem?IMSfp=TL0801190918a35719

Johnny Shines
Live Recording at Yubin Chokin Hall on March 1975
Blues Festival # 2

- Steady Rollin' Man
- Dust My Broom
- Good Morning Blues
- Have To Pay The Cost
- Little Wolf
- Pony Blues
- Come On In My Kitchen
- Dynaflow Blues
- Mean Black Snake
- Nobody's Fault But Mine

rec. Tokyo, Japan 1975

Go to Stefan's site and click on Johnny Shines for the complete list:

http://www.wirz.de/music/american.htm

Offline doctorpep

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Re: Johnny Shines
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2008, 04:38:55 PM »
Thank you very much! I wish it were available on CD!
"There ain't no Heaven, ain't no burning Hell. Where I go when I die, can't nobody tell."

http://www.hardluckchild.blogspot.com/

Offline Coyote Slim

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Re: Johnny Shines
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2008, 08:44:49 PM »
I'm another Shines fan.  He's one of my favorite musicians and a big influence.  I wish I could have met him, and I'm always happy to hear stories.
Puttin' on my Carrhartts, I gotta work out in the field.

Coyote Slim's Youtube Channel

Offline doctorpep

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Re: Johnny Shines
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2008, 11:32:53 AM »
Definitely! I wonder if Professor Scratchy or anyone else has anything to add in regards to meeting the man.
"There ain't no Heaven, ain't no burning Hell. Where I go when I die, can't nobody tell."

http://www.hardluckchild.blogspot.com/

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Johnny Shines
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2008, 11:51:44 AM »
I sat within a foot of he and Robert Lockwood when they played London's 100 Club in October 1979. Didn't speak with him but he had a novel way of dealing with a heckler, something along these lines:

Heckler: Johnny Shines you're a sexist

Shines: Silence

Heckler: Johnny Shines you're a sexist

Shines: Texist, Texist, I'm not from Texas.

Offline doctorpep

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Re: Johnny Shines
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2008, 12:43:55 PM »
Haha! Great story. This is a bit off-topic, but I saw John Hammond perform at small club here on Long Island (New York) in January. There was an audience member who must have ordered about 15 beers and was drunk 30 minutes into the show. At one point, while John was performing Hambone Willie Newbern's "Dreamy-Eyed Woman Blues", the guy was headbanging while yelling out "Jimmy Reed!". There was also another audience member who was concentrating more on his chicken wings than on John's performance, and he kept calling out, "Duane Allman, John! Tell us a story about Duane!". This must have been sort of similar to Mr. Shines constantly being attacked with questions about Robert Johnson.
"There ain't no Heaven, ain't no burning Hell. Where I go when I die, can't nobody tell."

http://www.hardluckchild.blogspot.com/

Offline doctorpep

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Re: Johnny Shines
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2008, 02:06:22 PM »
Perhaps this has already been mentioned, but Blue Horizon has released recordings by Sunnyland Slim + Johnny Shines' "Last Night's Dream" sessions on CD. Just wanted to point this out because it's related to the discographies.
"There ain't no Heaven, ain't no burning Hell. Where I go when I die, can't nobody tell."

http://www.hardluckchild.blogspot.com/

Offline jostber

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Offline doctorpep

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Re: Johnny Shines
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2008, 12:46:19 PM »
Awesome! Thanks for that information. "Last Night's Dream" has some really fantastic lyrics and vocals, though Johnny thought his playing wasn't that great on the album.
"There ain't no Heaven, ain't no burning Hell. Where I go when I die, can't nobody tell."

http://www.hardluckchild.blogspot.com/