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Author Topic: Johnny Shines  (Read 5719 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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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/

Offline alyoung

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Re: Johnny Shines
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2011, 05:53:30 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.


It would have been fairly close to this time -- probably earlier in 1979 -- that I saw Johnny Shines playing in Sydney, Australia. During a pause while he tuned his guitar, some idiot in the audience shouted out "What about some Robert Johnson". Shines looked up and stared coldly in the direction from which the voice came for what seemed like an eternity as the hall fell into complete silence. Then he spoke. "What about some John Shines," he said.   


Offline Rivers

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Re: Johnny Shines
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2011, 09:27:56 PM »

It would have been fairly close to this time -- probably earlier in 1979 -- that I saw Johnny Shines playing in Sydney, Australia. During a pause while he tuned his guitar, some idiot in the audience shouted out "What about some Robert Johnson". Shines looked up and stared coldly in the direction from which the voice came for what seemed like an eternity as the hall fell into complete silence. Then he spoke. "What about some John Shines," he said.   


Alan, this is kind of circular, hope you don't mind, when I heard you tell that story a while back somewhere (Java Jive? GANZ? My living room?) it so struck me I posted it on here as a quote for the quote generator, you may see it come around. I gave the venue proper provenance, though I think I left out your name for privacy purposes, since I hadn't asked permission. Since you've gone public on it we may update the quote's attribution.

Offline alyoung

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Re: Johnny Shines
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2011, 09:38:37 PM »
Probably your living room ... it's not one I think I've ever told at a venue or on stage. But I'm quite happy to be attributed. I haven't seen the quote on the generator yet; apols for the duplication --I've just being going thu the forum tags looking at items of particular interest and the post on John Shines (which, BTW, was how he referred to himself - not Johnny) from Bunker Hill caught my interest.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Johnny Shines
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2011, 05:08:42 AM »
I wish I could recall the exact exchange that evening at the 100 Club. I know Chris Smith was present and he has a far better recall than I of such. I'll run it past him.

Offline jostber

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Re: Johnny Shines
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2011, 08:24:14 AM »
Fascinating stories on Shines, thanks. Hopefully more will come. I have not heard this Shines album. Is this a good one?




Offline doctorpep

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Re: Johnny Shines
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2011, 07:56:18 PM »
I recently purchased this disc. It was the only Johnny shines album that I didn't own on CD. I must say that it's his worst album. However, considering the man's brilliant output, the disc in question is well worth purchasing. He just seems like he wasn't intent on picking the best song selection available. Perhaps the reason for this is due to the fact that he wasn't intending to record an album. I'd have to check the liner notes, but I'm pretty sure that this CD was never issued on record, and that it's a combination of two short recording sessions that Johnny did in the 1970s. He seems to forget the words to one of his best tunes, two steps to hell. Well, whether it is one of his best or not is obviously just my opinion, but it's certainly a tune that was recorded with quite vivid lyrics on at least two other albums of Johnny's. I believe that the two other albums were back to the country, with assistance from to guitar players, andsnooky pryor, and the disc that contains crying black angel and some Robert Johnson material. Sorry to say that the name of the second disc escapes me at the moment. Anyway, worried blues ain't bad contains a cover of a famous tune that was popularized by Bob wills, as well as a blind lemon Jefferson cover and an interesting song that is Johnny's re-creation of a slavery time song. While this disc is the least essential of Johnny shines, it's still worth picking up on Amazon.com for nine or $10.

Please excuse my or rent this grammar. I am using a speech to text program in order to avoid aggravating my carpal tunnel syndrome.
"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 Stefan Wirz

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Re: Johnny Shines
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2011, 03:36:03 AM »
AfaIk "Worried Blues Ain't Bad" (Labor CD 7011 1995 = Blues Alliance CD 1996) was first issued 1974 as "Johnny Shines: Country Blues" on Stony Plain 1005 (Ca) and XTRA 1142 (UK)


Offline doctorpep

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Re: Johnny Shines
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2011, 11:24:28 AM »
I stand corrected! Thank you for jogging my memory. I think the album comes from two separate recordings that were done in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
"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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Re: Johnny Shines
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2011, 08:04:19 AM »
Thanks. Might check out this one. Interesting that Shines recorded this in Edmonton, Canada. Was other blues men recorded there?


Offline doctorpep

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Re: Johnny Shines
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2011, 07:41:31 PM »
I have no idea if any other bluesmen recorded  in Edmonton. Maybe Louisiana red.
"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/