Johnny & The Headhunters – That’s All I Need | Album Review

Johnny & The Headhunters – That’s All I Need

self release

10 songs time-31:14

Washington, D.C. based singer-guitarist Johnny Ticktin is one smooth and talented blues based musician. His guitar skills are sure and steady. Add his strong and confident voice to the mix and you have the makings of one guaranteed good time. The services of keyboard man Tam Sullivan along with various rhythm sections are put to good use in service to this solid assemblage of nine cover songs along with one original.

Johnny approaches Chicago legend Magic Sam’s “That’s All I Need” much in the laid back style of Slim Harpo, while showcasing his totally enjoyable vocal and guitar skills. Bobby “Blue” Bland’s “Lead Me On” is another mellow gem. The funky double entendre laced “Body And Fender Man” by the hand of Johnny Adams is a tasty morsel of R&B inflected blues that is complimented by some way cool organ playing.

Johnny injects blues into the rockabilly ditty “Chicken House”. Lowell Fulson’s “Rock’em Dead” from 1957 finds Johnny delivering energetic jump blues guitar. Elmore James’ classic “Shake Your Money Maker” gets the necessary slide guitar treatment in a short and sweet version. For a change of pace we get a dose of surf guitar on the instrumental “Ace Of Spades’ by Link Wray.

The gritty cover of Donovan’s “Watch And Chain(Hey Gyp)” owes more to The Animals tough version. It’s a vocal duel between Johnny and Liz Springer. He shines on another smokin’ Magic Sam cover in “All My Whole Life”, were he lets rip with classic Chicago style guitar goodness. “Collins Mambo”, an instrumental salute to the legendary Albert Collins caps things off in energetic high style.

Great playing and singing from the first note. What more could you ask for? The only minor quibble is the short length of this recording as it clocks in at just thirty-one minutes and fourteen seconds. Like the all knowing “they” say, quality is more important than quantity. I’ll surely being keeping a watchful eye out for Johnny’s next CD.

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