Johnny Iguana a.k.a Brian Berkowitz has been around the blues music scene for a while. He used to play piano for Junior Wells Here he shares his passion for this genre with an assembled all-star band, including John Primer, Billy Flynn, Bob Margolin and Billy Boy Arnold.

This is a toe tapping odyssey of how Chicago blues should be played, with a focus on Johnny’s amazing piano playing. Twelve tracks, mostly covers but also instrumentals written by Johnny. 44 Blues starts the good times rolling with the old Roosevelt Sykes number setting the tone with sublime vocals from John Primer.

eclectic Chicago blues tunes to savour”

His own, Hammer And Tickle, adds a fine rhythm section steadied by drummer Michael Caskey.Willie Dixon’s, Down In The Bottom sees Mr Primer singing and playing guitar. You’re An Old Lady, Sonny Boy Williamsons cover is fun exhibiting Billy boy Arnold’s harmonica tones and vocals. Another original, Land Of Precisely Three Dances will get you dancing. Gil Scott-Heron’s Lady Day And John Coltrane, has well delivered vocals by Phillip-Michael Scales, a song for present uncertain times.

Big Easy Women another instrumental is very up-tempo. Otis Spann’s Burning Fire, is sung solidly by Lil’ Ed and Elmore James cover Shake Your Moneymaker is great. Motorhome is another rousing instrumental. Matthew Skoller takes the vocals and harmonica on Sonny Boy’s Stop Breaking Down. Big Bill Bronzy’s Hot Dog Mama sees Billy Flynn on guitar. A rollicking roller coaster of eclectic Chicago blues tunes to savour.

COLIN CAMPBELL

Checkout the album preview on Apple Music!