Johnny ‘GuitAr’ WAtSon
aT onkel po’s, carnegie Hall
If you like funky, jazzy, blues-based music with a great horn section then you’ll love this. Recorded live in Hamburg in 1976 it’s really intimate; the audience is lapping it up and Watson is clearly having fun. Instrumental opener Mr Magic steams along, as does the fantastic I Don’t Want To Be A Lone Ranger. Watson’s take on Stormy Monday is powered by Bobby Howard’s busy bass, Johnny spitting out machinegun-like licks and the whole band firing on all cylinders. In fact they bounce through the entire album, Johnny’s wah-wah coming out for Superman Lover and his BB-meetsT-Bone-meets-Kenny Burrell licks punctuating Gangster Of Love. Slow blues, Cuttin’ It has a fabulous feel, and Watson’s voice is fantastic. I Need It takes us out in high-tempo style but weirdly the 35-second play-off is included as a track. It’s a fun album that shows why Watson was such a revered live performer.