Blues Music Award from The Blues Foundation for « Best New Artist Debut Award » for Tengo Blues!
Jonn Del Toro Richardson grew up around Houston, Texas, and you can hear it in every note he sings and plays. You can hear the Latin music that is his birthright – his uncles, aunts and grandparents played in touring mariachi bands, and often got together to play on the back porch. You can also hear the influence of the country and R’N B music that was played in his house, and particularly the blues that drifted strongly over his grandparents’ backyard fence from the next neighborhood and took hold with Jonn to be the centerpiece of his musical identity.
And now, Jonn steps up with his long-awaited personal debut, TENGO BLUES. Jonn wrote and sings all the songs, and his powereful guitar playing is featured throughout. The natural choice to produce this record was Anson Funderburgh, who also contributed some rhythm guitar and co- wrote two songs. TENGO BLUES features Nick Connoly on keys, Nathan Rowe on bass, Wes Starr on drums, Jonn’s uncle Lawrence Del Toro on percussion, and the mighty TEXAS HORNS on seven tracks.
Jonn started out playing in latin rock and cover bands, but soon turned to the blues, playing with a number of bands around Houston until he met Diunna Greenleaf and became a member of her Blue Mercy band. According to Jonn that was when everything started coming together: “with Diunna I learned how to perform and be the counter punch to her vocals, and along the way learned how to sing with conviction and truth.
Together we were unstoppable.” They proved it in 2005 winning The Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge, where Jonn won The Albert King Award for Most Promising Guitarist. Jonn went on to perform with many of his blues heroes, and performed on Pinetop Perkins’ Grammy winning record Last Of The Mississippi Bluesmen with Robert Lockwood, Henry Townsend and Honeyboy Edwards. Jonn began playing with Otis Taylor, joining him on the soundtrack for the movie Public Enemy.
In 2011 Jonn started working with blues mandolinist Rich DelGrosso, recording Time Slips On By, one of Down Beat Magazines Top Albums of 2011. Jonn’s next CD, with long-time friend and fellow Albert King Winner Sean Carney, Wild Ride provided a greater showcase for his formidable guitar playing and powerful vocals. Jonn and Sean have toured extensively both nationally and internationally with this critically acclaimed CD.
It was a long journey for Richardson to reach this debut and he flourishes as a leader. Nearing the end of 2015, count this as one of this year’s strongest blues releases. — Elmore Magazine
“I stood with the audience and applauded as Jonn Del Toro Richardson broke our hearts with a beautiful, moody song from Tengo Blues. Behind the microphone, Jonn savored this sweet breakthrough moment. Get used to it, Jonn. And you, get ready to be moved!” — Bob Margolin
Jonn Richardson – « Wild Ride » (TENGO BLUES – 2016)