JOHNNY SANSONE

Johnny SANSONE

Best of the Beat Music Awards

Johnny Sansone→Promo PIC
The lord is waiting-Cover

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Johnny SANSONE a de qui tenir. Son père, saxophoniste professionnel faisait partie du groupe de Dave BRUBECK dans les années 50 et c’est tout naturellement que Johnny a démarré par le saxophone à l’âge de 08 ans. Il aurait pu devenir musicien de Jazz mais à l’âge de 10 ans c’est le choc, il assiste à un concert d’Howlin WOLF en Floride et décide de jouer de l’harmonica.

À 13 ans il est invité sur scène par Honeyboy EDWARDS et pendant ses jeunes années multiplie les rencontres et côtoie des légendes du blues comme James COTTON ou Jr WELLS qui sont touchés par ce jeune blanc qui connait tout le répertoire de Jimmy REED. Dans les années 80 il part en tournée avec Ronnie EARL, John Lee HOOKER, Jimmy RODGERS et Robert LOCKWOOD Jr et pendant une dizaine d’années vit une vie de musicien itinérant qui l’amène d’Austin à Chicago en passant par le Colorado ou la Floride pour finalement décider de se poser à la Nouvelle Orleans au début des années 90.

Leader du groupe “Jumpin’ Johnny & the Blues Party”, il officie à l’harmonica et la guitare dans un style proche du delta blues comme on peut l’entendre sur l’album sorti en 1987 « Where Y’at ? » ou sur celui de 1991 « Mister Good Thing ». Installé à la Nouvelle Orleans, Johnny va tomber amoureux de la culture locale et s’en imprégner. À la suite du décès de la légende du zydeco Clifton CHENIER, Johnny se met à jouer de l’accordéon et développe un style où l’on retrouve ses influences blues et boogie baigné de culture Louisianaise.

L’album suivant « Crescent City Moon » (1997 -feat Sonny LANDRETH) gagne plusieurs récompenses dont les « Best of the Beat Awards » et l’amène à une signature sur le label Rounder Records sur lequel sort l’album « Watermelon Patch » en 1999 avec John CLEARY au Piano. Au début des années 2000, Johnny SANSONE multiplie les collaborations et participe au trio du pianiste Joe KROWN et du guitariste John FOHL. Début 2005 il rejoint le projet “Voice of the Wetlands Allstars”au côté de Dr JOHN, Ciryl NEVILLE, Monk Boudreaux, Tab BENOIT.

Le but est d’attirer l’attention sur la disparition des écosystèmes et du littoral Louisianais. Le disque sorti à la fin de l’année 2005 était censé pousser cri d’alarme mais il arrivera trop tard et cette même année les digues cèdent, emportées par les inondations dues à l’ouragan Katrina. Obligé de quitter son domicile, Johnny va se réfugier chez son ami Anders OSBORNE et se plonger dans l’écriture pour exorciser ces évènements tragiques. L’album « Poor Man’s Paradise » sort en 2007, produit par Anders OSBORNE il montre à quel point Johnny a passé un cap majeur dans la composition et l’écriture. Le morceau « “The Lord Is Waiting and the Devil is Too” est élu titre de l’année au “Blues Music Award ». Fort de cette collaboration avec Anders OSBORNE, Johnny sort l’album « Once It gets Started » puis « Lady On the Levee » avec Cyril NEVILLE aux claviers. « Hopeland » son dernier opus où figure le « North Mississippi All stars » est acclamé par la critique spécialisée et sera l’album le plus vendu durant le New Orleans Jazz & Héritage Festival 2018.

Voir Johnny SANSONE live c’est effectuer un voyage au cœur des bayous, une initiation aux rites Voodoo. Un artiste original et habité à découvrir d’urgence!

Johnny Sansone started out early playing music. His father, a saxophonist who’d been in Dave Brubeck’s band during World War II, introduced him to the saxophone at age 8. Johnny picked up the guitar and harmonica by the time he was 10 and had a life changing experience at 12 when he saw a Howlin’ Wolf show in Florida. That was the moment the young Sansone knew he was destined to play the blues as his lifetime vocation. He sat in with Honeyboy Edwards at 13. During the 1970s Sansone studied with blues harmonica legends James Cotton and Jr. Wells. In the 1980s he toured with Ronnie Earl, John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Rodgers and Robert Lockwood Jr.

Sansone led the life of an itinerant bluesman, traveling around the country from temporary bases in Colorado, Austin, Florida and Chicago before settling down in New Orleans in 1990. As leader of Jumpin’ Johnny & the Blues Party, Sansone played harmonica and guitar in the fierce Mississippi delta blues style heard on his 1987 debut Where Y’at? and his 1991 release Mister Good Thing.

Living in New Orleans brought a swamp rock tinge to his gruff vocals and emotional playing style, and after attending a wake for Zydeco pioneer Clifton Chenier Sansone started playing accordion as well. By the time of 1996’s Crescent City Moon Sansone had developed into a full-fledged Louisiana artist, combining blues, boogie and the front porch Cajun and Zydeco sounds of the Louisiana bayou country.

Crescent City Moon won multiple Best of the Beat awards that year and Sansone was signed to Rounder Records’ Bullseye Blues subsidiary, which also released his 1999 follow up Watermelon Patch. During the early ‘00s Sansone played in a variety of settings, including a trio with pianist Joe Krown and guitarist John Fohl which released a recording in 2004.

At the beginning of 2005 Sansone joined the Voice of the Wetlands Allstars, a group of Louisiana bandleaders who wanted to draw attention to the disappearing wetlands and the destruction of the Louisiana coastline. By the time the record was released later that year New Orleans was underwater – the city flooded when its levee system broke down under the onslaught of the flood surge accompanying hurricane Katrina. “The record was designed to be a warning about what might happen,” said Sansone.

“Then it became a matter of I-told-you-so.”

Sansone was forced from his home when New Orleans was depopulated in the months after the flood and went on tour with the Voice of the Wetlands Allstars. He developed a lasting friendship with fellow VOW member Anders Osborne and began writing great songs about the Louisiana experience tempered by the emotions of watching the city being destroyed and slowly returning to life. Osborne produced Sansone’s next album, the 2007 release Poor Man’s Paradise. Sansone reached a new level of songwriting skills on this record, and the title track became a staple of the Voice of the Wetlands live performances.

In 2009 Sansone formed an acoustic trio with Osborne and guitarist John Fohl. The idea was they would play a regular Tuesday night show at Chickie Wah Wah to work on new songs. It was an explosive period of creativity for Osborne, who developed the songs on his masterful American Patchwork album during these sessions. But it was also a time of creative breakthroughs for Sansone, who wrote the breathtaking blues “The Lord Is Waiting and the Devil is Too” during these sessions. That song became the title track of his next album, another Osborne-produced venture. To this day it’s hard for Sansone to get through a gig without a fan calling out for “that Devil song!” “The Lord Is Waiting and the Devil is too” was named Song of the Year at the Blues Music Awards.

Sansone continued to pen his unique brand of Louisiana story songs on his next album, Once It gets Started, which featured a memorable account of the fire that destroyed the Hubig’s Pie factory, “The Night the Pie Factory Burned Down.” His latest release, Lady on the Levee, another Osborne production, this time featuring Fohl as well as Jefferey Bridges on bass, Rob Lee on drums, Joe Cabral on baritone saxophone and Ivan Neville on keyboards.

The album rocks with the powerful boogie of “OZ Radio,” a tribute to New Orleans roots music radio station WWOZ. Sansone’s howling, rip-through-the-plaster voice and deep grooved harmonica riffs are the main attractions, but hard core fans will appreciate the wit and wisdom of his character songs, Louisiana stories like the title track, “Gertrude’s Property Line” and “One Of Us,” (“he ain’t no tourist attraction/he’s one of us”). This is Sansone’s most personal album as well. You can hear him struggling with some deep emotions on songs like “I’m Still Here” “Lightning Bug Rhodes” and “Tomato Wine.”

Johnny’s newest recording, HOPELAND, was produced by Anders Osborne, and features the North Mississippi Allstars. Offbeat Magazine’s review of HOPELAND praises Johnny for his instrumental prowess, particularly on harmonica and accordion, as well as his songwriting and bandleader talent. “… The energy level peaks so hard it could easily fly off the rails, but the perfectly balanced production from Osborne, and the finishing touches from Trina Shoemaker’s superb mixing, keep the buzz and distortion from turning into a train wreck. That’s how you catch lightning in a bottle.”

HOPELAND was the top selling record at Louisiana Music Factory during 2018 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Johnny SANSONE tiene a quien parecerse. Su padre, saxofonista profesional formaba parte de la banda de Dave BRUBECK en los años 50 y naturalmente Johnny empezó a tocar el saxófono a los 8 años. Podía hacerse músico de Jazz pero tuvo una revelación a la edad de 10 años al asistir a un concierto de Howlin WOLF en Florida. Fue cuando decidió tocar la armónica.

A los 13 años es invitado al escenario por Honeybone EDWARDS y durante su juventud multiplica los encuentros con leyendas del Blues como James COTTON o Jr WELLS que son conmovidos por este joven blanco que se conoce todo el repertorio de Jimmy REED.

En los años 80 se va de gira con Ronnie EARL, John Lee HOOKER, Jimmy RODGERS y Robert LOCKWOOD Jr y durante unos diez años vive una vida de músico itinerante que lo lleva de Austin a Chicago pasando por Colorado o Florida para finalmente decidir pararse en New Orleans a principios de los años 90.

Líder del grupo “Jumpin' Johnny & the Blues Party”, toca la armónica y la guitarra en un estilo cercano al del delta blues como se puede escuchar en su álbum salido en 1987 “Where Y'at ?” o en el de 1991 “Mister Good Thing”.

Instalado en New-Orleans, Johnny va a enamorarse de la cultura local y va a impregnarse de ella. Después del fallecimiento de la leyenda del zydeco Clifton CHENIER, Johnny se pone a tocar el acordeón y desarrolla un estilo en el que se vuelven a encontrar sus influencias blues y boogie bañado por la cultura de Luisiana.

El álbum siguiente “Crescent City Moon” (1997 – feat Sonny LANDRETH) se ve galardonado por varios premios entre los cuales los “Best of the Beat Awards” que lo llevan a firmar un contrato con el label Rounder Records en el que sale el álbum “Watermelon Patch” en 1999 con John CLEARY al piano.

A principios de los 2000 Johnny SANSONE multiplica las colaboraciones y participa en el trio del pianista Joe KROWN y del guitarrista John FOHL.

En 2005 se une al proyecto “Voice of the Wetlands Allstars” a los lados de Dr JOHN, Ciryl NEVILLE, Monk BOUDREAUX, Tab BENOIT. La meta es llamar la atención sobre la desaparición de los ecositemas y del litoral luisianés. El disco salido a finales del 2005 debía lanzar una alerta pero llegó demasiado tarde y aquel año cedieron los diques llevados por las inundaciones acarreadas por el huracán Katrina.

Obligado a dejar su domicilio, Johnny se refugia en casa de su amigo Anders OSBORNE y se sumerge en la escritura para exorcizar esos acontecimientos trágicos.

El álbum “Poor Man's Paradise” sale en 2007, es producido por Anders OSBORNE y muestra hasta que punto Johnny superó un hito mayor en la composición y la escritura.

La pieza “The Lord is waiting and the Devil is too” es elegida título del año en el “Blues Music Award”. Fuerte de esta colaboración con Anders OSBORNE, Johnny sale el álbum “Once it get started” y luego “Lady on the levee” con Cyril NEVILLE al teclado.

“Hopeland” su última obra en la que figura el “North Mississippi All Stars” es aclamada por la crítica especializada y será el álbum más vendido durante el New Orleans Jazz &Héritage Festival 2018.

Ver a Johnny SANSONE en directo es efectuar un viaje al corazón del Bayou, una iniciación a los ritos Voodoo.

¡Un artista original y habitado a quien hay que descubrir con urgencia!

Booking : Pascal Delmas / +33 (0) 681 837 504 / bluztrack@gmail.com