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  • Floyd Dixon Portrait
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  •  The Legendary Floyd Dixon

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Floyd Dixon


Floyd Dixon artist of HighJohn Records, prefers to approach life as simply as possible. The living legend title that’s irrevocably attached to his name is not something that affects him. His considerable legacy notwithstanding, he lives in the moment and it is that trademark quality that informs Fine! Fine! Thing, his new album on Los Angeles based independent label, HighJohn Records. For someone whose work as a writer/piano player and vocalist has made him a significant contributor (many say founder) of the early R&B and jump blues genre, Dixon has been circumspect when it comes to recording and releasing records. Since winning the W.C. Handy Award for Comeback Album of the Year in 1997 (for Wake Up And Live), he’s kept a low profile, concentrating on writing, giving an occasional live performance and spending time at home in Southern California with his family and friends.

Fine! Fine! Thing reveals Floyd Dixon at his uncomplicated best. Songs like “My Wish”, “Love’s The Key” and the straightforward title don’t require in-depth analysis, just a willingness to reduce life’s complexities to simple, understandable equations. When he sings about long lost love, dancer extraordinaire Carmen De Lavalade, Floyd paints a clear picture of his life long affection for her: “she’s the girl for me, that’s the way it will always be.” The songs on Fine!Fine!Thing reverberate with honesty, decency and traditional family values. Floyd’s reminiscences about growing up in Photo by Astor Morgan Marshall, Texas evoke idyllic images when he sings, “Dad worked hard and took good care of us, Mom washed and ran all the chores… There was a special time for prayer and the whole family was there, and everyone was happy including me. Dad started with a song and we would sing until dawn,

I wish things were the way they used to be.” Anyone who’s accomplished what Floyd Dixon has could justifiably relax and rest on his many laurels, but he feels he’s just getting started on an exciting new phase of his illustrious career. His work ethic is underscored by the string of jobs he held back in his halcyon days as he practiced his craft, learning at the feet of artists like T Bone Walker. While winning talent contests in Los Angeles and drawing encouragement from bandleader, Johnny Otis to record, Floyd worked at Orenstein’s Drug Store, caddied 36 holes a day at the local course, studied hotel management and flirted briefly with a professional football career (he was an all-star high school end) before cutting his 1947 debut, “Dallas Blues” for the Supreme label. All of his hard work paid dividends when he took his accrued life experience and funneled it into his music. For Floyd Dixon Fine! Fine! Thing brings his amazing life full circle, back to a point where his energy and creativity are operating at peak efficiency. He smiles and laughs when his considerable career accomplishments are brought up because for this blues icon and living legend, the best is yet to come.

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Johnny Tucker

tuckermainJohnny Tucker is the tenth child born of nineteen siblings to a seasonal sharecropper and his wife. His interest in music began when he would sit on the porch and hear his father play the guitar for his mother. Johnny started playing drums and was first influenced by Lowell Fulson’s record Black Knight. He learned the music by listening and playing along with the songs. He listened to James Brown records and learned to play his tunes as well.

Johnny first came to Los Angeles in 1964 where he hooked up with Phillip Walker as a featured singer doing a James Brown act singing top ten hits of the times. Later, he became a drummer with Phillip’s band and began traveling the world for the next 34 years.

Along the way, he played with other great artists such as Floyd Dixon, Robert Cray, Johnny Otis, The Five Royals, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and the late Lowell Folson and Johnny Copeland. Johnny has traveled and performed extensively in the U.S., Canada, Japan and Europe.
In 1967 Johnny met James “Broadway” Thomas while they were with playing with the Johnny Otis band. In 1997 these two teamed up and put out an album titled Stranded, by Tucker and Thomas. Some of the original tunes on that disc were written and produced by Johnny.

Now, Johnny Tucker is back, on a new album, Why You Lookin’ At Me? On this recording Johnny sings blues you can relate to. Not the “my dog died blues” or the “my baby done left me blues,” but blues to energize you and make you feel happy. It’s a flavor of blues that makes you want to get up and dance.

This album is Johnny’s best work yet. Tucker’s vocals are eclectic for a blues singer; adding a bit of funk, soul, and R&B to the overall mix. This CD contains a classic blend of R&B and Chicago style blues, at times so soulful you won’t know how to categorize it

Yes, Johnny is back. Remember his name, down the road you will most likely be hearing many more good things about Johnny Tucker.

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James West & Drowning Sound

DSmainDrowning Sound released their debut Sea of Emotions CD on Highjohn Records in 2003. The band is made up of guitarist and lead vocalist James West, bass guitar player George Williamson, and drummer Ryan O’Connor. Influenced by a diverse mix of musicial styles over the years, West is the author of Sea of Emotion’s raw, yet thought-provoking lyrics that will be sure to catch the attention of the media and rock and roll fans alike.

JIMMY_SMBorn in Boulder, Colorado, and raised near the beaches of Malibu, California, music played a big part in the life of guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter James West from a very early age. West continued to formulate his musical dream throughout his high school years, performing at creative writing festivals, school assemblies and parties. James was the catalyst in bringing drummer Ryan O’Connor and bassist and keyboardist George Williamson into the studio with him to record his much anticipated debut release, Sea of Emotions. James West

GEORGE_SMGeorge’s first adventure into making music occurred at the tender age of eight, when after begging his dad to buy him a snare drum for months, suddenly one appeared. Four years later George found a bass guitar in the back of a friends closet, paid $40.00 for it and began a lifelong infatuation with the instrument. He began playing with local bands and friends learning Rock and Roll and blues. After college George decided to hit the road playing Top 40, Rock, Jazz wherever he could find work. From then on it has been a series of gigs small and large in all kinds of venues. George Williamson

RYAN_SMRyan was Baldwin Park High School’s Outstanding Jazz Musician of the Year in 1986 and graduated from Los Angeles County High School For The Arts in 1989. He competed in more than 30 jazz festivals with both BPHS and LACHSA jazz ensembles, and received 13 National Association of Jazz Educators “Outstanding Musician” or “Outstanding Soloist” awards. Currently, Ryan teaches music in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

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Greg Weins

gregmainGreg Weins lives in a world that’s much like yours in most ways, with one distinct difference: In Greg’s world, the light of day barely gets past the blindness he has lived with since June 15th, 1973. That day, in Long Beach California, his parents were informed by their doctor that Greg had been born with a permanently damaged optical nerve. Those of us with sight can’t even imagine a life without it, but this is a challenge Greg continues to meet, every day.

With inner resolve just as strong as his condition is rare, Greg was never discouraged. He realized the tendency for balance in the universe quite early, with the discovery of his robust natural talent for playing music and singing. By age twelve Greg had already taught himself to play the piano and decided to become a musician. He played his keyboard and studied many forms of music throughout his teen years, focusing on music theory, construction and improvisation.

Over the years, Greg had the honor of playing with many established musicians, earning their respect and proving his abilities. As an example he has worked with Kid Ramos, Finis Tasby, James Harmon, Deacon Jones, Raging Sun, George Griffin, Johnny Tucker, Elnora Beck, and many, many others. Although he is now just barely into his 30’s, he is already deeply involved in the music business, having performed in clubs and at festivals far and wide.

Where does it all go from here? Naturally, that’s up to Greg. His talents are so versatile and so adept that he has a lot of choices. He does well as a soloist in any venue from Sunday brunch to happy hour to late-night lounge. When performing with his band he leads with inspired conviction, spontaneously calling out the musical key to the players as he romps from song to song in a rollicking live set. Greg Weins has as strong a sense of conviction and dedication to entertaining as you’ll find in a lifetime of looking.

It should not come as a surprise if you hear a lot more about Greg Weins in the future. Without a doubt there’ll be a lot of fans like you and me that will follow the ongoing development of Greg Weins the Performer with amazement and admiration. That’s because when it comes to entertainment, Greg Weins is the real deal.

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Joe Campbell

joemainJoe Campbell Vocals, Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Production, Composition, Lyrics and Song Writing

Joe Campbell has recorded with Ray Charles, Whispers, Shalamar, Denise Williams, Bobby Womack and Switch. He also has performed with Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Lowell Fulson, Johnny Taylor, Little Milton and Phillip Walker.

He arranges for Little Milton, and appeared in the movies “What’s Love Got To Do With It” (The Tina Turner Story: Walt Disney Productions), and “Harlem Nights.”

For a complete horn section, whether it’s for a live or studio gig, call upon The Ebony Horns: Carle Vickers on tenor sax, Bernard Baisden on trombone and Joe Campbell on trumpet

TOURS: 1992 American Black Music Festival (European Tour)

with Lowell Fulson Ray Charles Johnny Taylor Little Milton

L.L. Cool J. Band T.V. Appearances Showtime at the Apollo – 1993 Soul Train – Comedy Awards – 1993 Arsenio Hall Show – Grammy Awards-1992 Billboard Music Awards-1992 MTV Video Music Awards-1992 Strictly Business Video (Motion Pic Soundtrack)

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Norman Merten

nav-featured-NMNorman Merten is an L.A.-based guitarist with a hard-driving, progressive style that layers rock and roll with the deep grooves of rhythm and blues. He has performed with a variety of artists, including: Vanessa Williams, Howard Hewett, Jay Leno’s Tonight Show Band, The Arsenio Hall Show, Miki Howard, The Boys, and Philip Bailey to name a few. Additionally, he has composed and performed music for MTV’s “The Real World,” the Disney Channel, ABC’s “Starting Over,” and FOX’s “The Bernie Mac Show” among others.

On his new CD, “Beggin’ for a Brand New Day,” Merten ventures out with vocalist and composing partner Jonathan Hayes, and succeeds in creating a new kind of guitar-driven rock, one fused with alternative and blues overtones, then sprinkled with a dash of funk for good measure.

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