Johnny Drummer & the Starliters
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Johnny Drummer & the Starliters


Band Blues R&B


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Unleaded Blues CD review"

Drummer opens with the obstinance of "I'm Gonna Sell My Cadillac, Buy Myself A Mule". The following tough, deep blues melodies like "Anything But Without You", "Born In The Delta", and "I'm Missing You" keep this in the shadow of traditional Chicago blues, but his slant on music finds him using a near reggae beat on "Put Your Suitcase Down". Nonetheless, it translates as a moving little number. Strong R & B elements come across on cuts like "You Got Trouble" so you see that Drummer has many facets to his presentation on this biscuit. Bottom line is: You'll be glad it's on your shelf, if it gets outta yer player!

This review is copyright © 2001 by Mark A. Cole, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. - Blues On Stage

"It's So Nice CD review"

"This soul-packed effort is urban blues, yet it is resoundingly also modern, soulful r&b. Drummer and company have laid down some great music filled with songs of love, romance, and the volatility of those relationships. Good material.clever instrumental mixes and powerful keyboard sounds!" -

Big City Blues Magazine
- Big City Blues

"Suave Vocals"

"Drummers' suave vocals, front and center, are rich and full of character." -Blues Revue - Blues Revue

"Distinctive Sound"

"Johnny Drummer has managed a distinctive sound in a sound alike idiom." -Living Blues - Living Blues

"Shake off the workweek"

"His combination of blues and soul will bring flashbacks to the days when music lovers dressed to the nines to go out and shake off the workweek." -Matt Socey ( - Nuvo.Net

"Rock the house with Distinctive Chicago style Blues"

"Johnny can rock the house with his own distinctive Chicago style blues; his ballads and duets with other artists are beyond description." -Dick Houff (Twin Cities Blues News) - Twin Cities Blues News


It's So Nice - Earwig CD 4944
Unleaded Blues - Earwig CD 4948
Rockin' In The Juke Joint (2007) - Earwig CD 4951



Johnny Drummer was born Thessex Johns, on March 1, 1938 in Alligator, Mississippi, a small town twelve miles south of Clarksdale in the heart of the Delta. There he saw musicians like Little Milton and Ike Turner every weekend, and listened to his three brothers play hollow-box guitars on long summer nights, learning all the blues, R&B, and soul songs of the time. It wasn’t long before he began singing, and at age seven was singing with the Kelly Brothers Band in Alligator.

His career as a musician expanded when he joined the Army and learned to play drums. In his three-year army career he sat in on drums with bands that came around, honing his skills as a musician. Upon leaving the Army in 1959, he moved to Chicago, where he began sitting in with Lovie Lee, Big Walter Horton, and Carey Bell on the street corner near his house. He soon began playing drums in Lovie’s band, and later moved on to play with Eddie King. In 1962 he cut a record for Wonderful Records, which featured Eddie King, Willie Black, Roy Johnson, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith and Otis Spann. In 1965 he got the chance to play with BB King at a club called Lee’s when BB’s drummer neglected to show up for the gig. In 1966 he went to see Muddy Waters, and was asked to sit in on bass. He was later asked to tour with Muddy, but being focused on his career and family, Johnny declined Muddy’s offer, uneasy at the prospect of life on the road.

Upon retiring from the Police Department in 1994, Johnny began to focus heavily on his music career. In recent years he has released two albums for the Earwig Music label, and is in the process of finishing up his third release for them. He now performs internationally at festivals and blues clubs, including acclaimed performances at the Chicago Blues Festival, Pocono Blues Festival, University of Illinois Blues Festival, and several others in the US, Canada, and Europe.

Check out Johnny's Website at