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The best kept secret in music

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"Little Johnny Moore Big on Talent"

Article 2/3/07Northwest Indiana Times
Little Johnny Moore big in talent, personality

Spotlight | Little Johnny Moore From Saturday, February 3, 2007 12:47 AM CST Email this story Print this story BY TOM LOUNGES Times Correspondent

"I love to play. I live to play. Show me a stage and in a minute or two, I'll be on it," said local journeyman music jammer, Little Johnny Moore.
Big and burly, Johnny Moore is not diminutive as his professional name suggests, neither in physical size, musical ability -- or personality. He also is BIG in reputation. True to his word, if you show Moore a stage, he will soon be on it. That love of playing wherever and whenever possible has made him a staple at "jam nights" all over the South Side and Northwest Indiana.

If a popular local watering hole has some sort of "jam night" or "open mic night," chances are good that Moore will ultimately show up there at some point in the evening.

Unless, of course, it's Wednesday.

Because that's when the guitar-playing, harmonica-blowing Moore hosts his own "jam night" at a joint once known as Tom's Back Door, which now sports a brand new look, a brand new stage and a brand new name -- Nick's On The Rocks -- thanks to new owner Nick Karas.

"We've had a couple of packed nights and one or two not-so-packed nights," said Moore of the "Jam Night" that Karas entrusted him to establish and run about six weeks ago. "It takes a while to get the word out there to the musicians and to build up a new 'jam night,' but I think we're off to a pretty good start."

Lots of old-school rock covers of the 1960s and 1970s, along with latter-day blues hits by Stevie Ray Vaughan and George Thorogood got served up when this columnist stopped in at Nick's two Wednesdays ago to catch Moore in action.

Like most working musicians, Moore gigs out most weekends with his regular band mates, but stepping on stage just once or twice a weekend is not nearly enough to satisfy Moore's passion for playing.

"I've had no formal music training, but I've been a student of the blues for a long, long time," Moore said.

"I have loved the blues my whole life and I used to go see players like Lefty Dizz at places like the old Just Angel's night club in Harvey, Ill. I grew up with Jim Anderson (of the Chicago Kingsnakes) and was in a couple of garage bands in high school. Jim kept playing and made a name for himself. I stopped playing so that I could raise my children."

Moore was inspired to return to music a dozen years ago after catching veteran Northwest Indiana blues group, Jo Jo & The Blues Train performing in a local club one night. "After seeing Jo Jo, I knew it was time to try playing again. The very next day, I went out and bought a guitar and harmonica," Moore said.

"What I'd learned from having messed around in high school with those garage bands soon came back to me. I try to learn as much as I can from everyone I can," Moore said. "I'm learning all the time from the talented musicians who jam with me."

After getting his rusty chops polished, Moore played for three years with South Side blues band, Sunhouse, before forming his own combo, Little Johnny & The Unknown Blues Band.

A few years ago, Moore released "Workingman Blues," a rock-solid, nine-song album of original songs that range from saxophone-driven blues, to boogie-woogie, to traditional Post-WWII-era Chicago blues.

Local musicians are cordially invited to rub elbows, bend strings and hoist a few cold, frosty mugs with this "working man of the blues" every Wednesday night at Nick's.

The opinions expressed solely are those of the writer. He can be reached at beatboss@aol.com.

onstage Little Johnny Moore, Blues & Rock Jam Night When: 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Wednesday Where: Nick's On The Rocks, 816 Burnham Ave., Calumet City Cost: No Charge, 21 and older FYI: (708) 868-6100
Copyright 2007. Little Johnny. All rights reserved. - Northwest Indiana Times


"Blues for Kids Sake"

Many of our local blues artists and bands have donated their time and talents to produce a great blues CD for a great cause. Once you hear this collection, you'll soon agree that the blues are still alive and well in Joliet and the surrounding areas. More than half of the tracks are originals, while the remaining tracks are creative arrangements of some classic blues standards. When you purchase this CD, you're not only getting some great music, you're investing in the future - Our kids. All proceeds will be donated to the Big Brothers and Sisters agency of Will and Grundy Counties, IL.

A special thanks to all of the artists and musicians that contributed to the CD: Little Johnny Moore and the Unknown Blues Band - T-Bird Huck - Kelly Knight and 2-Fish Studios - Pauline York Band (Pauline York, Pat "The Snake" Boyack, Dexter Hudgins, Daryl Coutts, and Dave "Biscuit" Miller - Keith "Jr Blues" Zofkie - Marty "Big Dog" Mercer - Kraig Kenning - Chicago Kingsnakes (Jim Anderson, Michael Boyle & Timothy Mazzoni) - Kathi Smith - Brent James - Kev and Bret Figura - Timothy "Twist" Ferguson - Al "Hurricane" Spears - J.B. Ritchie Band (J.B. Ritchie, Frank Bandy & Marty Binder) - Deb Seitz - Jimmie Caleca - Mike Ciancanelli - Larry Ortega - Doug "The Bluesman" Lee - Bobby Lee - Tom Johnson - Steve Fordham - CD Baby


"2006 Readers Poll"

March 2006 Edition

Voted Favorite Harmonica Player by the readers Poll: Little Johnny Moore - Midwest Blues Music Magazine


Discography

Working Man Blues is Little Johnny's debut CD. He also appears on Big Brothers and Big Sister Blues for Kids Sake, a charity CD which has raised well over $50,000 for Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Johnny also apperas on Big City Rythym and Blues Magazine CD sampler #2 with 18 other artists from across the US.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Little Johnny is an accomplished songwriter, singer, guitar player and an Award winning harmonica player. He learned his blues in Chicago, playing with or opening for the best in the business. He has been fronting his own band for 7 years now and is working on his second CD.