The 44's
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The 44's

Huntington Beach, California, United States | INDIE

Huntington Beach, California, United States | INDIE
Band Blues Americana


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"fine debut of an enthusiastic and exciting band"

The 44 – Boogie
> Disease This Los Angeles-based roots band is one of the
> snelststijgende blues stars in the firmament. Founded in 2007, they
> knew the eyes quickly focused on sight and they were the support act
> of B.B. King, toured with Los Lobos and collaborated with, among
> others, Kid Ramos, Johnny Dyer and Rod Piazza. The cooperation was Kid
> Ramos apparently so well liked that he was as producer of this debut
> album. He also takes on four songs themselves the guitar in hand. The
> 44 consists of vocalist, guitarist, Johnny Main, harmonicaman Tex
> Nakamura (played ever at War), bassist Mike Turturro (v/h at Candy
> Kane and Lynwood Slim) and drummer J.R. Lozano. At the first showing
> of "Pull My Strings" you immediately hear the typical West
> Coast-sound: light, cheerful. But once the raw voice of Main and the
> dirty harmonica you hear of Nakamura raids that it all what is going
> to be rougher. The second song, "So Low Down" of Lester Butler, only
> confirms this. The song is carried by the harmonica, that from first
> to last show dominates. Willie Dixon's "Take It Easy" is a rugged
> slowblues, raw, with bold harmonica tones and a guitar solo, that
> layer and slow starts and to cutting height works. A gem."Boogie
> Disease" is, what the name says, a boogie. But then the better kind. A
> fierce guitar solo by Kid Ramos makes matters completely off. A
> looming version of Howlin' Wolfs "Commit A Crime" follows. The band is
> undoubtedly fan of Lester Butler, because song nr. 6, "Goin' To The
> Church" is the second song of him that they are here. They make a
> pretty solid release of which especially the pumping harmonica stands
> out.The instrumental "Blowin' Like Hell" by William Clarke covers
> exactly the cargo; Nakamura blows the lungs from his body. "Automatic"
> Willie Love is a sturdy rocking shuffle, in which it is difficult to
> remain silent. In the first part of the song honks Nakamura a, and in
> the second part dueling Main and Ramos on the guitars. The last song,
> "Johnny Cochino" is an instrumental written by Kid Ramos and here let
> all their trick once again. This cd really original is not to mention,
> since only two of the nine songs, "Pull My Strings" and "Boogie
> Disease" from the band themselves and the rest covers. But the
> enthusiasm and professionalism of the four men makes very much good.
> And Kid Ramos has ensured that everything delicious ' down-to-Earth '
> remains.In short, a fine debut of an enthusiastic and exciting band.
> This is a cd that I certainly will run more frequently.
- Barn Owl Blues Denmark

"The 44’s, a hot west coast combo, play straight up, hard-edged blues”"

The 44’s, a hot west coast combo, play straight up, hard-edged blues” - Big City Rhythm & Blues \ Roger & Margaret White

"“That CD has grit,gonads and little bit of nasty all rolled together!"

True Blues fans love all kinds of
Blues, but everyone has their favorite
types and styles. For my “Friends of
the Blues Radio Show” co-host
Shuffle Shoes and I, The 44’s have
nailed what we like the best with
their debut CD, “Boogie Disease.”
In near ecstasy, Shuffle Shoes exclaimed after just one listen, “That CD has grit,
gonads and little bit of nasty all rolled together! I guess that’s another way of saying
‘raw.’ It is nice to hear songs that a musically experienced adult can listen to. The
44’s have a sound as big as Kid Ramos’s guns [muscular arms]!”
The 44’s are a Los Angeles-based band which plays Roots music and hard-edged
Blues. This harp-guitar-bass-drums quartet has become the hottest gig to catch for
those in the know.
The band members include harmonica player Tex Nakamura (formerly of War),
singer- guitarist Johnny Main, upright bassist Mike Turturro (formerly Lynwood
Slim/Candye Kane), and drummer J.R. Lozano.
Reminiscent of the Red Devils, James Harman, and William Clarke, the band’s first
CD has been produced by Kid Ramos who also plays so-clean guitar on four tracks.
They first gained major attention on the Los Angeles blues scene in 2007 when they
competed and finished fourth in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis TN.
The intro and opening lyrics on the band-original, first track “Pull My Strings” might
trick one into thinking it's a cover of “How Long Blues.” Lead vocalist and guitarist
Johnny Main rasps, “How long, how long? Tell me how long!” However, this is only
the hook. Once listeners bite it, they'll be hopelessly caught. Main's tinny, industrialsounding
lead guitar reverberates with an eerie echo, like it's being played inside of a
metal chamber. Tex Nakamura's harmonica follows suit, hunting the melody down
and then brazenly upstaging it. Both of these instruments will jolt one's
consciousness like electric shocks! Running six minutes, there is plenty of solo room
for Kid Ramos and Main on guitars plus Tex’s harp solos over the bedrock rhythm
laid down by Turturro and Lozano. - Blues Blast Magazine - Skyy Dobro" Walker

""Boogie Disease" best straight Boogie and Blues albums for 2011"

The 44's are based out of Los Angeles and consist of members Tex Nakamura (Harmonica), Johnny Main (Singer/Guitarist), Mike Turturro (Upright Bass), and J.R. Lozano (Drums). Tetsuya "Tex" Nakamura was with the band "War", from 1993 to 2006, as both a Harmonica player and Vocalist. Mike Turturro had stints with both Lnywood Slim and Candye Kane. The 44's really got noticed in 2007 when they managed to come in 4th at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. They also got noticed by Kid Ramos, Guitar Virtuoso for the bands The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Mannish Boys, and most recently Los Fabulocos, and it is through Kid Ramos that they released their full length debut album "Boogie Disease". In addition, Kid Ramos was not only the Co-Producer for "Boogie Disease", but he also played guitar on 4 Tracks and wrote one of the songs, "Johnny Cochino".

The 44's have attracted the attention of numerous great artists including Los Lobos whom they toured with in 2008, as well as backing blues greats Johnny Dyer and Rod Piazza, to name just a few. Beyond their extensive fan base, The 44's have also garnered numerous rave reviews for their shows, which of one attended by Critic Robert Kinsler he writes, concerning their 2009 show at The Doheny Blues Festival, “Any overview of my day has to include the strong set by the 44’s,an electric blues band that kicked off the action with a set of Chicago blues crossed with primal rock “n”roll”. Now with "Boogie Disease", their debut release for Rip Cat Records, The 44's show us an ailment that we would all love to catch.

"Boogie Disease" consists of 9 powerful Tracks, 2 originals, "Pull My Strings" and "Boogie Disease", which are credited to all the members of the band, 6 dynamic interpretations of songs originally written by greats Lester Butler ("So Low Down"/Going to the Church"), William Clarke ("Blowing Like Hell"), Willie Dixon ("Take It Easy"), Howlin' Wolf ("Commit a Crime"), and Willie Love ("Automatic"), and the last Track, which is an instrumental written by Kid Ramos ("Johnny Cochino"), for which he nearly burns a hole in the CD with his scorching 50's style guitar work.

Both Lester Butler and William Clarke were "West Coast Harmonica Wizards", so one would expect some great Harmonica work when covering their music, and believe me that is exactly what you get from Harmonica virtuoso Tex Nakamura as he rips through Butler's and Clarke's music as if he had originally written it himself. Willie Love's fame comes as an American Delta Blues Pianist, "best known for his association with, and accompaniment of Sonny Boy Williamson II". Love's Blues and Boogie style is masterfully represented with the Track "Automatic".

The music off of "Boogie Disease" is super solid and tight, with all the artists talents coming to the fore front. Singing, was not only second to none via Johnny Main's great Vocals, but it is also highlighted for his uniqueness of sound, which were perfect for the style of music they play. Those of us whom love the Harmonica will be thrilled with the masterful playing of Tex Nakamura, as he both softly plays in the background on some Tracks and blows it out of the ball park on others, especially on Track 7 "Blowing Like Hell". As far as Bass playing is concerned, I can't say enough about Mike Turturro's mastery of the Upright Bass, which I simply love, not only listening to, but when I get a chance, actually seeing someone play it. Keeping the beat to perfection was J.R. Lozano, whom knew when to pound the skins hard and when to pound them softly. Filling in on 4 Tracks was the incomparable Kid Ramos whom rounded out the music on "Boogie Disease" to perfection. Having him on board added just the right amount of spice and complimented the style of The 44's wonderfully.

"Boogie Disease" was certainly one of the best straight Boogie and Blues albums that I have had the pleasure of listening to, so far, for 2011, and as exciting as their music is, it is even more exciting to hear that another release from The 44's is planned for later this year.

When I listened to "Boogie Disease", it was certainly not hard to see why The 44's have such a huge fan base and why their shows are not only enthusiastically received, but also enthusiastically looked forward to. For the shear fun, excitement, and exhilaration that The 44's and "Boogie Disease" offers, I just have to give this album my highest rating of 5*****. "Boogie Disease" is a great album from a great band I am sure we will all be hearing much more of.

Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)
- Blues Underground Network John Vermilyea

"If you are a fan of Stevie Ray Vaughn, Tommy Castro and Kid Ramos, you will love this album"

The 44’s are a Los Angeles band that primarily plays Chicago-style blues blended with vibrant rock and roll. The band consists of Tex Nakamura (harmonica, formerly of War), Mike Turturro (upright bassist, formerly Lynnwood Slim/Candye Kane), Johnny Main (singer, guitarist) and J.R. Lozano (drummer).
The band made their mark while competing in the Memphis, Tennessee International Blues Challenge in 2007. They hit 4th place which led to gaining the attention of producer and guitar master Kid Ramos (The Fabulous Thunderbirds). With Ramos producing, The 44’s have released their first album, Boogie Disease.
If you are a fan of Stevie Ray Vaughn, Tommy Castro and Kid Ramos, you will love this album. Boogie Disease is full of belted out harmonica, rocked out guitar, drums and deep vibrant lyrics that lead you in and don’t let you go. Your finger will hurt from hitting play over and over. Every song on the album is good. Frankly, I wished it was longer.
When the first track, “Pull My Strings” began to play, I sat back, closed my eyes and smiled. It was the smile you get when a really great piece of chocolate melts on your tongue, and you think “yeah.” Switch that to chocolate for the ears and you have it.
Another favorite was “Boogie Disease,” the fourth track on the album. It will rock you out with the Chicago blues flavor. The lyrics are catchy. “Commit a Crime,” track number five, is a blues song about a man who needs to get away from his woman before he commits a crime. “Johnny Cocino” is the last track on the album. Featuring Kid Ramos, this song has some excellent guitar action going on. Masterful as always, Ramos wails the fret board. There are no lyrics for this track, but with Ramos playing, none are needed.
On Boogie Disease, every song embodies the essence of low down Chicago blues spiced with rock and roll. Fans of greats like Stevie Ray Vaughn will love this album. Having Kid Ramos both produce and play on the album is a treat for guitar fans and worth listening to.

Key Tracks- Boogie Disease, Pull My Strings, Johnny Cocino
Dana Contributor
May 1, 2011
- Dana Contributor

"Living Blues Magazine Radio Charts Top 25 For May 2011 # 12"

Living Blues Radio Report For May 2011 (Compiled on 6/1/11)

1. Tab Benoit, Medicine, Telarc International

2. Marcia Ball, Roadside Attractions, Alligator

3. Tracy Nelson, Victim Of The Blues, Delta Groove

4. Rory Block, Shake 'Em On Down:Tribute To Miss. Fred McDowell, Stony Plain

5. Elvin Bishop, Elvin Bishop's Raisin' Hell Revue: Live, Delta Groove

6. Eric Bibb, Troubadour Live, Telarc

7. Trampled Under Foot, Wrong Side Of The Blues, Tuf/Vizztone

8. Richard Ray Farrell, I Sing The Blues Eclectic, Blue Beet

9. Barry Levenson, The Late Show, Rip Cat

10. Solomon Burke & DeDijk, Hold On Tight, Verve Forecast

11. Warren Haynes, Man In Motion, Stax

12. 44's, Boogie Disease, Rip Cat

13. Johnny Rawls, Memphis Still Got Soul, Catfood

14. Shawn Pittman, Edge Of The World, Delta Groove

15. Gregg Allman, Low Country Blues, Rounder

16. Mikey Jr., It Ain't Hard To Tell, 8th Train

17. Ben Waters, Boogie For Stu: Tribute To Ian Stewart, Eagle

18. Marion James, Essence, EllerSoul

19. Too Slim And The Taildraggers, Shiver, Underworld

20. Al Basile, The Goods, Sweetspot

21. Roomful Of Blues, Hook, Line & Sinker, Alligator

22. Elam McKnight & Bob Bogdal, Zombie Nation, Desert Highway

23. Ray Manzarek & Roy Rogers, Translucent Blues, Blind Pig

24. Chris Bergson, Imitate The Sun, 2 Shirts

25. Richie Rich & The Chi-Town Blues Band, From The Streets, Interscope

- Living Blues Magazine Radio Charts

"The Forty Fours: Raw, Rough and Tough."

The 44’s are a Los Angeles-based band who play blues-roots-rock music. They first made their mark on the Los Angeles blues scene in 07’ when they were tapped to compete and Finished 4th in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. The band members include harmonica player Tex Nakamura (Formerly of war), Singer guitarist Johnny Main, Upright bassist Mike Turturro (Formerly Lynwood Slim/Candye Kane),drummer J.R. Lozano.
The 44’s, received the attention of Guitar Great/producer Kid Ramos (The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Mannish Boys, Los Fabulocos) while playing their favorite haunt, the Doll Hut. With Producer Kid Ramos, they have released their first full-length album, Boogie Disease. The 44’s' energetic live performances has gained a local following, and they are a fixture on the Los Angeles blues scene. Their sound attracted the likes of Los Lobos who invited them on tour with Los Lobos in 08’. The 44’s have backed Blues luminaries Kid Ramos, Johnny Dyer, and Rod Piazza just to name a few.

Interview by Michael Limnios

When was your first desire to become involved in the blues & who were your first idols?

Johnny Main: I was about 11 and I played classical violin. My music teacher would get mad that I would play my violin like a guitar. I knew then I had the bug. Jimi Hendrix was my first inspiration, then I tracked down who had influenced him. Albert King, B.B. King and Albert Collins. That was my foundation.

"Tex" Nakamura: I was 20 yeas old, and started listening to an American blues show on the Far East Network of the U. S. Armed Forces Radio in Japan. My first Influence was Richard "Magic Dick" Salwitz of the J. Geils

What was the first gig you ever went to & what were the first songs you learned?

Johnny: My first gig was at my friends backyard party. We called it Barnfest. It was 5 bands that all played different styles. Of course I was the only blues player there. I was 15 yrs. old playin voodoo child and the whole crowd of teens were freakin out. They didn't know I even played the guitar. I was a closet player.

Tex: I Probably went to an acoustic guitar performance at my aunty's high school Talent show. I was only 5 or 6 years old. First time I learned "Whammer Jammer "
Which was the best moment of your career and which was the worst?

Johnny: The best is getting the opportunity to play with all of my idols. Kid Ramos, Junior Watson, Kim Wilson, Rod Piazza, Dave Hildago and Ceasar Rosas of Los Lobos, Johnny Dyer, Rick Holstrom, James Harman. One night I played with Slash at a bar in Hollywood. He wanted to play scuttle buttlin by S.R.V. and I was like sure. The worst was when my truck got stolen with my amp, mics and vintage gear was in there. A part of me died that day.

Tex: First time Performance at Doheny Blues Festival in Southern California with The 44's. I havn’t had one

Tell me about the beginning of the 44s. How did you choose the name? What characterizes the sound of the 44s?

Johnny: The name came from me reading a vintage gun magazine sitting in the bathroom. They had a special issue on the colt 44. The same time I was reading it a Howling Wolf song came on bluesville sirius radio I have. I thought , The 44's.... and it stuck. The sound of the band is just raw, rough and tough.
Any of blues standards have any real personal feelings for you & what are some of your favorite?

Tex: I'm a Muddy Waters Man

What does the BLUES mean to you & what does Blues offered you?

Tex: Blues is a feeling and it puts me in a excited state

What are some of the most memorable gigs you've had?

Tex: Played at House of Blues in Chicago with The 44's.

Where did you pick up your harp style?

Tex: I don't know. Just being in the music for a long time.

In which songs can someone hear the best of your harp work?

Tex: Album " Boogie Disease" by The 44's

What characterizes the sound of Tex Nakamura?

Tex: Kind of hard for me to say, Please you Judge.
Why do you play GUITAR & what were your favorite guitars back then?

Johnny: I play because I feel I have this connection with the instrument. I can't explain it. There is just a feeling you get that you can't fake. It's the best day of your life and the worst at the same time. There is so much emotion that goes into it. My favorite guitars are and always will be Fender Stratocaster's.

What were your favorite guitars back then, where did you pick up your guitar style?

Johnny: A lot of my style is based around the Texas stang and L.A. greasy. I like to mix it up depending on who his sitting in with us that night.

Are there any memories from tour with Los Lobos, which you’d like to share with us?

Johnny: Those guys invented the word ,"cool". They are just so down to earth and have so much respect for everyone. I remember one night at the belly-up tavern in Solano beach, it was Dave Hildago, Ceasar Rosas, Kid Ramos, Kirk Fletcher and myself playing with Lobos at end of the night, and I'm lookin around on stage goin wow, I hope someone is taking pictures. The song we went into was a Lobos tune called, "mas i mas". I turned to kid and said, " what key are we in ? ". He looked at me and said I have know idea. I think it was E flat.
Do you remember anything funny or interesting from the recording time with Kid Ramos?

Johnny: Hahaha....yeah. I came into the studio that day with my boots, cuffed Levis and a western shirt and he called me the midnight cowboy. I thought I looked cool but I guess I didn't.

I wonder if you could tell me a few things about your experience in Rip Cat Records ?

Johnny: It is so cool to be part of a label that is more like a family than a label. Everyone on R.C. is just so Damm cool. I love all those guys . Thankyou to Scott Abeyta for having faith in us.

Which of historical blues personalities would you like to meet?

Tex: Almost Everyone, Rice Miller, Little Walter, and Especially Willie Dixon

Are there any memories from the War, which you’d like to share with us?

Tex: No comment

Which of the people you have worked with do you consider the best friend?

Tex: Yes, The Boys from The 44's!

Which artists have you worked with & which do you consider the best friend?

Johnny: I don't have just one best friend....I consider Mike, Jason and Tex my brothers. You have to be close because when we go on the road you have to watch your brothers back's. Kid and Scott would have made the list, but they both said I looked like the midnight cowboy !!!.....Hahaha. But in all seriousness they are all my brothers....Mike, J.R., Tex, Kid and Scott. We put our "time" in.

"The Blues Band of the year"

The Blues Band of The Year The 44's. One of the hardest working hardest playing bands ANYWHERE. The 44's continue to knock me out every time our path's cross (which was at least a dozen times in 2011) and the top spot on my year end is well deserved - American Blues News


Boogie Disease

Americana w/ Special Guest Kid Ramos



The 44’s are a Los Angeles-based band who play blues-roots-rock music.The 44’s are one the brightest rising stars on the American blues roots scene. Make no mistake about it. The raw rough and tough sounds generated by these four expert musicians during live performances and in the making of their Sophomore album Americana, on the Rip Cat label, demands to be heard by Blues music fans World Wide. They evidence a genuine gift for creating blues in the moment while at the same time showing loyalty to a remarkable blues-and-r&b tradition that goes back decades through the James Harman Band and the Red Devils to storied greats like Howlin’ Wolf, Albert Collins, and Muddy Waters. They’ve become a favorite band of club and festival crowds across North America.

The 44’s seem to be literally exploding across the Blues scene as a fully formed and functional unit commanding audiences with their in your face, yet highly contagious musical sound. Their first Release “Boogie Disease”, Was self produced for $800 with the Help of Guitar Great Kid Ramos (The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Mannish Boys) and was quickly snatched up and issued on Rip Cat Records, hitting a peak position of No. 12 on the national Living Blues radio charts and No.2 on BB King Bluesville Sirius/XM Satellite Radio. Critical praise and industry recognition from the blues community soon followed. American Blues News Awarded the Band with The Best Blues Band of 2011 and Blues Underground Network Awarded the Band with Best Debut Album.

They play vintage instruments and channel a blues style of days past, but there is a distinct Rawness to this blues award winning quartet. Each band member is in fine form. Johnny Main grounds his outstanding singing and guitar playing in real experience--his talent’s as honest as the day is long. Tex Nakamura has forged his own stirring voice from studying Little Walter and other legendary harmonica mentors. Bassist Mike Turturro with his Gut String Bass and drummer J. R. Lozano Vintage Ludwig Kit are as solid a team as any you’ll hear, calibrating rhythmic flow with alertness and intelligence, never calling undue attention to themselves. For their one-of-a-kind blues, The 44’s successfully mine the tension.

Kid Ramos say’s of his experience with The 44’s “They play like their life depends on it and you can quote me”

American Blues News Says “One of the Hardest working, hardest playing blues outfits anywhere”

Touring Non-stop since 2010, they’ve garnered a whole new generation of first-time young blues- roots fans, as well as older ones who recognize the talents of these four musicians.

The 44’s are at the top of their game and with the much anticipated Sophomore Release “Americana” on Rip Cat Records. They have brought together a top notch cast of characters. Kid Ramos joins the band in the producer’s chair and Guest Guitar Appearances. The Mixing Chair is being filled by the Legendary David Z (Credits Include Buddy Guy, Etta James, John Mayall)

The 44’s were awarded the hardest working band of 2011 for a reason. Playing 200 Club and festival Dates in 2011. They will be continuing the same in 2012 in support of “Americana ” Stay Tuned for 2012 the year of the Blues