The Johnny Max Band
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The Johnny Max Band


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"Johnny max Band "A Lesson I've Learned""

With his various projects and his radio show (on commercial radio!), Johnny Max has become a mainstay of the west end blues scene. This CD shows why. This is the quintet band, with Max on vocals, Martin Alex Aucoin on keys, Teddy Leonard on guitars, Garth Vogan on bass and Duncan McBain on drums. The material is a delightful mix of blues and R&B, . We get a couple of blues before we get to the R&B and the title song. The original songs are by Martin Alex Aucoin and Johnny Max and I hope they keep the partnership going. His contribution here shows a thorough knowledge of blues and R&B forms. Max's lyrics are unmatched anywhere. His singing shows a remarkable resemblance to that of Watermelon Slim and on some songs may well be better! "(You're) A Lesson I've Learned" deserves to be the title of this one. It's classic R&B, the kind you would've cranked up the car radio each time it came on (and I hope you do that still). You may have thought that songs like this weren't written anymore. The new arrangement of Don Covay's "Have Mercy" will make you sit up and take notice too. "Going Down Standing Up", credited to Aucoin, is another stunner, with some amazing guitar work from Teddy Leonard. Get this one soon. gives you several options and it'll fill you in on some of his other projects too.

- John Valenteyn Maple Blues Magazine

"Johnny Max Band"

Johnny Max's last release was 2005's blockbuster "Ride And Roll". Never one to sit on his laurels, Johnny is back with "A Lesson I've Learned". Most of the tunes have been penned jointly by Johnny and keyboard master Martin Aucoin, making this more of a homegrown, Canadian contribution to the Blues oeuvre than Johnny has released in the past. All in all, another amazing outing from a Canadian Blues legend.


"A Lesson I've Learned"

Johnny Max has delivered something special on his "A Lesson I've Learned" release. The theme he has chosen resonates throughout the album and he lays it all on the table for us to experience his stories that he tells you about him and his life and draws you in with his soulful rich vocals. He has some of the best blues musicians in Canada in his band. You mix this talent with Johnny's energy, stir in his voice and a dash of the sparkling lyrics and you have a blend of blues and soul music that tastes just right. And that's a fact. This album definitely deserves a Maple Blues nomination or two! Aucoin and McAneney (Johnny Max) have crafted some great tunes and Johnny vocals are dynamic, rich and well performed.

My favourite is track #5 in which Johnny Max delivers one of the finest soul-gospel renditions you could ask for in "Write Your Name". This is a brilliantly written song and fits the vocal style of Maxie boy "fo' sho" and I can almost hear Ray Charles wishing he was around to be able to do this number himself. Beautiful piece of work boys. Well done! Teddy Leonard's guitar playing on this tune is sweet indeed and he is absolutely superb throughout the entire album. Aucoin's piano playing is magical and at times absolutely stunning. His grasp of the many facets of keyboard performance throughout the album displays a wealth of experience and insight that few players have mastered as well as he has.

The Rhythm Section of Guitarist Teddy Leonard, Bassist Garth Vogan and percussionist Duncan McBain coupled with Johnny's wonderful singing and Aucoins mastery at the Keyboard is surely going to have this cd spinning for some time to come.

**** out of 5

- Brypon Tosoff, Voodoohead Productions

"A lesson I've Learned"

In the past ten years, Canada has produced some of the best new blues recordings anywhere. Think Jim Byrnes, Sue Foley, Paul Reddick, Harrison Kennedy and Julian Fauth, to name but a few. This high standard of competition is helping to raise the bar and bring the best out in people. Judging by the new release from Port Credit’s Johnny Max, he’s ready to join the cream of the crop. Max is an expressive vocalist, someone who back in the day would’ve been called a “shouter.” He inhabits a song’s storyline, imbuing it with a strong dose of irony and a knowing “been there, done that” tone. Over 13 songs, including 11 originals written primarily by Max and keyboardist Martin Alex Aucoin, he sings of mistakes made, dreams and lies, obsessions and living in the Mississauga Delta, in case you were wondering where Port Credit is. The band, comprised of Aucoin, guitarist Teddy Leonard, bassist Garth Vogan and Duncan McBain on drums, are a supple, well oiled unit that enlivens every arrangement, whether it’s the Memphis fatback soul of “It’s Not My Fault,” the rocking ’60s R&B of “Going Down, Standing Up” or the New Orleans style funk of “Banks of the Credit,” featuring searing slide guitar and a lovely gospel piano bridge. Aucoin wins MVP, consistently adding excitement to each song, such as on the title track, a burbling Southern soul number where his combined B3 and Wurlitzer beautifully support Max’s wry lyrics and subdued vocal delivery. (Pour Soul) - David Barnard, Exclaim!

"Johnny Max Band's New Groove"

Johnny Max Band's New Groove

Every Moment Like Recess on A Lesson I've Learned

Press Release by: Gary Tate

An essential Soul/Blues singer, Johnny Max is an integral part of a Golden Horseshoe music scene stretching from St. Catherines to Toronto. He should be making international waves soon in light of his latest superb release “A Lesson I’ve Learned”.

It’s been 7 years since this reviewer first encountered Johnny with then partner-in-crime Kevin Higgins. Johnny has recently summoned forth a new aggregation lead by keyboardist extraordinaire Martin Aucoin and bravura guitarist Teddy Leonard. To their credit, they wasted no time heading toward the studio to lay down 13 tracks sanctified by boss songwriting, cool arrangements, and contagious grooves.

JM’s ebullient and boisterous voice is in fine fettle throughout as he whips up soulful helpings of Memphis stew of the Stax/Volt mode, with some noticeable New Orleans tidbits tastefully thrown in.

There’s good reason why Johnny’s original tunes have that polished feel to them. He’s been deeply immersed in Soul, R&B, Blues, Jazz, Rock & Roll R&B since he was a young ‘un, and takes rightful pride in his comprehensive collection of vinyl. Folks in these parts respect Johnny’s tastes and his long-running Sunday Night Soul show is an automatic turn on.

“Down In History” announces the Max/Aucoin composing team is gonna be a source of ear-pleasing nutrients for years to come. It’s actually about the eternal battle of the sexes with an incredibly catchy “down-down-down” chorus refrain. His flock will also be singing along with “We’re Gonna Do It (All Night Long)”, as much for its funky groove as those suggestive lyrics.

The title track is a knockout with its Sam and Dave-type vibe. Back in 1968, this type of song would have garnered tons of radio airplay. “Write Your Name” will tear at your heartstrings with Johnny’s wining ways with a deep soul ballad in full display. “Greezin” is a soulfully jazzy instrumental where Martin stretches out, and evokes fond memories of Booker T. & the MGs.

“Jack & Jill” is an adult nursery rhyme that bounces and swings like mad. I rank it with anything Louis Prima did in his prime. Everyone aged 3 to 80 will be prancing around the stage like Dancin’ With The Stars wannabes as soon as Johnny starts belting it out.

Toss in a couple of rock-solid covers like Don Covay’s “Have Mercy” and B.B. King’s “Why I Sing The Blues” and it’s apparent that Johnny has learned more than a lesson. He’s become the coolest teacher who makes every moment feel like recess.

For more information:


Long Gone Train-2000
In the Doghouse...Again!-2002
Ride & Roll-2005
The Toronto Blues Society 20th Anniversary-2005
A Lesson I've Learned...2007



The Johnny Max Band " The Hardest Working Band in the Land!!" A 5 piece band driven by the dual sounds of Teddy Leonard on guitar & the undisputable voice of Johnny Max(a cross between Long John Baldry,Dutch Mason and a couple of packs of cigarettes) and you have a Swampy, New Orleans, Muscle Shoals/STAX sound that has influences as far reaching as Sam Cooke to Little Feat to Howlin' Wolf & Muddy Waters...Dr John to Otis Redding.....Albert King to Freddie King.....From Memphis to Philadelphia to Chicago,New Orleans and all points in between...Good Music is what we follow...and good music is what we play....Good Times is what we strive for....We play anything from our originals, off of our 4 CD's to some obscure but well loved songs, that make crowds jump up and down with the enthusiasm that you would expect, when you hear great music.....
The JMB have released 4 critically acclaimed CD's (Long Gone Train,In The Doghouse....Again, Ride & Roll & A Lesson I've Learned)
They have been playing to packed houses all over Ontario and are now looking at getting over to Europe and The US.