I saw Scott Albert Johnson (SAJ for short) at Arlene’s grocery in NYC last night.  I was the very first buyer of SAJ’s first CD release earlier this year.  (And I’ve got the dated autograph to prove it.)  The CD was enjoyable pop with a touch of blues and a few standout tunes (including “Hollywood,” a prodigal son gone wrong story).  I was expecting more of the same at the show last night.

Instead, what I heard was SAJ’s regular band, a bunch of rocking Mississipians who obviously know their roots music.  There were lots of R&B, blues, and country two-steps on display, and the band definitely rocked the house.  SAJ’s vocals were strong.  His harp playing was a unique meld of blues, country, and John Popper.  I don’t know if it was great playing per se, but it worked for me, and apparently for the rest of the audience.  My only regret is that the band’s guitarists didn’t get quite as much solo time as I would have liked. 

I told SAJ after the show that I didn’t know how he made the first CD, but I know how he ought to make the second: book 3 days in the studio, bring that band in, and play everything in the repertoire down 3 or 4 times. 
He agreed.  I’m looking forward to that second CD now.