Archive for johnny mastro

And here it is … The Red Devils 2012 reunion

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , on June 2, 2012 by J.J.

They started from a jam, so it makes sense they would return at a jam, under the cover of darkness, unannounced and just as powerful as when they burst on the national stage with “King King” in 1992.

The surviving members of The Red Devils reunited May 27 at an afterparty for the Simi Valley Cajun and Blues Music Festival Memorial Day weekend.

Bill Bateman, Dave Lee Bartel, Paul Size and Jonny Ray Bartel. Courtesy Jonathan T. Lovitt

Lead guitarist Paul “The Kid” Size was playing the fest with Big Pete Sunday afternoon, and later that evening found himself reunited on stage at the Grand Vista Hotel with drummer Bill Bateman, bassist Jonny Ray Bartel and rhythm guitarist Dave Lee Bartel. By our count, this was the first time the four had been on stage since at least the middle of 1993.

Filling the all-important harmonica role was nofightin.com friend Johnny Mastro, who evoked the classic Red Devils sound. We all wondered how it would sound if it would happen, and who would be breathing into the bullet mic when it did. Now we know.

Johnny sent us an email this week telling us how it all went down:

Well it was pretty cool as the whole original band had not played together in a long, long time. It was not really planned and [Jonny Ray] kinda casually asked me to go up to Simi Valley after I played a 5 hour gig all day in Long Beach! Thank god my wife was kind enough to drive me and we had a blast.

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Review: Johnny Mastro’s “Beautiful Chaos”

Posted in related music with tags , , , , , , , , on August 3, 2010 by J.J.

L.A.’s Johnny Mastro and Mama’s Boys spare no grease or grit on their new disc “Beautiful Chaos.” Fans of 13 will find much to enjoy here; Mama’s Boys even feature 13 touring bassist Mike Hightower playing behind harp man Mastro (also notable is special guest Kirk Fletcher on guitar). Produced in Detroit by Jim Diamond (known for his work on the early White Stripes records), the sound is amped-up classic blues-rock as filtered through, well, The White Stripes. The big shuffle “Wineheaded” would feel at home in a Thorogood set, while the Peter Green-influenced “The Dirge” is more than a nod to “Dazed and Confused.” Mastro’s harp fits in every which way, a chunky, metallic sound with roots in Howlin’ Wolf and Mark Wenner. His sound is on full display in the instrumental jump “Fresh Squeezed Coolaid,” the frantic tommy gun “KGB Boogie” and pounding rocker “Spider.” The whole thing wraps up with a cover of Lester Butler’s “Night,” acknowledging a primary influence on Mastro’s playing. It’s exciting to hear the tune again, given fresh life by a band that can pull it all off. Play this one at your next fistfight.

RIYL: Hook Herrera, Led Zep’s blues stuff, old Knuckleheads

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