I had been hearing about JP Blues, also known as John Pagano, for several weeks thanks to his record label and his publicist. I knew that he recently moved to Atlanta from Florida and I had the chance to listen to and review his debut CD from a couple of years ago. So Ken and I were excited to get to see him at Darwin's, especially in the company of Todd Smallie of The Derek Trucks Band on bass and one of our favorite drummers, John McKnight. Yonrico Scott was supposed to perform but his tour was extended so John stepped in. I teased John on Facebook that he must have rounded up all the other drummers in Atlanta and hid them somewhere, because I've seen him with three different groups in the last 6 weeks, but that's ok. He always does a magnificent job no matter who he plays with, and last night was no exception.
And as for JP Blues himself, oh my! It's a cliche' to speak of musicians making a guitar "sing" or "wail", but JP does that, and he makes it make a lot of other sounds you would not think six strings could make. In fact, he is the sort of musician who becomes so at one with the music and the instrument that you almost wonder who is playing who. It's almost as though he was possessed, or that he and the guitar meld into something more than either one of them. It's something to see, alright, and amazing for a young man still in his 20's.
Oh yeah..he can sing too. He sang "Hey Little, Schoolgirl" and "You Upset Me, Baby," and some other great songs with skill and style.
Let's not fail to state that Todd Smallie did an amazing job on bass, and it was a real joy to see him, John and JP jam together.
If you missed it, just be glad JP Blues is local now, and we'll have plenty of chances to hear him, I'm sure. You should take every chance you get. He's that good.