Johnny Burgin playing electric guitar on dark background, with head tilted slightly back.Johnny Burgin has been making waves in the U.S. and abroad as a blues player entrenched in the Chicago blues style. He has performed and recorded with blues legends like Tail Dragger, Sam Lay, Billy Boy Arnold, and Pinetop Perkins. Johnny made a name for himself in the late 90s in Chicagoland blues clubs, a record deal with Delmark, and several European tours. He plays on average more than 200 shows a year, which is why he has such an appreciation for the stage, audiences, and other blues players.

I performed with Johnny in and around Querétaro last month, the pinnacle of which was a headlining performance at the Queretablues Festival. This week I received a message from Johnny to ask what I thought about doing some shows with him in Mexico City, so to be continued (possibly).

We recorded this conversation at the end of a busy ten days here in Querétaro while enjoying cervezas Bohemia, after which we went out for local cuisine. Johnny was feeling a little off and his last morning with us here in Querétaro, I think he was just experiencing a bit of exhaustion or perhaps still acclimating to our altitude. I’ve since gathered he made it home feeling great. Johnny is a lot of fun to perform and hang with. He’s still showing me the ropes of Chicago blues, which is an exercise in restraint from my improvisational ways. But it’s also an education in nuance.

We talk about Querétaro Mexico, The Queretablues Festival, his guitar masterclass (at the Queretablues Festival), his YouTube channel, moving to Memphis, leaving Chicago, and his forthcoming album. Please enjoy my tipsy conversation with Johnny Burgin.

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Mentions and Related Episodes

285 Johnny Burgin (Rewind) – Chicago Blues, Music Festivals, The Magic Of The Stage, Pinetop Perkins

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