Swinging From The Rafters
14 shots of hard-driving, guitar-powered energy from the boss of West Texas blues, with a charging horn section. "This is the blues your parents warned you about...the ability to start a party with a single riff"--CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
The Walking Catfish:
Mark Hamm, Keyboards*
Kevin Brown, Saxophones#
Dave Keown, Bass
Kevin Taylor, Drums
Derek O'Brien, Rhythm Guitar, Guitar Solos on I Don't Care and V-8 Ford
Mark 'Kaz' Kazanoff, Tenor Sax on Time And Time Again, I Don't Care, Both Ends Of The Road, Bugs On My Window, Trouble On The Line, V-8 Ford, I'm Broke and Love Prevails; Harmonica on Locksmith Man
Martin Banks, Trumpet on Time And Time Again
Gary Slechta, Trumpet on I Don't Care, Both Ends Of The Road, Bugs On My Window, V-8 Ford, I'm Broke and Love Prevails
Les Iz Moore, Baritone Sax on Time And Time Again, I Don't Care, Bugs On My Window, Trouble On The Line, V-8 Ford, I'm Broke and Walking Catfish
James Polk, Keyboards on Bugs On My Window and Love Prevails
Kevin Taylor, Vocal backgrounds on I'm Broke
#Kevin Brown plays Tenor, Alto and Baritone Sax on Stop What You're Doing, Take It Home With You and 39 Days; Tenor Sax solo on Trouble On The Line, Tenor Sax on V-8 Ford and I'm Broke; Baritone Sax on Walking Catfish and Love Prevails
Produced by Tary Owens and Jon Foose
Executive Producers: Steve and Deborah Jeter
Willy Owens, Associate Producer
Recorded and mixed by Jim Watts
Recorded at GM Lone Star Studios, Austin, TX and Mark Hamm Studios, Abilene, TX
Remixes supervised by Mark Kazanoff
Engineering assistance (Abilene) by Mark Hamm
Arrangements by Mark 'Kaz' Kazanoff and Derek O'Brien (Austin)
Arrangements by The Walking Catfish (Abilene)
Photos by Jonny Cates
Band photo by John Dyer
Cover design by Matt Minde
Mastered by Bruce Iglauer and Jason Rau at Monster Disc, Chicago, IL
*Since the recording of this album, "Ruff" Rufner has replaced Mark Hamm
as keyboardist for The Walking Catfish.
Special thanks to The Alligator Staff, Ed Solley, Jonny Cates, Keith Weeks, Andrew Halbreich, wives and families of The Walking Catfish, James Polk, Greg Jacklewicz, Pam and Malcolm Nichols, Jim Richmond and all the folks at United Bank and Trust of Abilene.
"Hunter's ability is too big just for Texas" --CHICAGO TRIBUNE
"Texas has produced many a great blues guitarist, from T-Bone Walker, Johnny "Guitar" Watson and Gatemouth Brown to Freddie King, Johnny Winter and of course Stevie Ray Vaughan. The latest addition to that prestigious list is Long John Hunter" --BEAT
"A raw, feral talent bursting with energy" -- LOS ANGELES TIMES
"Just listen to this guy play! --BILLY GIBBONS
THESE are just a few of the comments that you can hear when you enter Long John Hunter's "Lone Star Universe." "Overnight success" is another one. And with all the press, all the national and international touring and all the radio play that he's earned in the last two years, that's sure what he seems to be. Of course, if you stay in Long John's Universe for a couple of hours, you would hear about the Lobby Bar in Juarez, Mexico, where he was an 'overnight sensation' from nine at night "till the rooster crowed" for more than a decade. It was there that he earned his Texas-wide reputation, as he literally swung from the rafters (and sometimes even walked around on them) playing his guitar with one hand.
Talk about knowing how to swing....
With his debut on Alligator, Border Town Legend , thankfully, he has finally been able to share his talents with audiences from New York to Hawaii, from coast to coast, and from border to border. But no matter how far he's gotten from Texas, he's never gotten very far from his roots. Even on his first trip to Europe, three fans came up to him and said, "Hey Long John... remember me from the Lobby?"
Stay in his world just a little bit longer, when the press and fans have left, and you are sure to hear the phrase, "...with all this attention, when I get down from up there on stage, I'm still just John."
It was with this humility that his first two releases, Ride With Me (soon to be re-released on Alligator) and Border Town Legend, were recorded. He wanted the music to be center stage, with brassy horns for joy, good rhythm and piano grooves for the foundation. For Swinging From The Rafters , his producers asked him to come front and center and record an album that had all of that, but this time, could he really cut loose on his guitar like he used to...when he was swinging from the rafters in Juarez? "Why sure! I'll try," he replied. And with a little secret laugh behind his big Texas grin, as he stepped into the studio, he said, halfway to himself, "If you think that's what the people want."
Oh, yeah, Johnny. That's what we want. -- Steve Jeter