Introducing: Bruce Mississippi Johnson

You only have to hear the soulful baritone voice of Bruce Mississippi Johnson to be able to take an educated guess at his musical heritage.

Born in Mississippi, in America’s deep south, submerged in the music of his Grandfather’s church from a young age, Bruce was brought up on a musical diet of Al Green, Jackie Wilson (his Cousin), Lou Rawls and Gil Scott-Heron, and that is pretty much the history you would expect when you hear his matchless voice.  A 6ft4 ex-US Marine, Bruce is an imposing figure but it’s his incredibly textured voice that really stays with you.

After leaving the military, Bruce immersed himself in the renowned Parisian jazz scene.  Having built his reputation in Paris, he was asked to provide the vocals for legendary blues bassist Big Joe Turner’s Blues Caravan.

It was while playing around the world in Turner’s band that Bruce started to collaborate with the keyboard player, Johan Dalgaard, on the songs that would eventually become Bruce’s first album “The Deal Baby”.

Now settled in London, Bruce Mississippi Johnson has released “The Deal Baby” back in May 2017, following the release of the video for his warm up single “No Good”.  The beautifully soulful journey through the emotions of self-doubt the track contains a heartfelt spoken soliloquy which perfectly adds depth to the story of the lyrics.  This provided an impressive taster for what was to come on the album.

The album begins on a light hearted note, gradually increasing in tempo as Johnson details his love of the blues. The album features the classic first, fourth and fifth chords combinations, rhythmic bass lines and the more modern guitar melodies. It also has the added bonus of electrical instruments, particularly the guitar, a soulful organ and a killer brass accompaniment. While the album is solidly a blues project, it is clear that Johnson dips his toe in the both the Blues-Rock and funk pools and I am absolutely loving it.

I cant stop tapping my foot and nodding my head. There is just something about this album that makes me want to move. The project is certainty set to do wonders this summer and I cannot wait to see Johnson perform some of these songs live, as I have no doubt it would be a spectacle.

“The Deal Baby” most definitely brings the feel good factor, However songs like “No Good” and “see you tomorrow” delve into the raw emotional realities of relationships and general human interaction.  These tracks are sombre self reflective and provide the perfect contrast to the uptempo songs earlier in the tracklist.

Overall, “The Deal Baby” is a great album that sticks to the roots of blues music, while adding a modern twist.

You can check out the album here, and let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 

Keep up with the latest from Johnson on all his social media outlets:

 

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