Playing in a new place every day 'keeps me going,' guitarist says - Albuquerque Journal

Playing in a new place every day ‘keeps me going,’ guitarist says

Johnny Burgin knows that he won’t be home for 90 days.

And he’s fine with that.

In fact, on the road where the guitarist wants to be.

“There’s nothing like getting to perform in a new place each day,” he says during a recent phone interview from his California home. “That’s what keeps me going. I enjoy the interaction with the audience while I’m on stage.”

Burgin grew up in Starkville, Miss., and Greenville S.C.

While he was still in high school, he got to see many touring blues bands, such as Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown and Eddy Clearwater. His father, an actor and folk musician, taught him to play guitar. He went to University of Chicago with the intention of becoming a writer, but a different path opened and he fell headfirst into the Chicago blues scene.

After learning from the masters by touring with such artists as Pinetop Perkins and Howlin’ Wolf drummer Sam Lay, he put his own band together. Things started happening fast after The Rockin’ Johnny Band (with guest vocalist Jimmy Burns) took a Monday night residency at the Smoke Daddy in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood.

The band’s original, energetic approach made it a strong local draw week after week and year after year. The atmosphere the band generated was so electric that the prestigious local label Delmark Records offered the group a contract after hearing just one set.

Burgin built up quite a following, and he finds himself rebuilding his fan base after moving to California.

His show on Saturday, Feb. 4, will be his first in the Duke City.

He’s promoting his latest album, “Greetings from Greaseland,” and will perform some music from his coming album, “Neoprene Fedora.”

It will be released in March.

“I’m really excited to share some new music, though all of it will be new for the audience because I’ve never been there,” he says.

Burgin says “Neoprene Fedora” took him about two days to complete.

Writing for the album was done as soon as he would wake up.

“If I can sit down and write something early, that is when my mind is clear,” he says. “That’s the way I’ve trained my brain.”

Home » Entertainment » Music » Playing in a new place every day ‘keeps me going,’ guitarist says

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
36th Festival Flamenco de Alburquerque celebrates the art of ...
ABQnews Seeker
Beginning on Friday, June 9, and ... Beginning on Friday, June 9, and running through June 17, the National Institute of Flamenco puts on the oldest and largest flamenco festival outside ...
Mathcore band Rolo Tomassi to make first tour stop ...
ABQnews Seeker
Rolo Tomassi is heading out on ... Rolo Tomassi is heading out on a month-long tour in the United States and the tour makes a stop at Launchpad on Wednesday, June ...
Documentary looks at Carole King's groundbreaking concert
ABQnews Seeker
"Carole King: Home Again – Live ... "Carole King: Home Again – Live in Central Park" airs at 9 p.m. Sunday, June 4, on New Mexico PBS, channel 5.1. It will ...
'Two Sinners and a Mule' filmed across New Mexico
ABQnews Seeker
"Two Sinners and a Mule" is ... "Two Sinners and a Mule" is currently available to rent or buy on streaming platforms.
City announces recipients of the 2023 Creative Bravos Awards
ABQnews Seeker
Journal arts editor Adrian Gomez among ... Journal arts editor Adrian Gomez among the recipients of this year’s Creative Bravos Awards.
Vanessa Patricks to host events featuring drag stars Kerry ...
ABQnews Seeker
At 9 p.m. Friday, June 2, ... At 9 p.m. Friday, June 2, Vanessa Patricks will host the Lobo Theater Pride Kickoff with Kerri Colby from "RuPaul's Drag Race."
Dumpling Cafe in Santa Fe knows a thing or ...
ABQnews Seeker
Whether you need a quick to-go ... Whether you need a quick to-go meal, want to enjoy dining in or gather with friends for a festive Chinese feast, make the Dumpling ...
From Los Ranchos to Santa Fe, New Mexico's got ...
ABQnews Seeker
For 11 years, PJ Sedillo has ... For 11 years, PJ Sedillo has been at the helm of Los Ranchos Pride. He wanted to start a free family event after being ...
NM breweries feted at World Beer Cup, Craft Beer ...
ABQnews Seeker
New Mexico breweries keep crushing it ... New Mexico breweries keep crushing it at national and international competitions with their craft beer creations and branding concepts.
Follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Albuquerque Little ...
ABQnews Seeker
With a 28-member cast, "The Wizard ... With a 28-member cast, "The Wizard of Oz" is the largest ALT has staged since the pandemic shutdown.