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April 1997

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Jumpin' Johnny Sansone
Crescent City Moon
Bullseye Blues

The last time I saw Jumpin' Johnny Sansone was when we were both living in North Carolina; he brought a bowl of his homemade gumbo to the radio station where I was doing my weekly blues show. Being in New Orleans for the last seven or eight years has given Sansone's music the same Louisiana flavor as his cooking. Crescent City Moon (Bullseye Blues) is an excellent swamp blues album.

The album kicks off with one of the better tunes in "Give Me A Dollar," a goodtime Louisiana dance hall number featuring guest Sonny Landreth on slide guitar. I could easily imagine Los Lobos coverning this song; in fact, Sansone's vocal style on this number resembles that of David Hidalgo from Los Lobos' version of "I Got Loaded."

Long known as a skillful harmonica player, Sansone has now become a decent accordion player. He gets to show off both of his instrumental skills on the feel good blues of "Anything Anytime." And on the jazzy "Popeyes and a Hubigs, Part II," Sansone further displays his versatility as he solos on chromatic harmonica.

For more of a Cajun sound, take a listen to "Hey Joe," which features nice piano by New Orleans session regular Jon Cleary and Cajun fiddle by Waylon Thibodeaux. "Just Say Yes" features a harmonica intro that will remind you of Rockin' Sidney's swamp blues classic "You Ain't Nothin' But Fine."

If it's straight blues that you want, then you'll like "The Talkin' Is Over (The Walkin' Has Begun)," with more stellar harmonica work by Sansone.

With the release of Crescent City Moon, Jumpin' Johnny Sansone is ready to make the big jump into the national blues scene.

- Bill Mitchell

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