Colorado blues rockers Johnny & The Mongrels channel the magic of Louisiana music, from Acadiana to zydeco, on their debut album, CREOLE SKIES, releasing on July 17 (distributed by Color Red). Copies can be pre-ordered now. Fans will get a preview during the band’s live-stream concert Saturday, June 27, beginning at 9pm Eastern at My Father’s Place.
The Crescent City’s many music treasures enrich all ten tracks. For pure old-school R&B, dip into “Louisiana Girl,” with its funky guitar scratch, wailing tenor sax and soulful Hammond organ smears. “Creole Skies” depicts a young man leaving his Bayou home to seek his fortune, singing “I’m on my way … but my heart will stay” with regret but also anticipation. Opening with a smile-teasing second-line shuffle from the drums, “Music Man” dishes out a gumbo mix of blues guitar, zydeco accordion and Longhair-spiced piano. Then it’s time for church on “Drinking With Angels,” where the band’s singer/songwriter Johnny Ryan, over the slow sway of a gospel groove, bids farewell to a friend who has crossed over to a better world.
In describing the experience of creating CREOLE SKIES, Ryan says, “We’ll never be able to thank those enough that enabled us to bring our vision of the album to light. Everything came together so effortlessly and joyfully. We hope this record will give inspiration and meaning to others.” Bassist/singer/songwriter Jeff Bostic adds, “We worked together to pour our hearts and souls into the album, releasing our emotions and experiences through these songs.”
Along with Ryan and Bostic, guitarist Scott Sharrard (Gregg Allman, Levon Helm), keyboardist Bill McKay (The Derek Trucks Band, Leftover Salmon) and drummer/percussionist Eddie Christmas (The Black Crowes, Jon Cleary) comprise the core band on CREOLE SKIES. Squeezebox legend Roddie Romero, pedal steel ace Marty Rifkin and soulful sax man Craig Dreyer are among the roots music virtuosi who make guest appearances. JoeBaby Michaels (Neville~Jacobs, Shaun Murphy) and Sharrard produced the sessions at the fabled Dockside Studio in Maurice, Louisiana.
Earlier this week, Americana Highways premiered the album’s first single, “Music Man,” which is available now on Spotify Pre-Save. American Blues Scene premiered the song’s lyric video, featuring footage of the band onstage along with a brisk tour of the city’s historic streetcars, haunted cemeteries and Mississippi River banks and onto bustling Bourbon Street.
ABOUT JOHNNY & THE MONGRELS
Johnny & The Mongrels is a high-powered, New-Orleans-influenced band that has been described as “the perfect combination of a funk-filled heart and a deep bayou soul.” Its founders, currently based in Fort Collins, Colorado, are singer/songwriter Johnny Ryan and singer/bassist/songwriter Jeff Bostic. The band has played many prominent venues and music festivals nationwide, sharing stages along with way with Scott Sharrard, George Porter Jr., Ivan Neville, Bob Malone (John Fogerty), Deanna Bogart, Shakedown Street, Samantha Fish, Honey Island Swamp Band and Bobby Messano (Steve Winwood).