Current Ruminations From The Product's Illustrious Inventor!

Stuff, and things, coming up

Hi, strangers. Strange year. Not right at all.

And yet, apart from no shows, this is my busiest musical year in a long time.

The Claudettes put this out in April: “High Times in the Dark.” If you have a spare two hours, you can read all the great press it’s gotten in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, the UK and Australia here. It’s also on Bandcamp, where you can listen to it as well as procure it on CD, download or limited-edition purple vinyl.

In August, I joined Delmark Records as a solo artist. That’s the home of Junior Wells, Otis Rush, Magic Sam and more of my blues heroes. The album, featuring Lil’ Ed, John Primer, Billy Boy Arnold, Matthew Skoller, Bob Margolin and other special guests, is JOHNNY IGUANA’S CHICAGO SPECTACULAR!, and I believe it lives up to its name.

The first video from this SPECTACULAR! is up on YouTube, and here are all the 2020 Claudettes videos (more to come). Stay tuned for some fall live shows. Stay alive. Root hard for a 2021 that brings it all back home.

Fondly,
me

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“JOHNNY IGUANA’S CHICAGO SPECTACULAR!” arrives

August 8, 2020. That’s the date I get to join the family of Junior Wells, Otis Rush, Magic Sam…that is: Delmark Records. They are releasing my debut blues album. I have played on countless blues records, and had my own releases with the Claudettes, oh my god, Them vs. Them. Software Giant…but this is a first for me. John Primer, Lil’ Ed, Billy Boy Arnold, Bob Margolin, Kenny Smith, Matthew Skoller, Billy Flynn, Phillip-Michael Scales, Bill Dickens and Michael Caskey. Those are my fellow musicians on this thing. I played a 100-year-old Chicago-made upright piano for this recording, and it sounds just like I hoped it would. Get the album at the Delmark store, here. And watch the first video, starring me, Michael and Bill, here. Go to the performances page, too. Thank you…hope to see you on the road SOON……..

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Johnny Iguana album. Claudettes album. All of it.

Hello, old friend. Much has happened! Johnny Iguana has a new album coming out on the legendary DELMARK RECORDS in August 2020. It’s (aptly) called “JOHNNY IGUANA’S CHICAGO SPECTACULAR!” and features Lil’ Ed, John Primer, Billy Boy Arnold, Matthew Skoller, Phillip-Michael Scales, Billy Flynn, Kenny Smith, Bill Dickens and Michael Caskey. “Whoa!” is right! And wait’ll you hear this thing, recorded on an exactly 100-year-old Chicago-made upright piano by the Cable Piano Company. It’s a tribute to the greats of Chicago blue piano, but has a healthy dose of my original compositions and eccentricities, should I say.

My band the Claudettes released our new album “High Times in the Dark” on Forty Below Records on April 3, 2020. Ted Hutt (Violent Femmes, Lucero, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Devil Makes Three…) produced this, and it’s a thing of beauty, I gotta say. Lots of press and new videos are here; Follow the Claudettes on Spotify and get the album at the Forty Below Records site or Bandcamp.

All right, keep in touch via johnny (at) johnny iguana dot com. ’til then…

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Well, hi!

What can I tell you?
Ummm…happy holidays!

The Claudettes have loads happening, please go here to see/hear

My Claudettes albums, via Yellow Dog Records, are here

The oh my god discography is here

Much of the winter will be spent with the van in the garage and me writing, practicing, booking and, well, eating and then exercising away the damage.

Keep in touch via Facebook or email me. Whatever the request, the bidding starts at, oh, I don’t know, shall we say $500?,
Johnny Iguana

 

Claudettes recording like mad

Yes, we are. Expect a big double-album in 2015: a heap of instrumentals plus vocal tunes by Yana. In the meantime, see our tour dates, and please pick up the first Claudettes album! Some nice words about it:

DOWNBEAT Hits listeners upside the head with a mash-up of Otis Spann blues, Albert Ammons boogie-woogie, Ray Charles soul and “Fess” Longhair New Orleans R&B. Catch them in a chaotic ballroom!

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES Fuses blues and punk, and all points between….The hectic boogaloo of “Deep Soul for High Society” pays rowdy homage to Ray Charles…prodigious skill, but not purism.

BG (BUDDY GUY’S BLUES AND MUSIC NEWS) Uninhibited, wild, exciting…yet deep-rooted Chicago blues. A very powerful and impassioned album done as only true Chicago blues masters could do it. With this album, Johnny could easily inherit Big Moose Walker’s mantle as the piano wild man of Chicago blues. A pair like the Claudettes really shows the continued vitality and possibilities of Chicago blues in the 21st century.

COLOSSAL POP Beautiful and chaotic and wildly impressive all at once….If you would have told me three weeks ago that the most played album in my rotation would be a piano and drum instrumental album, I would have laughed….I’m all in. I love this album and the Claudettes may be my new favorite band!

BLUES MUSIC MAGAZINE Like Keith Moon chasing a crazed, punked-up Little Richard… greasy rhythm and blues that makes the dance floor so slippery you need to sprinkle sawdust on the floor to keep from falling down…a great ride, one that’ll leave you shaking and laughing and wanting more the next time this rowdy carnival comes to town.

BLUES BLAST: Their ambition and hard work have been rewarded with a fabulous album…unquestionably danceable and refreshingly unique…40 minutes of high-energy fun.

BLUES BYTES (SURPRISE PICK OF THE MONTH, NOVEMBER 2013) One of the freshest discs that has crossed my ears in a long time…an amazing find…Iguana and Caskey play their instruments like men possessed.

AMERICAN BLUES SCENE Johnny Iguana sounds like a saloon pianist from the Wild West brought to the future, his own vaudeville style modernized alongside Caskey’s sweet and delectable drumming, blending blues, jazz and a good time, creating an album unlike any other on the market.

EDEN BRENT (VIA FACEBOOK) Has all the sophistication of 21st-century serious music with a helluva sense of humor….Most interesting piano album in my collection since Brubeck’s Take Five.

CAUGHT IN THE CAROUSEL They come across like a ragtime White Stripes, tearing through the 13 numbers here with an undeniable musical velocity….Truly one of the most refreshing musical experiences of the year.

FOLK AND ACOUSTIC MUSIC EXCHANGE Some of the most startling music you are going to hear…you are in for a wild ride. They seem like two madmen…but they are two madmen in beautiful tight rhythm.

BMAN’S BLUES REPORT A nonstop piano riot….With Hound Dog Taylor Taylor intensity, the two men create a rockin’ frenzy….Iguana has a lot to say and says a lot without saying a word.

SEPIACHORD Soon to be classic…a vintage vibe that should find ears with neo-hipsters, old-school cool cats and contemporary greasers alike.

RICHARD MILNE, WXRT, CHICAGO Piano and drums and tons of energy and good tunes…bodacious grooves!

POP MATTERS Greasy keyboard-based barrelhouse blues with a side of heavy beat that evokes early Chicago R&B/rock…makes you jump and dance…a little scary, but that’s just part of the dangerous thrill.

CASCADE BLUES ASSOCIATION Definitely nothing remotely blues-rock. There is a timeless feeling meshing the great pianists of the past with a modern flair that resembles nobody else.

 

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The Claudettes win an Independent Music Award with their first album!

I (Johnny Iguana) am in Helsinki, where I just got word from Mike Powers (and Yellow Dog Records) that our Yellow Dog Records debut, “Infernal Piano Plot…HATCHED!,” has won Best Instrumental Album in the Independent Music Awards.
Michael Jay Caskey played drums; I played the piano; Anthony Gravinorecorded/mixed; Yana Atim is singing and dancing with us on stage now (good choice, Claudette). We have tons of shows this summer and fall. This is good stuff. Hail, hail
http://www.independentmusicawards.com/ima/2014/13th-annual-independent-music-awards-winners-announced/

Tell your people to get this great album:
http://yellowdogrecords.com/theclaudettes

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Claudettes on the Bluesmobile (Dan Aykroyd) and more…

Hey now-

Here’s Dan Aykroyd, introducing his Bluesmobile’s favorite song of the week (his Bluesbreaker): it’s the Claudettes’ “Tide Pool”:
https://soundcloud.com/thebluesmobile/elwoods-blues-breaker-the-1

We are off and running with shows coming up all over the Midwest, up into Canada and overseas in Europe. Find the Claudettes on Facebook, and we’ll also post those shows and more at http://theclaudettes.com.

Find the album and more at our label page: http://yellowdogrecords.com/theclaudettes

Here are many of the nice things that have been said about the album; thanks to all!:

DOWNBEAT Hits listeners upside the head with a mash-up of Otis Spann blues, Albert Ammons boogie-woogie, Ray Charles soul and “Fess” Longhair New Orleans R&B. Catch them in a chaotic ballroom!

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES Fuses blues and punk, and all points between….The hectic boogaloo of “Deep Soul for High Society” pays rowdy homage to Ray Charles…prodigious skill, but not purism.

BG (BUDDY GUY’S BLUES AND MUSIC NEWS) Uninhibited, wild, exciting…yet deep-rooted Chicago blues. A very powerful and impassioned album done as only true Chicago blues masters could do it. With this album, Johnny could easily inherit Big Moose Walker’s mantle as the piano wild man of Chicago blues. A pair like the Claudettes really shows the continued vitality and possibilities of Chicago blues in the 21st century.

COLOSSAL POP Beautiful and chaotic and wildly impressive all at once….If you would have told me three weeks ago that the most played album in my rotation would be a piano and drum instrumental album, I would have laughed….I’m all in. I love this album and the Claudettes may be my new favorite band!

BLUES BYTES (SURPRISE PICK OF THE MONTH, NOVEMBER 2013) One of the freshest discs that has crossed my ears in a long time…an amazing find…Iguana and Caskey play their instruments like men possessed.

AMERICAN BLUES SCENE Johnny Iguana sounds like a saloon pianist from the Wild West brought to the future, his own vaudeville style modernized alongside Caskey’s sweet and delectable drumming, blending blues, jazz and a good time, creating an album unlike any other on the market.

EDEN BRENT (VIA FACEBOOK) Has all the sophistication of 21st-century serious music with a helluva sense of humor….Most interesting piano album in my collection since Brubeck’s Take Five.

CAUGHT IN THE CAROUSEL They come across like a ragtime White Stripes, tearing through the 13 numbers here with an undeniable musical velocity….Truly one of the most refreshing musical experiences of the year.

FOLK AND ACOUSTIC MUSIC EXCHANGE Some of the most startling music you are going to hear…you are in for a wild ride. They seem like two madmen…but they are two madmen in beautiful tight rhythm.

BMAN’S BLUES REPORT A nonstop piano riot….With Hound Dog Taylor Taylor intensity, the two men create a rockin’ frenzy….Iguana has a lot to say and says a lot without saying a word.

SEPIACHORD Soon to be classic…a vintage vibe that should find ears with neo-hipsters, old-school cool cats and contemporary greasers alike.

RICHARD MILNE, WXRT, CHICAGO Piano and drums and tons of energy and good tunes…bodacious grooves!

POP MATTERS Greasy keyboard-based barrelhouse blues with a side of heavy beat that evokes early Chicago R&B/rock…makes you jump and dance…a little scary, but that’s just part of the dangerous thrill.

CASCADE BLUES ASSOCIATION: Definitely nothing remotely blues-rock. There is a timeless feeling meshing the great pianists of the past with a modern flair that resembles nobody else.

CINCINNATI ENQUIRER An amped blues-rock-soulful-jazz explosion….You’re going to need a good day of rest afterward from the dancing and feet tapping that abounds from the music of these gentlemen.

 

 

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