Exposition: 'Tunes at Twilight' Guest, John Long: May 12th
John Long was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1950 & was first exposed to the music he’d make his life’s work not long after. By the late 1950s, John was absorbing the sounds of Jimmy Reed, Buster Brown, Muddy Waters, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Junior Parker, and all the rest of the R&B and jump blues of the day, & working on recreating those sounds with his own guitar.
On Lost & Found, his debut album on Delta Groove Records (an earlier demo-styled cassette release, Long on Blues, was released independently in 1999), John Long has stunningly re-created the sound of a pre-war country blues player, right down to the little Tommy Johnson-like upward vocal swoops he takes at the end of phrases. What sets Long aside from simply creating an elaborate facsimile of the style, however, is that the songs he does are not ancient Delta pieces, but originals written by himself and his brother Claude Long, each one done in the template of an old blues 78 from the 1920s or 1930s.
John Long's adoptive father was Homesick James, who was a direct influence on his musical accomplishments. Homesick James, who passed away on December 13, 2006, was Elmore James' cousin and the last of his band members (The Broomdusters).
Excerpt from John Long's website, and Delta Groove Productions, Inc.