Get this crazy baby off my head!


Johnny Heartsman & the Blues Company

Johnny Heartsman & the Blues Company - Made in Germany - 1994 - Inak

It would be wrong to say that Johnny Heartsman died young, although he died at a relatively young age -- Heartsman was 59 when the blues world lost him on December 27, 1996. You can certainly call his death premature, and you can say that he was at the height of his creative powers during the last years of his life. Recorded live at Vitischanze -- a club in Osnabrück, Germany -- in 1993, this album is a thoroughly rewarding document of the bluesman's late period. Heartsman's voice is in fine shape throughout his diverse set, and he is as confident on the guitar as he is on organ and flute. Although Made in Germany is a blues CD first and foremost, it's a blues CD that underscores his appreciation of jazz and soul. Heartsman's inspired performances of Junior Parker's "I Don't Want No Woman" and Albert Collins' "Cold Cold Feeling" are pure electric urban blues, but on the standard "Flip, Flop & Fly," the Californian reminds listeners how nicely he could handle jazz-influenced jump blues. Meanwhile, elements of soul, jazz, and blues come together on an instrumental version of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine," which gives Heartsman a chance to stretch out on flute. Very few bluesmen have been known for their flute playing, but in Heartsman's funky hands, the flute sounded perfectly logical as a blues instrument. Made in Germany makes one wish that he had recorded a lot more live albums during his career. © Alex Henderson, All Music Guide, http://www.answers.com/topic/made-in-germany-blues-album

The late Johnny Heartsman may not be a household name to many people, but he was one of the great Bay Area bluesman. He was a talented flautist, and managed to incorporate his use of the instrument into his blues recordings. Unusual, but it worked. "Made in Germany" was recorded live at The Vitischanze club in Osnabrück, Germany, on June 30th, 1993, and is a great showcase of the man's versatility. Backed by the established Blues Company band from Germany, this is a wonderful recording. Buy Johnny Heartsman's great "Sacramento" album, and try and listen to The Blues Company's "Two Nights Only" album


1. Intro - James Rogers
2. That's All Right - James Johnny Heartsman
4. Cold, Cold Feeling - Albert Collins
5. I Don't Want No Woman - Junior Parker
6. Let Me Love You, Baby - Johnny Heartsman
7. Ain't No Sunshine - Bill Withers
8. Sweet Frisco Blues - Johnny Heartsman
9. Flip Flop and Fly - Lou Willie Turner, Charles E. Calhoun


Johnny Heartsman (vocals, guitar, flute, organ, keyboards)
Mike Titre (guitar, harp)
Todor Todorovic (guitar)
Martin Schmachtenberg (drums)


Shaven-headed Johnny Heartsman did so many musical things so well that he's impossible to pigeonhole. His low-moaning lead guitar work greatly distinguished a myriad of Bay Area blues recordings during the '50s and '60s, and still played his axe with delicious dexterity and dynamics into the '90s. But Heartsman was just as likely to cut loose on organ or blow a titillating solo on flute (perhaps the unlikeliest blues instrument imaginable). He possessed a mellow, richly burnished voice to boot. Through one of his principal influences, guitarist Lafayette "Thing" Thomas, a teenaged Heartsman hooked up with Bay Area producer Bob Geddins. Heartsman played bass on Jimmy Wilson's 1953 rendition of "Tin Pan Alley," handling guitar or piano at other Geddins-supervised dates. He cut his own two-part instrumental, the "Honky Tonk"-inspired "Johnny's House Party," for Ray Dobard's Music City imprint and watched it become a national R&B hit in 1957. The early '60s brought a lot more session work -- Heartsman played on Tiny Powell's "My Time After Awhile" (soon covered by Buddy Guy) and Al King's remake of Lowell Fulson's "Reconsider Baby." By then, Heartsman's imaginative twiddling of the volume knob with his finger to produce an eerie moan had become his guitaristic trademark. Stints in show bands, jazzy cocktail lounge gigs, and a stand as soul singer Joe Simon's trusty organist came prior to the inauguration of Heartsman's edifying back-to-the-blues campaign. In 1991, Dick Shurman produced Heartsman's most satisfying set to date for Alligator, The Touch. He remained a versatile performer until is death in December of 1996. © Bill Dahl, All Music Guide, http://www.answers.com/topic/johnny-heartsman


The Blues is Alive. In Germany Too. That´s not surprising because the multi-faceted German music scene has spawned such extraordinary groups as Blues Company from Osnabrück, Germany. The group was founded almost 30 years ago and has by now become a household name. No one can talk about Blues "made in Germany" without mentioning Blues Company in the same breath. The band's success is rooted in its consistent quality and, of course, in its approach. This "company" doesn't simply pull off a routine "job." On the contrary. These musicians put their heart and soul into their music. It is a passionate "crusade" for the Blues, and the group's message * "The Blues Is Allright" * is attracting a steadily growing number of fans into concert halls and clubs. The driving force behind Blues Company is an innovative "Blues Man" * singer, guitarist, and songwriter Todor "Toscho" Todorovic. He was born in 1951 in Lingen, northern Germany. His parents, who had fled from the former Yugoslavia to West Germany after WWII, gave gifted young Toscho many opportunities to develop his musical talent. After hearing legendary B.B. King play in a jazz club, Toscho was forever captivated by the Blues. He acquired the Blues guitar repertoire and founded a number of small bands; he also studied classical guitar and song at the conservatory. In 1976, at the age of 25, he met the German pianist Christian Rannenberg at a Blues session featuring the Texan sax player Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson. Before long Toscho and Christian Rannenberg had founded Blues Company. Blues Company has given over 3000 concerts in Germany and neighboring European countries. The group consists of Toscho Todorovic ( guitar, vocals) , Mike Titre (guitar, bass, bluesharp), Olli Gee (bass, organ), and Florian Schaube (drums), as well as the "Fabulous B.C. Horns" aka Uwe Nolopp (trumpet) and Robert Kretzschmar (sax, organ). The Fabulous BC Horns give the band even greater punch, both on stage and in the studio. The musicians of Blues Company have never been purists. Rather, it has always been Toscho's desire not just to plumb the depths of the Blues for its extraordinary range of expression, but also to spark new ideas in all facets of the genre. This front man and his band know all too well that the Blues is always changing and thus stays alive. Variety is one of the hallmarks of Blues Company, whose numerous CDs masterfully bridge the traditional and the modern. There are lusty Blues-Rock numbers, laid-back swinging Rhythm & Blues, haunting Blues ballads, as well as excursions into Soul and Cajun music. [ from http://www.nightshift-agency.de/en/artists/blues/bluescompany.html ]