'The Independent Music Show Magazine' September 2019 - Page 22

There’s more to Johnny Ticktin than meets the eye. Well-versed in the blues, having once served as lead guitar player for the legendary Louisiana Red, the open-minded Ticktin is a sponge, soaking up the subtle six-string nuances and intricacies of a multitude of genres—from surf to classic R&B, swing and even Mambo—on his eighth album with The Headhunters,

'That’s All I Need'....It would feel right at home in any rough-and-tumble roadhouse.

The title is borrowed from a song, covered here in all its dark,

swampy glory, off Magic Sam’s 1967 iconic electric blues marvel West Side Soul. Watery, backwoods ripples of Sam’s tremolo guitar style and seductive rhythms meander through Creedence Clearwater Revival’s mysterious kudzu on Johnny & The Headhunters’ version, as Ticktin and company paddle up a lazy river of Bayou groove. Just as fluent in nasty rockabilly, they thrive in the sweltering heat of the 1957 obscurity “Chicken House,” giving it a warm buzz and making it rumble and swagger, while the lascivious, infectious funk of “Body and Fender” – a Doc Pomus/

Duke Robillard joint originally built for soul crooner Johnny Adams – shakes all over and ogles the female form. A rousing, boogie-woogie version of Lowell Fulsom’s Chess Records’ hit “Rock ‘Em Dead” is wonderfully shambolic, and Ticktin rides the lightning of the Link Wray instrumental “Ace of Spaces” like a champ, gleefully wheeling through edgy garage-rock riffs with appropriate vim and vigor. What feel he and his band have for this material. There is not the slightest bit of indifference to it anywhere on this record.

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