Carlos Johnson’s "In And Out" is a Japanese release that’s found its way home.That’s good because it would be a shame to miss the Chicago bluesman.
Johnson, who cites his hobbies as girls and fishing, has a voice that’s equal parts honey and whiskey. It’s a potent blend that makes his combination of blues-jazz-soul seem effortless.
On the CD opener, "Blues Man," Johnson casually tells the listener, "We don’t mess around." It’s not a boast, but a fact. The song would make any juke joint jump. "In And Out," however, isn’t afraid to shift gears. Johnson, who plays guitar, and his crew show equal skill on several slower numbers. For example, on "Key To The Highway," Johnson brings out the deep, warm tones in his voice, sounding every bit a soul singer. Although there’s good variety on the CD, much of it can be described as classic Chicago blues.
Johnson’s musical influences include Charlie Parker, B.B. King and Otis Rush.
The CD, which features a mix of covers and originals, was produced by Johnson, Akira Sakurai and Hideaki Tanaka for Mister Kelly’s label. It was recorded in Chicago and is distributed in the United States by Southport Records.