I attended the Suncoast Blues Society‘s 16th Birthday Party at Skipper’s Smokehouse in Tampa Florida the other night, where John Németh was the headliner. I’d never seen John before and I have to admit I didn’t know much about him.
I’m sure glad I went.
What a great singer. He is one of the best soul/blues singers I’ve heard in a long time. Right up there with Bobby Blue Bland and all the best of the soulful blues singers. I kept hearing Robert Cray in his voice too.
How about this quote from Junior Watson…
“When John’s band opened for mine, I knew instantly that he had a great talent,” Watson says. “His voice is a national treasure.”
He’s also a great songwriter and harp player as well.
John Németh was born in Idaho, in 1976 and grew up in Boise. I bet there are not too many bluesmen from Boise.
After singing at his local church, Németh played in local groups in his teenage years, and later formed Fat John & the 3 Slims with his friend Tom Moore.
By 2000, Németh was supplying backing to Junior Watson, and separately fronting his own band known as The Jacks. In 2002, he self published the album, The Jack of Harps. His debut solo effort, Come and Get It, followed in 2004. The same year, Németh relocated to Oakland, California. Gaining more experience, he temporarily replaced Sam Myers in Anson Funderburgh’s backing band in 2005 and 2006. I sure wish he had stayed with Anson. That would have been a heck of a band.
In 2006, he signed with Blind Pig Records. Magic Touch, which was produced by Funderburgh and had Watson as a guest musician on several tracks, was issued in 2007.
Living Blues stated “Magic Touch gives hope that the blues will survive.” The release saw Németh nominated for a Blues Music Award in the ‘Best New Artist Debut’ category. Németh also appeared on Elvin Bishop’s The Blues Roles On album (2008), which was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Traditional Blues Album category.
Németh continues along on his slowing rising career, with new albums and more awards. You can learn more on his website here.
Which brings us to the Suncoast Blues Society birthday concert on 6/8/2013…
It was a rainy night. And even I wasn’t sure if I would be making the show. Skipper’s Smokehouse is an outside venue, and on this typical Florida June night the sky was crying in full-force. The opening act, R.J. Howson, had to play to a deluge, and a small crowd huddled under the enclosed bar in the back.
But luckily, the rain ended about the time John came on at 9:00 PM. So I and my blues crew headed on in to see the show.
The crowd was relatively small due to the weather. Only the hardcore blues society regulars were there. But, as usual, the knowledgeable Suncoast Blues Society crowd knows great blues, and the faithful were there to hear it. A little rain was not going to stop them.
So here’s some video from the show. Hope you enjoy it.