CARLOS JOHNSON & LEFTY DIZZ - The Healer

CARLOS JOHNSON & LEFTY DIZZ - The Healer

CD 120.814

Carlos Johnson & Lefty Dizz – The Healer

MUSICIANS:

01-03 Carlos Johnson, vocals, guitar
Easy Baby, bass
Adian Flores, drums
04-06 Carlos Johnson, vocals, guitar
Danial Raffo, guitar
Mariano D’Andrea, bass
Pato Raffo
07-15 Lefty Dizz, vocals, guitar
others unknown

CREDITS:
Produced by Adrian Flores
Recorded in Buenos Aires, Argentina Nov.19th, 2000 (Carlos Recordings)
and Dec. 1992 (Lefty’s Recordings)
Edited by Gerhard Wessely, Soundborn Studio Vienna
Liner notes by Adrian Flores
Photos by James Fraher
Live club photos by Hannes Folterbauer
Art Design by: Harald Ergott

LEFTY DIZZ

LEFTY DIZZ ON WOLF RECORDS:
120.807 Best Of West and Southside Blues Singers Vol.2

The Story

Lefty Dizz

This is the story of this recordings that Wolf is now presenting. When we started producing shows there was always the intention to hire Magic Slim. We had already done shows with James Cotton and Hubert Sumlin in December 1992 and Jimmy Rogers and Honeyboy Edwards in March 1993. A few months later, it was Magic Slim’s turn. j It was May 1993 when, together with my father, we produced a few Magic Slim &The Teardrops shows and, to everybody’s surprise, the second guitar that Magic brought over to Buenos Aires was no other than Lefty Dizz.

Lefty Dizz

When I traveled to Chicago in December 1992 to book James Cotton I had found out that Lefty was quite sick and there was a show to his benefit and to raise money for his treatment… so it was a miracle to have Lefty in Buenos Aires. Lefty opened up 2 shows for Magic, and that was memorable. Those who didn’t know Lefty were just impressed by his show. All that led me to talking to Lefty about him coming back to do his solo shows, and maybe cut a record (the Blues Special Records label was already a project).

Lefty Dizz and Hannes Folterbauer

Those days, in Buenos Aires, I spent a lot of time with Lefty. He was quite sick and doctors had recommended that he eat every other 4 hours, so we had a lot of opportunities to go out and chat. He said that his days were counted, that he had never gotten recognition in the US and that he felt so well treated in Argentina that he wanted back.

Lefty was not only thrilled by this project, but also told.me that he had a few recordings he had never edited and he wanted them released on my label. It was then that he left me a tape of those sessions.

We talked over the phone many times after that and even agreed on a date for him to come back to Argentina but that could not happen. Lefty died a few months later. The project never happened. And the recognition he deserved never came.

Incredibly enough, Lefty never ever recorded full album for an american label, which also led to his feeling of injustice towards his career.

These recordings were never mentioned anywhere. These are Lefty Dizz’ last lost recordings.

Carlos Johnson

Carlos Johnson is a Chicago native and was born in the Windy City in 1948. He was only entering his teens when
he played his first gig. At that time, he idolized Jimmy Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. Later influences were Otis Rush, Albert King, Elmore James and T Bone Walker. He is now a regular at such Chicago hotspots as Katerina’s, B.L.U.E.S., Rosa’s Lounge and Buddy Guy’s. The guitarist sometimes appears with harp player Billy Branch and the two turned out a CD together.

Without a powerful electric guitar timbre to accompany his clear baritone voice, Johnson rings true throughout this highly recommended program of blues delights. About Carlos Johnson’s recordings, they were taken in November 2000 on his trip to Buenos Aires to play in the Blues Special Club. After years of playing with Chicago stars like Billy Branch and Son Seals, with whom he recorded his guitar, Carlos was ready for his own album. It was then we went to the studio to record what would be his first album: “My name is Carlos Johnson” – Blues Special Records 9503.This CD was so well received by critics that made the Japanese from P-Vine put special attention in Johnson and cut his second solo album: “In and Out”.

It was a long session in Buenos Aires, and the result are these tracks here, presented withouth any special edition. The bond between Lefty and Carlos was very strong. Carlos told me that Lefty was the first one to show him a few tricks in the guitar, which made Carlos think of thim as his mentor, besides his great friend.

At my place I showed him a video of Lefty playing in Buenos Aires, but Carlos asked me to stop it because it was too touching for him and I could see it in his watery eyes. In this CD we find a few coincidences: two left handed Chicago guitarists who have no records on american labels (Carlos still has a chance) and with limitted recognition by the main stream blues media.

Enjoy these two masters of Chicago Blues Guitar.

Adrian Flores

Carlos Johnson

CARLOS JOHNSON

From “The Reader”, Chicago, Illinois-Critic’s Choice

Guitarist Carlos Johnson is a fleet-fingered picker who wraps a shimmering B.B. King-like timbre around asymmetrical melody lines; he augments this breezy virtuosity by laying sharp staccato notes amid his leads to keep things from getting to smooth. Johnson’s repertoire runs the gamut from jazz classics like Elligton’s “Take the ‘A’Train” to original compositions often based on time-tested blues standards (his “Leavin’ on the Next Train” is an emotionally charged variation on “Goin’ Down Slow” as interpreted by Bobby “Blue” Bland and, later, Junior Wells).

Johnson sometimes seems a bit too enamored of his own prowess: he’ll tear through a medley of a half-dozen songs, each one packed with dazzling displays of technical virtuosity, without lingering on any idea long enough to explore its emotional and musical implications. But his commitment to the entirety of the modern blues tradition is unassailable; if he can find the maturity and the confidence to slow down and immerse himself in the meaning as well as the technical challenge that lies at the heart of blues improvisation, he could blossom into one of our most exciting contemporary talents.

David Whiteis