Johnny V

If My Daddy Could See Me Now

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If My Daddy Could See Me Now features the heartfelt music of one of Canada's most prominent blues performers. Originally from Toronto, Johnny V -- whose real last name is Mills -- moved to Calgary in 1979 and got serious about the blues after growing up listening to his father play acoustic blues guitar and harp. Just before he died in 1976, Johnny V's "Daddy" made him promise that he would follow music, something his father could never really do since he was struggling to raise six children. In 1996, V was chosen as Best Canadian Guitarist by the West Coast Blues Review. In addition, he works as a session man and record producer. The Allstars are a seven-piece band that includes piano, organ, sax, and trumpet. If My Daddy Could See Me Now is as much a tender and touching release as it is a smokin' affair. Tunes range from swing (Ruth Brown's "As Long As I'm Movin") to slide (the V original "I Ain't Gonna Dust My Broom Again," an interesting take on the Robert Johnson/Elmore James classic). In addition to five other fine originals and one of his dad's, "Depression Blues," Mills throws in a couple of horn-punctuated Son Seals songs ("Four Full Seasons of Love" and "Don't Bother Me) as well as one from Magic Sam ("You Belong to Me"). One of the best cuts, however, is a spare, guitar-bass-drums-only approach to the blues standard "Next Time You See Me." From the sly dusting of the brushes on the snare to the haunting echo in Johnny's guitar, this tune is bad to the bone. Much like Little Junior Parker's version, it couldn't possibly be any slower, or any better. Johnny V's sound is definitely within the blues realm, yet he doesn't sound entirely like any other blues performer. Johnny V is his own man. This album will warm you up inside!