J.J. Vicars tore outta the Sci-Fi Diner in a '59 Cadillac with mounted steerhorns and backward flames, his trusty six-string peeling off hot, greasy slabs of hip shakin' Rock, Rhythm & Blues. For two decades he's been tearing up stages and packing dance floors throughout the U.S. and overseas with his full-throttle guitar, gruff vocals, and driving backbeat .
Getting his start in the smoky clubs of Houston,TX he honed his chops under the city's top Blues and Jazz musicians. An extended trip to Japan while still in his teens lasted five years and saw him expanding his musical horizons as he dabbled with Latin, Soul, and Funk. Returning to the U.S. he settled in northeast Ohio for a lengthy spell, gigging with various Blues-Rock trios. During that time he also played bass on one album for an Indianapolis singer/songwriter, and later with his father's Cincinnati-based Jump Blues outfit, Jerry & the Hipswingers.
In 2000 he returned to Texas, parked out in Austin, and lent his guitar stylings to local Blues and Roots bands before striking out on his own, cutting his solo debut, SCI-FI DINER. A quick jaunt through Phoenix, AZ yielded the Rockabilly trio side project THE HILLBILLY RESISTANCE. Following a brief after-hours residency in Las Vegas he was in Japan once more where he re-released SCI-FI DINER (2005) with additional tracks on his independent Annie Gator Records label. Setting up his own Jindaiji Monkey Studio, he recorded and released two albums of his earliest material; the sprawling opus HI-TECH HILLBILLY (2006), written during his first stay in Tokyo, and the poetic HEARTLAND (2007), from his tenure in Indiana.
The joys of 21st Century home recording allowed J.J. the opportunity to dabble in other musical styles and eventually he had an entire album on his hands. LONGHAIRED LEFTOVERS features several guest appearances by musician friends, material originally written for other artists and some lush keyboard work from the hard charging guitarist. The front cover photo shows the first J.J. Vicars model guitar in its early stages. The title draws from two sources; Longhaired, as in 'longhair' music; and Leftovers as in leftover material from his studio. An additional track that could not be included due to time constraints is being given away to fans as a free download at ReverbNation.
While working on LONGHAIRED LEFTOVERS another album is underway. LONG WAY FROM HOME mines much of the same Blues/Roots terrain as SCI-FI DINER while also incorporating some of the more adventurous elements of LEFTOVERS. The upcoming disc features several staples of his gigging lineup, most notably bassist Mark Schwarz who designed the LEFTOVERS jacket and is building the custom guitar. Several other musician friends make guest appearances. Half the album was recorded with drummer Bill Concello who also engineered it and added some exquisite keyboards and FX. The remaining half is being recorded live at the end of 2009. Post-production will be done in Austin, TX after New Year's for a Spring 2010 release.
While working on all these albums he continues to make available recordings of various live shows. Gigs are recorded and the ones with best sound and performance quality are posted to the website where they can be downloaded for free. A modern twist on the Deadhead 'tapers'!
© 2009 J.J. Vicars