"Who Called the Cops?" is pure over-the-top Pyscho New Orleans barrelhouse, zydeco, boogie and funky blues at its finest. Porterhouse Bob and Down to the Bone are on fire on this, their 3rd CD. Rollicking piano, accordion, tuba, trumpet, tenor and baritone sax, bass, drums and rubboard compliment these uniquely crafted upbeat Porterhouse Bob arrangements and original songs. The music is a celebration of life.
Recent CD Reviews:
May 2007 Jim Santella - Southland Blues Magazine
Who Called The Cops?
Porterhouse Bob Johnson and his band, Down to the Bone, love to bring back the roots music that originally came from New Orleans and the Deep South. Cajun, boogie-woogie, zydeco, barrelhouse and jump blues ensure that his program will get it all in. The band has quite a unique sound to back up Bob's down-home vocals. He's one of a kind, underrated and adventuresome. At the piano, he pounds out a rollicking beat that mingles with trumpets, trombone, saxophone, tuba, bass and drums in order to celebrate the attitude that invented Dixieland jazz and Louisiana swamp blues.
On their instrumental numbers, Down to the Bone recalls the dedicated musicianship and rockin' spirit that came out of bands such as Chicago and Blood, Sweat and Tears. At the piano, Bob brings us the kind of authenticity that flows from pioneers such as Piano Red, Pinetop Perkins and Professor Longhair. When he sings, Bob gets to the nitty-gritty with all his heart. The session is a party that can go on forever; however, the album clocks in at less than 35 minutes, leaving the audience clamoring for more. Original songs such as Bob's "Whodoo Voodoo," Doin' the Fat Thing" and "Tippin' on Fo Fo's" get down and feisty, while "Who Called the Cops?" and several other jump blues allow Bob and the band to swing with passion. Tight horns and a loose rhythmic pride make this one a clear winner.
Review: May 2007 Rootstime - Belgium
Who Called The Copds?
Zoals ik voorheen al eens gezegd heb, ben ik een liefhebber van het New Orleans genre. Ik was dan ook aangenaam verrast toen ik de cd van Porterhouse Bob "Who Called The Cops" in handen kreeg. Ik kende de man helemaal niet, maar een kerel die er op de hoes bijstaat als Screamin' Jay Hawkins heeft al direct mijn aandacht en sympathie. Terecht, zo blijkt, want al komt de band uit California, Los Angeles om precies te zijn, toch brengt Bob ons in onvervalste Professor Longhair stijl de echte New Orleans sound. Zijn 7 koppige band "Down to The Bone" waarbij geen gitarist zit, enkel een drummer, bas en een blazersectie van 5 man zorgen voor een prima geluid waarbij de gitaar voor geen seconde gemist wordt. Zijn rock & roll gumbo moet het vooral van de sfeer hebben. Bob is geen perfect zanger, maar zijn stem is ideaal voor dit soort muziek, hij klinkt zo authentiek als maar enigzins mogelijk is. Als pianist is hij wel een topkracht, luister maar naar "Big Bob's Boogie" of de dampende boogie die de titelsong "Who Called the Cops" is, in feite een variatie op het "Rocket 88" thema. Verder is de gumbo gekruid met zydeco, cajun en zelfs funk elementen. Accordeons rocken op "Slammin' the Ham" en "I ain't Got You". Mooie dansende funkritmes horen we op de instrumental "Doin' The Fat Thing", een verwijzing naar de Fatback Band. Een lekker ouderwets Cab Calloway soundje op "Whoodoo Voodo" dat lijkt op "Minnie The Moocher", en zo kunnen we blijven verdergaan. Om het even kort samen te vatten "Who Called The Cops" is van A tot Z ambiance! Laisser Les Bon Temps Rouler...
Review: May 2007 Blewzzman Lauro - Mary4Music.com
Who Called The Cops?
Although I can sometimes tell after just one listen that I like a CD enough to be able to give it a nice review, most of the times I prefer to listen to it several times before making a qualified decision. On the other hand, with "WHO CALLED THE COPS", after just a few tracks I was ready to start writing - but first, I needed to stop writhing. In just three little words I can tell you what my first impression of this disc was......fun, fun, fun. It's very apparent the band had fun recording it and I can assure you, you'll have fun listening to it.
In as much as I take pride in my originality when writing these reviews, I'll occasionally see a quote in a bands press kit, or at their website, that compels me to use that quote. This description of their style of music was one of those compellers........"A blend of Bourbon Street brass, rolling piano blues and a classic New Orleans beat; this high octane barrelhouse band pumps out psycho boogie, funk and zydeco-blues as if there is no tomorrow". Touche` - the Blewzzman tips his hat to the writer of those words.
This feisty bunch of players are: PORTERHOUSE BOB, writer of the discs nine original tracks, on vocals and keyboards; MITCH MONTROSE, drums and rubboard; MIKE BARRY, bass; GEORGE PANDIS, trumpet; SCOTTY STRATHMANN, trumpet, trombone and tuba; DAN HEFFERNAN, clarinet, tenor and alto sax; DON ROBERTS, baritone sax; LONNIE JOHNSON, trumpet.
If within 30 seconds of the opening track, "DID YOU CATCH THAT JACK?", you're not shaking or tapping one or more of your body parts - at a feverish pace - you may need to call your doctor. Man, this track rocks. It's a fast and furious Nawlin's swing thing with lots of funky horns that has MITCH and MIKE tearing up the pace on drums and bass.
If you're a mover and a shaker, head to the dance flo' for "TIPPIN' ON FO FO'S". This short but scorching Zydeco instrumental is guaranteed to break a sweat.
"DOWN BY THE WATER" opens with an awesome 90 second trumpet solo before getting downright funky. BOB is outstanding on piano and some Dr. John type vocals and the horn section, led by more great trumpet work and SCOTTY on the tuba, create a great ragtime sound.
There's no other way to describe the next track other than to just tell you it's name - "BIG BOB'S BOOGIE". Backed up with some great bass work, this instrumental is all about BOB and his piano..........
that is until DAN jumps in with some downright kick ass tenor sax.
"WHODOO VOODOO" is all of 63 seconds but what a furious 63 seconds it is. It's a ritual sounding instrumental with a fierce drum beat and wailing trumpets. This one brought to mind about a half a dozen jungle movies.
The title track, "WHO CALLED THE COPS", is all out musical mayhem. BOB is as wild on the vocals as he is on the piano, Mitch and Mike are trying to kick each others butt on rhythm - and they're both succeeding - and the horn section, in an effort to not be outdone, are blowing their brains out. At two and a half minutes, this track is about five minutes too short. I wanted more - lots more - of this. Easily the hottest track on the disc.
Just like the steak, PORTER HOUSE BOB and the band are excellent, right DOWN TO THE BONE.
Here's what radio hosts had to say about the new CD:
"I received your CD. It’s outstanding. It has great, energy, and the arrangements and variety are wonderful. And I must commend you on the production values…the recording, the mix, everything is exceptional. It’s really first class and a lot of fun. I would enthusiastically recommend it to people. It’s got style and wit and pizzazz. It’s got that Dr. John feel that I love and crosses all the way over into Zydeco and Squirrel Nut Zipper territory. Congratulations!!"
Shadoe Stevens - Rock the World
"Yeah you have done it again with a gumbo laden feast of Southern Blues mixed into a Voodoo stew with just the right amount of spice to add to the flavor. Yes we love it (Who Called The Cops) soooooooooooooo very much and l have allocated the cd to the biggest Blues show in this city "Jumping The Blues" with Tom Sianidis Wednesday ... all I want is for everybody to hear what we were able to hear, great music. Perfect for PBS FM."
Regards Peter. PBS FM Australia
"Porterhouse Bob and Down to the Bone. Whoa!!! The Los Angeles barrelhouse boogie bosses send out the N.O. style boogie to the universe once again. The universe will respond with hollers and chill bumps. The new cd is called "Who called the Cops" to which I am currently listening to for the first time; and already loving it big time. You should hear it for sure."
Jake Bacon, Buffalo Bayou Public Radio 88.9 FM
Picture yourself on Bourbon Street in some dimly lit bar. It's 2:00 AM and you wander in off the street and hear this blast of high-energy horns, driving rythmn section and pounding keyboards. There's a tall lanky guy in a silver Louis the XIV coat and Lincoln tall-hat leaping into the audience with his skull cane and keytar. The room is smoke-filled, everyone is laughin' and dancing....
Big Mojo Records is proud to present the latest and greatest CD from Porterhouse Bob and Down to the Bone, "Who Called the Cops?"!
We hope you enjoy it!
PRESS RELEASE 2007
Porterhouse Bob and Down to the Bone
Ministers of Psycho-New Orleans Barrelhouse Blues
Porterhouse Bob may well be Southern California’s best-kept secret, but to a growing fan base that extends well beyond California, he and his band are achieving cult status. Porterhouse Bob has been making music professionally since 1965. The band has played such diverse venues as The Sand Dollar Blues Lounge in Las Vegas, the Atlantic Casino in Reno, Disney’s California Adventure, The Blue Café, and summer festivals throughout California.
In the early days Porterhouse toured fairgrounds and played shows with the likes of The Safaris, The Champs and The Tornadoes. When the late sixties hit northern California, he was there, playing the Haight Street Theater, the Arc, Vy's Drake Club, opening for popular blues artists like Charlie Musselwhite and Elvin Bishop. He held residence at the Cellar Club in Houston playing a Hammond organ riddled with bullet holes. In Canada he played 3000 seat venues, opening for Willie Dixon, Paul Butterfield and James Cotton; until cocaine became as much a part of the music scene as the music itself.
Porterhouse’s music and show are a reflection of smoky New Orleans bar rooms and the characters and sounds that made those rooms famous.
Porterhouse Bob’s journey has met with its share of personal setbacks.
Raised in Los Angeles playing the accordion, piano and drums, by the time the end of the sixties hit, the era of free love and music that was Haight Ashbury turned into a labyrinth of hookers, hedonism and drug overdoses. Porterhouse found himself on the streets where gunshots rang out in the night. It was during this spiral into the dark underpinnings of “The Haight” that he joined the anti-war underground sponsored by local ministers and Berkley leftists. He was pumped into the underground pipeline, and, without time to say goodbye to friends and family, quietly placed onto the frozen streets of Toronto, Canada. It was survival, not music that fueled the next 5 years.
Despite forays into self-isolation, Porterhouse never stopped writing songs, material that would eventually craft itself into a style reflecting music he first heard from artists like Clarence Frogman Henry, Fats Domino, Professor Longhair and other early rock pioneers that hailed from New Orleans. In 2000 he put together his lineup of horns, keyboards, bass and drums; expanding the horn section from one to four (trumpet, tenor sax, baritone sax, and trombone/tuba). The sound carried with it reflections of early “N’Awlins” rock and R&B, but was redefined by Porterhouse’s primarily west-coast experience. Fans call it “Pyscho-New Orleans Barrelhouse Blues”.
Porterhouse Bob has released three CD under the independent label, Big Mojo Records; “Rockin’ the Big House”, “Shoutin’ at the Grave”, and most recently “Who Called The Cops”.
The band has not garnished the attention of major distributors, but has relied instead on on-line distribution and the digital marketplace. Sales have reached to the Netherlands, Japan and South America. Airplay has been supported by public radio from Florida to Australia. He has no delusions of getting rich in an eclectic marketplace but enjoys knowing that there are people world-wide that understand and appreciate the direction he has taken with his band.
A Porterhouse Bob live show is at once exhilarating and accessible. The band transforms the evening into an experience of sight and sound that celebrates smoky New Orleans bar rooms and Louisiana swamp voodou.
Discouraged at times by a lack of acknowledgement from the die-hard blues community, Porterhouse Bob has forged ahead to embrace a broad based audience that is willing to embrace a sound that has traditional roots but reaches for higher ground.
Band members include Mitch Montrose on drums, Mike Barry on bass, George Pandis on trumpet, Dan Heffernan on tenor and alto sax, Scotty Strathmann on tuba, bone and trumpet, and Don Roberts on baritone sax.
For booking inquiries:
porterhousebob.com, bigmojorecords.com, or myspace.com/porterhousebob
Voice Mail: (323) 565-3721
Cell: (310) 415-1463