"That's Johnny Knox" was the answer.
"He's good, really good."
"Think he can make it?"
"Well, you know," the new fan said, nodding towards the stage, "the cream always rises to the top."
The top is where Johnny is heading, with hot swing rockabilly that's often compared to the sound of The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Los Lobos and The Paladins. Johnny's high-energy, genre-jumping music has won over the stiffest of critics and left audiences in L.A. and The Big Apple begging for more.
Holding the spotlight while opening for Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Bo Diddley and Tinsley Ellis, Johnny has warmed the coldest night in Minnesota and brought the French Quarter fans to a fever pitch.
When Johnny walked into a New York studio to record Doin' What It Takes, he asked three questions: Whose fingers can squeeze more out of a Hammond B-3 than Paul Shaffer? Whose bass line is the most recorded instrument ever? (Could it be Will Lee?) And who, other than the Saturday Night Live Orchestra's Lenny Pickett, can blow your mind with his stratospheric sax?
Few artists could convince those three masters to sit in on a studio recording. But few artists are like Johnny Knox, whose songwriting, singing and guitar virtuosity make top musicians take notice, and the 10 songs on Doin' What It Takes will make you a believer. Yes, the cranking Hammond B-3 is Shaffer. The pounding bass is Lee. The silky sax is Pickett. But the unifying guitar and soaring vocals are all Johnny Knox.
Doin' What It Takes proves Johnny Knox is true to the roots of Memphis rock. One trip down the Boulevard of Broken Dreams and you'll want to drive all night. Are you in a mood for romance? Crank up Play You My Love and sit back.
-- Jonathan Austin, CNN Interactive
Check out the artist's website:
1. Play You My Love
2. Doing Me Wrong
3. Look Out
4. Let's Move
5. St. James Infirmary
7. Run For Your Life
8. Meet Me Down in New Orleans
9. Boulevard of Broken Dreams
10. Hell On a Poor Boy