JS Blues Band
Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro © June 2022
The JS Blues Band hails from Pennsylvania’s Northeast region. The band consists of: Johnny Searfoss on vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards and percussion; Chris Condel and Nick Lauro (relation not yet determined) on drums; Matt McGasko on keyboards; Harry Sipler on vocals and keyboards; Joe Bogwist and Carolyn Falzone on vocals; and Mike Pryor on clarinet.
Although Johnny Searfoss has had two prior releases, for all intents and purposes, JS Blues – being the first under the JS Blues Band moniker and the first being all blues based – is actually the band’s debut release. Of the disc’s ten songs, nine are composed and arranged by Johnny.
The disc opens a with an outstanding vocal performance by Johnny as he proudly tells the world how happy, and lucky, he is to have “A Good Good Woman”. The song’s catchy sing-a-long chorus line features melodious backing vocals by Carolyn, Harry and Joe. Musically, Johnny’s a triple threat with his stinging lead guitar work and his contribution to the disc’s solid rhythm section featuring Chris on drums and Harry on organ.
Abruptly finding out his woman is no longer his woman, this one’s a tale of a man who was “Blindsided By The Blues”. I was about to say that this track easily demonstrates the JS Band’s ability for banging and belting out some straight up blues but then I noticed the song is technically a duo. Therefore, Nick Lauro, on the drums and Johnny Searfoss, on everything else, are indeed capable of banging and belting out really good straight up blues.
When you make a statement on the one-sheet that Bill Withers is your favorite musician and then you decide to cover what is one of his most popular songs, if you ever want to see another day of sunshine you’d better represent. No worries, Johnny – on vocals, guitar and bass, and this time Chris on the drums, totally nailed their rendition of “Ain’t No Sunshine”.
What would we do without social media? I don’t know about you, but Johnny wouldn’t have a way of letting people know what he eats; when he sleeps the brand of toilet paper he uses; or even worse, he’d not know about who is picking on who. “Social Media Blues” features Johnny’s take on the media we love and hate. Hmmm, any of that sound familiar?
“Let’s Have A Party”, may musically be the disc’s best track. It’s a shuffle that nicely highlights Johnny’s masterful guitar skills and his powerful bass lines, and Chris’s remarkable drum playing proficiency. Unlike any other of the tracks, the disc closes with a very different and very interesting instrumental. It’s a bit of a jazzy tune that’s titled “Sometimes I Wonder”, and with the addition of Mike Pryor doing one heck of a job on the clarinet, this one will definitely take you on a most enjoyable stroll down Bourbon Street.
Other tracks on this nicely done release include: “Roll Me Over”; “A Beautiful Sunny Day”; “Devil On Sunday” and “On The Run”.
To find out more about Johnny Searfoss and his music, just go to – www.jsblues.com. As usual, please be sure to tell him that the Blewzzman sent you.
Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro
The Blues Is My Passion And Therapy
Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com
2011 “Keeping The Blues Alive” Award Recipient