Kristi Johnson

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Hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Kristi Johnson is a capable blues guitarist and a startlingly fine singer and songwriter. On her debut album she leads a bare-bones trio (augmented by the occasional guest musician) through a program of hardheaded blues and R&B, most of it original. "Train" starts things off with a bang: after a slow-strutting intro, the song transitions without warning into a quick blues shuffle, then breaks down as Johnson takes her first solo, which alternates masterful understatement with fleet-fingered heat. "Shake Your Sugar Tree," another Johnson original, sounds like a cross between Tin Pan Alley and early jump blues with a slightly nastier edge. And speaking of a nasty edge, "If I Ain't Got" is a slow, snarling scorcher; a brazen challenge to her lover punctuated by filthy guitar fills. Best of all is the soulful kiss-off "Outta Love." Johnson doesn't maintain this level of quality perfectly -- her solo on "That Would Be Fine" is ponderous and sloppy -- but for a debut album, the level of musicianship here is very impressive. She'll probably only get better. ~ Rick Anderson

Canadian Blues.Kristi Johnson

CD from 2000 called That Would Be Fine:

Recorded at Private Ear Studios, Winnipeg, Canada. Includes liner notes by Richard Flohil.

Kristi Johnson Band: Kristi Johnson (vocals, guitar); Nenad Zdjelar Kerza upright & electric basses); George Demeduk (drums).

Personnel: Ken Gold (saxophone); Graham Guest (keyboards).

Liner Note Author: Richard Flohil.

Recording information: Private Ear Recording, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Additional personnel: Dwayne Dueck (guitar); Gord Kidder (harmonica); Ken Gold (saxophone); Jordan O'Brian Moran (trombone); Graham Guest (keyboards).

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