top of page

Sun, Aug 27


Wild Eye Pub

Johnny Burgin: Bringin Back the Blues! 8.27

“His guitar style is raw and rude and real– on the vocal side, a nice original style– he’s damn good!” –Elvin Bishop This special event features Dennis Dove on drums and Chris Matheos on bass. Expect a great time!

Registration is Closed - there may be tix left at door. Call 446-6668.
See other events
Johnny Burgin: Bringin Back the Blues! 8.27
Johnny Burgin: Bringin Back the Blues! 8.27

Time & Location

Aug 27, 2023, 7:00 PM

Wild Eye Pub, 535 Mill St, Grass Valley, CA 95945, USA

About the event

The well-traveled and prolific Chicago bluesman.. brings something different each time he issues a solo album. –Jim Hynes, Glide Magazine Johnny’s ego-free dedication to the music is refreshing.  In a world where everyone wants to be a superstar, Johnny shines brightly.  He is truly an old-school bluesman. –Bill Wilson, Reflections in Blue 

Johnny Burgin grew up in the South and went to University of Chicago with the intention of becoming a writer.  When a fellow DJ at the college radio station took him out to a West Side ghetto club to hear the blues singer Tail Dragger, it was a conversion moment.  The blues came to life for Johnny and he fell headfirst into the vibrant Chicago blues scene.  Choosing the blues clubs over the library, Johnny eagerly absorbed the lessons from the blues masters who practiced their craft nightly.  By persistence and practice, Johnny gained a spot in Tail Dragger’s band, and started gigging and recording with  traditional blues veterans like Sam Lay, Billy Boy Arnold, and Pinetop Perkins.   By the late 90s, Johnny was working regularly in Chicagoland blues clubs under his own name.  Johnny started a Monday night residency at The Smoke Daddy in Wicker Park, featuring vocalist Jimmy Burns.  The band featured other future blues notables who were also at beginning of their careers, such as Kenny Smith on drums and Martin Lang on harp, and they created quite a buzz.  They packed the club every Monday with a younger, hip crowd, as well as blues veterans stopping by to sit in such as Dave Meyers, Jesse Fortune, Barkin’ Bill, etc.  Their success led to a record deal with Delmark and the first of several European tours.

The shangri-la of being “King of Division Street” eventually ran its course.  In the early aughts, Johnny dropped off the scene entirely to raise a daughter.   When the music eventually called Johnny back, his comeback was noted by The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Blues Guide, and the Dutch blues magazine BLOCK.  As noted blues producer Dick Shurman wrote, “Johnny’s skills, passion and committment were undiminished.”   His move to the Bay Area in 2016 led to a creative burst and his most notable recordings.  In a few short years, Johnny cranked out the Cali/Chicago blues mashups Greetings from GreaselandNeoprene Fedora, the Howlin’ Wolf tribute Howlin’ at Greaseland (nominated for a BMA for Best Traditional Blues Recording) and Johnny Burgin Live, which featured Charlie Musselwhite and was nominated for a Blues Blast Best Live Recording Award for 2019.   Throughout, Johnny managed to play 250 dates a year since 2014 in Europe, Japan and coast to coast in the States, right up until the pandemic.  By 2022, he’d ramped back up to the same demanding schedule.

Johnny’s produced ten CDs as a leader to his credit and dozens more as a sideman, from veterans like Johnny SansonePaul DeLay, Bob Corritore to up and comers like Aki Kumar and Ben Levin.  Johnny’s developed from a young guitar slinger and local blues hero to a matured bluesman, fully fledged singer and the confident and engaging bandleader.  In recent years, he has been a resident instructor at the Pinetop Perkins Foundation and the  Chicago Blues Network and has developed a loyal following on Youtube for his weekly looks at the blues guitar greats.   Johnny’s recordings have evolved from being very Chicago-centric, to a fusion of West Coast and Chicago styles, and finally,to a more inclusive, international approach.  His latest CD, No Border Blues Japan, is the first American compilation of the underground Japanese blues scene.  The success of this collaboration led Johnny and his partner, producer Stephanie Tice, to create and host the podcast No Border Blues, which focuses on the international blues scene.

Don't miss this hard-touring bluesman on a whirlwind trip to California. Johnny was nominated for Best Traditional Blues Artist this year, and on this tour he's previewing material from his upcoming CD. He'll have Dennis Dove on drums and vocals and his long time road bassist Chris Matheos. Johnny's steeped in the real blues from his years in Chicago, but as Living Blues magazine stated, "Johnny's a master of controlled chaos"-- expect a great time!


About Wild Eye Pub's events:

This is a ticketed event. Our limited event seating often fills before the day of the show. Reservations are always recommended - make yours easily, at the same time you buy your ticket online! 

Wild Eye Pub is a family-friendly event venue, with a restaurant and bar. The Pub offers freshly crafted food from local & organic sources, and a full bar with regional brews, wines & spirits, with nightly entertainment in a comfy 'supper club' style with an easy vibe.

We expect this event to be on our creekside stage. However - depending on weather, it may be creekside, or on our large dining room stage. For both, we serve "supper club" style: Table service of food and drinks is (quietly) offered throughout the event. 

For this event, seating and service begins 1 hour before the show.

As a "supper club," we charge for tickets or a sliding scale cover fee for most shows. That's because we don't "turn over tables" to serve more diners; the audience keeps their dining tables for the whole show!  Thank you for supporting real performing artists!

These tickets are moderately priced as "pay what you can," starting at $20/each.  Thanks for adding on a few extra bucks, if you can. It all helps us to feed and pay this hard-working touring band!  xoxo

Pub has free parking. And free public parking is nearby: corner of Mill & McCourtney, a 2-minute walk. Across from Pub's front door, find parking up and down French Ave, a gentle slope.

Well-behaved pets may attend creekside when appropriate, but PLEASE call ahead to discuss particular events.

Questions? 530-446-6668 or You can also leave a message, 24/7.


  • Johnny Burgin GV 8.27.23

    $20 tickets for reserved seating. ***NO NEED TO PRINT!*** Your purchase puts your name on our guest list at the door. Questions? Call 530-446-6668

    Pay what you want
    Sale ended



Share this event

bottom of page