November 2016: Jojo Hermann on Junior KimbroughOctober 18, 2016
John “Jojo” Hermann had the goal of making it to New Orleans. Hopping on a plane from New York City to Memphis, the keyboardist was in search of the worlds of Professor Longhair and Dr. John. His initial intention was to stay in Oxford, MS for a few weeks with friend and writer Robert Palmer before continuing on to New Orleans. But Oxford grew on him.
And it was there in the late 80s and early 90s that Jojo not only began making music with other Oxford locals, but also made new friends in Matthew Johnson and Bruce Watson, future founders of Fat Possum Records. And it was in this circle of musicians and enthusiasts that Jojo found himself visiting Junior Kimbrough’s juke joint near Holly Springs to see Junior and R.L. Burnside perform.
“It’s really hard to describe the feeling one got at Junior’s. It was just a tiny little cement structure. When you walked inside there was a ratty old pool table to the right of the front door and an old jukebox in the back where you could buy beer. And behind this railing and a few wooden beams was Junior sitting and playing next to an old Fender amp with the reverb set high.”
Jojo shares the story of how he found himself a part of Junior’s history, present for the recording sessions of All Night Long and eventually raiding Junior’s closet for old demos that would eventually make up Junior’s third record Most Things Haven’t Worked Out. It’s an incredible “right place at the right time” story with a whole lot of happy happenstance and rare insight into the making of these three seminal blues records.
This month members will receive a vinyl of Junior Kimbrough’s All Night Long with John “Jojo” Hermann’s liner essay detailing his experience.
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