JIM LONGO cites the Beatles as having a profound influence from the earliest of memories. His first guitar arrived under the Christmas tree at the age of six. By the time of junior high school, the chance to play upright bass came about. Though uninterested in much of the Strings class repertoire, Jim took to fooling around with the instrument along to the sounds of early Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley records.

Soon thereafter, the acquisition of a 1962 Rickenbacker electric guitar, and the sounds of Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed and Howlin’ Wolf, made for quite an impact on the teenager. Once old enough to gain entry (legally) to the Blues haunts in Toronto at the time, such as Albert’s Hall and the Pinetree, Longo took notice as to how accessible many of the older black musicians were. Some of whom, the very artists he had only recently “discovered” for himself on vinyl. Junior Wells and Buddy Guy, amongst others, seemed receptive to the interest shown by the youngster, offering their input. The opportunity to meet with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble presented itself, and sensing an enthusiasm for the music, they too were very kind and also had words of encouragement to convey.

The pilgrimage to Chicago was inevitable.

Eventually while on sabbatical to the “Windy City”, Jim renewed acquaintance with various local musicians. It wasn’t long before he found himself on stage and performing with the likes of Otis Rush, Magic Slim, Son Seals and John Primer. Also through this network, a position on staff at Buddy Guy’s Legends nightclub became available, allowing Longo to pursue his musical exile, and take up residence in Chi-town.

After a time of experiencing the Blues circuit, (mainly the black clubs) Jim Longo was now gigging alongside many of the people he had admired, all the while working on his own material, many of his musical friends offering their services in the recording studio.

Some things happen, others don’t. It is the autumn of 2013 before we find the Jim Longo Band back on the radar, and with new material from an upcoming EP. There are six new original tracks not quite out of the oven, and an additional baker’s dozen or so, of covers to be unleashed shortly thereafter.

Featured performances include Chicago native Marty Sammon, who if he’s not in the windy city tearing it up on the keyboards, he’s likely somewhere on the planet working the stage with Buddy Guy. Also, Kenny Neal (Jr.) from the musically prestigious Neal family of Louisiana plays bass and drums. Back too are Jerome Tucker on bass and vocals, and Rich Greenspoon on drums, percussion, and running the board and also sharing the producer credit with Jim.