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  John Nemeth and the Jacks
  By Shannon
  John Nemeth
I received an email from John May on Saturday, May 8th confirming the Midwest debut of rhythm & blues singer/harp player John Nemeth playing BB's on Sunday night. When I read the notations in the email that John has played with some of my west coast favorites including Mark Hummel, RJ Mischo, and Curtis Salgodo-I knew I had to go check out this gig! I was immediately surprised when I walked into BB's and recognized the bass player of the band-Vance Ehlers. Vance has played in some well-known bands including Little Charlie and the Nightcats and the Junior Watson blues band. He has to be one of the best bass players I have seen thus far in the blues world. We said our hellos and then it was show time. The crowd was decent considering it was Mother's Day Sunday. The band-The Jacks-is comprised of Rick Welter on guitar, Anton Craig pounding drums, Vance beating the bass, and John Nemeth on vocals and harmonica. From the opening song I knew I was going to like the stuff these guys were putting down. It was a superior combination of soul, blues, and rhythm. John's voice is brilliant; it actually reminded me of seeing Curtis Salgado a few weeks ago at BB's. I truly hope that this club continues a trend of promoting and booking remarkable rhythm, blues, and soul bands on weekends. It's a nice change of pace and it helps to promote some national acts in St. Louis. I purchased both of the discs that John had to offer (two for $20!). The newest release "Come and Get It" and "Jack Of Harps" are both tremendous offerings. The discs offer fine originals by John Nemeth and covers of songs including cuts by Magic Sam and Sonny Boy Williamson.

I also found out that the band would be playing the Alamo in Springfield, IL on Monday, May 10th. I knew I had to go check these guys out again! The Alamo always seems to do well for the Blue Monday series and this particular Monday was no exception. The joint was jam-packed when I arrived around 10pm. The Central Illinois Blues Society fans really dig their blues. It's no wonder John has won numerous awards and performance credits including choice 2003 Canadian tour artist with Junior Watson and 2003 Mount Hood Music Festival crowd favorite. The Washington Blues Society calls him a "show stealer"! He and his band put on a fabulous show and the people were more than pleased. The band even managed to do an encore song. I was very much impressed by the group and John's lyrical and harp methods. You can learn more about this exciting band at www.johnemethblues.com.

John Nemeth band John Nemeth band John Nemeth band John Nemeth band Vance, Rick and me

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