John Ginty featuring Astor Pheonyx Rockers
American Showplace Music
John Ginty is an in demand organ player appearing on approximately sixty albums for other artists. Ginty’s grasp of American contemporary music enables him to play in a variety of different contexts. In 2013 Ginty starting working with producer Ben Elliot of American Showplace Studios and released 2013’s “Bad News Travels”; and later a DVD commemorating the sessions. He followed up with 2015’s “No Filter” also on American Showplace.
This is Ginty’s fourth studio recording. The album is co-produced by Ginty and Ben Elliot owner of The American Showplace studios. The band includes Ginty, Hammond organ, piano, melodica and percussion; Aster Pheonyx, lead vocals and acoustic guitar; Justine Gardner, who plays with The Todd Wolfe Band, bass; Maurice Watson, drums and backing vocals; and guitarists Mike Buckman and Jimmy Bennett (from The Alexis P. Suter Band).
Ginty met Pheonyx when she opened for him at Asbury Park’s legendary Wonder Bar. Ginty invited her back onstage to sing with the band. They had great chemistry together and Ginty asked her to join the band.
The opening instrumental “The Shark” was written by Ginty, Gardner and Watson. Gardner’s bass opens a jazzy groove led by Ginty on the B-3. The title track, “Rockers”, also written by the trio is another jammin’ instrumental.
Reggie Noble a.k.a. rapper Redman narrates “WKYA” where he assumes the character of DJ Funky Gitwork.
All of the other songs were written by Ginty and Pheonyx. On “Lucky 13” the band rocks out with a classic sound. The guitars of Backman and Bennett work out while it’s held together by the fantastic rhythm section. Pheonyx’s voice is similar to that of Melissa Etheridge but not as husky. My favorite vocals by her are “Mountains Have My Name” as Ginty paints a landscape with his B-3; “Mr. Blues” as Watson’s infectious drumming and Gardner’s bass help propel the song; “Priscilla” and the spacey “Maybe If You Catch Me”.
Ginty is one of our best Hammond B-3 players. This is an exciting album that stretches the boundaries of blues-rock.