Johnny Hoy and The Bluefish
In the 1990’s Johnny Hoy and The Bluefish recorded three great albums for Tone-Cool Records; 1995’s “Trolling The Hootchy”, 1996’s “You’re Going To Loose Your Head”, and 1998’s “Walk The Plank”. Their last album was 2006’s self-produced “Film Noir Angel”.
Johnny Hoy and The Bluefish are from Martha’s Vineyard, Ma. During the summer months they can be seen every Tuesday night at The Ritz Café. The band consists of Johnny Hoy, vocals and harmonica; Jeremy Berlin, keyboards; Chris Anzalone, drums; and Buck Shank, guitar.
Johnny Hoy has written seven new songs and co-written two more with the band. “Daddy Right” is an exuberant piece of funk featuring Joanne Cassidy and Sabrina Leuning on background vocals. Keyboardist Berlin stands out on organ.
“Dancing Danny O” is a very dancible blues tune. I imagine this is very popular on those Tuesday nights when the locals are “puttin’ on the Ritz”. “The Dance” is about an aging couple who still “got it”. This time Berlin’s accordion mixes nicely with Hoy’s harp.
“Rolled and Tumbled” opens with Anzalone’s infectious drumming. Berlin’s piano highlights. Hoy sings “I didn’t know right from wrong”. “Bring It Back” is a great song. This time Hoy sings “bring it home, bring my mojo back to me”. Berlin’s stride like piano combines with Hoy’s harp.
“Greasy Rooster” is a great harmonica instrumental. “Everything You Said” is about the woman usually being correct. Don’t tell anyone I admitted to that. “What’s The Story With Time” is about how time creeps up on us. “Cold” is an ominous epitath.
Hoy also includes three fabulous covers. Slim Harpo’s “Don’t Start Crying Now” opens the album. “She Belongs To Me” is from Magic Sam. However the one that I love the most is Fred Neils “I’ve Got a Secret” a.k.a “Sweet Sugaree”. Hoy’s salty baritone vocal is perfect.
This relatively obscure Blues band remains one of my very favorites. Every year I think about a pilgrimage to Martha’s Vineyard just to see these guys. I hope I get there soon.