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Blues From Mars (1972) - Johnny Mars

    Featuring »

Johnny Mars

    Tracklisting »
Side One:
Rocket 88
  Date Performance: 1972-05-00, Running Time: 2:40
  Comments: Incorrectly lists writing credit as "(James) Cotton".
Off The Wall
  Date Performance: 1972-05-00, Running Time: 2:24
It's My Own Fault
  Date Performance: 1972-05-00, Running Time: 6:03
Me And Piney Brown
  Date Performance: 1972-05-00, Running Time: 2:22
My Dream (Blues In My Sleep)
  Date Performance: 1972-05-00, Running Time: 5:25
Don't Start Me Talking
  Date Performance: 1972-05-00, Running Time: 2:18
  Comments: Billed as "Don't Start Me To Talkin'".
Side Two:
Bring It On Home
  Date Performance: 1972-05-00, Running Time: 6:05
Break It Up
  Date Performance: 1972-05-00, Running Time: 2:25
Back Track
  Date Performance: 1972-05-00, Running Time: 2:39
Aw Baby
  Date Performance: 1972-05-00, Running Time: 2:37
Meet Me In The Alley
  Date Performance: 1972-05-00, Running Time: 7:22
    Guest Appearances »

Boogie Woogie Red (Vernon Harrison), Bob Brunning, Bob Brunning, Pat Grover, Pat Grover, Bob (Robert) Hall, Bob (Robert) Hall, John Hunt, John Hunt, Baby Boy (Robert) Warren

    Released »


    Format »

Import Vinyl/CD Album

    Other Appearances »
John Smyth (Engineer), Boogie Woogie Red (Vernon Harrison) (Songwriter), Jackie Brenston (Songwriter), Willie Dixon (Songwriter), John Lee Hooker (Songwriter), Little Walter (Walter Jacobs) (Songwriter), Johnny Mars (Songwriter), Baby Boy (Robert) Warren (Songwriter), Sonny Boy (John Lee) Williamson (Songwriter), Jim Simpson (Produced By), Hamish Grimes (Sleeve Design By), Mike Leadbitter (Sleeve Notes By), Bob Davis (Photographs By)

    Record Label »

    Catalogue Number »

2460 168

    Running Time »


    Liner Notes »

Recorded at Chalk Farm Studios, London.

Johnny Mars - born at Lawrence, South Carolina on July 12th, 1942. His parents were migrant farmers and in his early youth he journeyed with them through the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida. His mother died during 1957 and Johnny was taken to New Paltz, New York to live. There he entered high school, forming a band Johnny Mars and The Cotton Brothers. In 1962 he left to begin working with a variety of blues groups including Burning Bush, with whom he recorded "Deep In The Wilderness" for Mercury. By 1967, he was in San Francisco hoping for a real break. Though he led his own band and gigged with Creedence Clearwater, Magic Sam, Earl Hooker, Mike Bloomfield and others nothing much happened, so, in May 1972 he turned up in London to begin what has turned out to be a highly sucessful solo career.

Johnny Mars is a young, intelligent and highly articulate bluesman. He may only be 30 years old, but already his amplified harmonica technique rivals that of George Smith or James Cotton. Since the age of 10, when he first heard the legendary Little Walter, he has worked hard to not only reproduce the sounds of his masters but to also inject that personal quality that has made Mars' Blues something to sit up and take notice of. Though Walter has always been Johnny's God, Junior Wells, Sonny Terry, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Jimmy Reed have all played an influencial role in his life. From their records he learned how to blow a harp - from those of B.B. King and Bobby Bland came the inspiration behind his vocals delivery.

This is his first album and it's a good one. Aided by a fine, home-grown combo he works his way in down-home fashion through a set of old and new favourites with the accent on Little Walter. The songs featured may belong to others, but Johnny wanted to do them for, at first, he needs to identify himself as a musician who knows his roots and one who understands just what the public likes. When he's accepted as his own man - and he will be - watch out for his original material. There's a lot of it.

A Howling Wolf benefit concert in London introduced us to Johnny Mars and now he's here to stay. He came to Britain in search of Blues and ended up by being discovered himself. After a dose of this you'll know what all the excitement was about!

Warwickshire not Alabama

A lack of Living Blues fored a starving Big Bear out to the Birmingham woods four years ago. The hunting was good - already that lean, hungry look has been replaced by one of well-fed contentment. More good news - he not only found enough to satusfy himself, but there was plenty left over for his friends. The Big Bear needs Big Blues to survive and so do you. Get your share now!

Big Bear (Blues) Music
32 Deblen Drive
Birmingham 16

Printed and made by Garrod and Lofthouse Ltd.

(P) 1972 (Marketed by) Polydor Ltd.

Made in England

This stereo record can be played on mono reproducers provided either a compatible or stereo cartridge wired for mono is fitted. Recent equipment may already be fitted with a suitable cartridge. If in doubt consult your dealer.

All rights of the manufacturer and of the owner of the recorded work reserved. Unauthorized public performance, broadcasting and copying of this record prohibited.


    Reviews »
Add your review here.

Bass filled backing keeps the spaceship fueled
Review written by John Fitzgerald, November 25th, 2004

Brunning is listed in the liner notes for "Blues from Mars" as playing bass on this album though it doesn't say which songs he's on but the bass parts you do hear on this record are strong and help drive it along it's otherwise narrow harmonica drenched path. We start with the break neck boogie of "Rocket 88" and "Off the wall" continues the fast trend in this fiery instrumental. "It's my own fault" is a slow burner while "Me and Piney Brown" returns us to speedy pep. "My dream (Blues in my sleep)" is a somewhat draggy stroll but "Don't start me to talkin'" has passable shuffle though it's swing perhaps could've been better as Mars' harp overpowers the bass which tries it's best to help here as it does on many others present. The album's best track opens up side two as we get a Brunning Sunflower Blues Band sounding funk on "Bring it on home". "Break it up" is a rather fast stroll which almost sounds like a basic mid tempo pop tune. "Back track" is a swinging instrumental boogie and "Aw baby" is a strong stroll but the promise of the lengthy boogie "Meet me in the alley" starts to show signs of disappointing a few minutes in. One could do worse though and blues harp enthusiasts will probably really enjoy this though it is pretty difficult to find nowadays, hopefully Polydor will get this one out on CD soon though as I have a feeling this could be a revelation for me as one of those albums that you see in a completely different light

    Last Modified »
    Tracklisting »
Discography entry submitted by Jeff Kenney & Marty Adelson.