Fabulous Thunderbirds' Johnny Moeller Sets New Album Release
Austin-based Moeller, who leads his own band in addition to playing guitar in the Fabulous Thunderbirds, has crafted an album in BlooGaLoo that plays to his amazing versatility as a guitarist, playing wailing single notes as well as well as groovy, funky New Orleans inspired rhythms that recall one of his influences, the great Earl King. Moeller includes his own take on two classic King songs, "Trick Bag" (imagine a funky, Dylan-esque lead vocal and you've got some idea) and "Everybody's Got to Cry Sometime."
"This guy's a monster and should be recognized as one of the world's top musicians," says someone who should know: legendary T-Bird founder/singer/harmonica master Kim Wilson, who adds his vocal and harp magic on two tracks of BlooGaLoo. The First Lady of Texas blues and soul, Lou Ann Barton adds her trademark vocals on two songs; and fellow guitarslinger Shawn Pittman shows he's no slouch in the vocal department when he sings lead on the truly funky – and fun – Moeller original, "I'm Movin' on Up."
Throughout BlooGaLoo, Johnny Moeller demonstrates his mastery on guitar, knowing when to blast off and when to lay back in the groove and let it flow. His guitar playing is full of voodoo and lightning. The floating bent notes, delicately singing phrases, bursts of staccato picking and ringing piano-like chords that he sculpts into vibrant solos bring all the beauty, power and mystery of the blues to life. Moeller shows he can go old-school, too, with his Texas blues treatment of Earl Hooker's "Tease Me Baby," which closes the album.
Influenced by such other Lone Star six-stringers as Albert Collins, Lightnin' Hopkins and the Vaughan brothers, Moeller is still his own man. "I've never really tried to emulate anybody else," he explains. "I have my own thing, which is blues based, and I like to mix in everything else I love: soul, jazz, funk and rock 'n' roll."
Over the last several years, Moeller has also lent his talents to a number of fellow Severn Records artists, including albums from Darrell Nulisch, Lou Pride, Steve Guyger and others. In addition to BlooGaLoo, he's released two previous solo albums: The Return of the Funky Worm in 1996 and Johnny Blues Aggregation in 2001.