Johnny B. Moore is the young west-side phenom who burst into the national consciousness in the late 70s, when he did a brief stint as a guitarist for Koko Taylor. Moore's guitar technique is one of the most impressive in Chicago today; especially notable is his knack for backing up his own leads with full, completely realized chord patterns that make it sound as if he's using a rhythm guitarist even when he isn't (if I were a club owner, I'd pay him extra not to carry another guitar player). Moore can play in virtually every style from traditional Delta to modern R & B funk, and his repertoire is incredible--people who've seen him hundreds of times say they have yet to go to a show where he doesn't play at least one song they've never heard him do before. His voice is still his weakest suit, but recently his confidence and his skill seem to have been growing. Moore still has it in him to become a major name in modern blues history; until he does, we're lucky to have him as one of Chicago's well-kept secrets. Sunday, Rosa's, 3420 W. Armitage; 342-0452.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/James Fraher.