Johnny & The Devil
 (1989 Blue Groove BG-2020)


· Johnny & The Devil
· Travelling Man
· Sitting In Limbo
· Living In The Fast Lane
· Mississippi
· Flying Shoes
· Shake Hands With The Sun
· Dough Roller Blues
· Grinning In Your Face
· False Accusations

Johnny & the Devil  cover

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Hans Theessink: vocals, guitars, dobro, mandolin, steelbody guitar, mandocello, fiddle, harmonica, jew´s harp, backing vocals
Jon Sass: tuba, backing vocals
Alex Munkas: drums, percussioon
Chris Haig: fiddle
Carl Kaye: pedal-steel
Geraint Watkins: accordion
Bummi Fian: trumpet
Christian Radovan: trombone
Wolfgang Puschnig: alto sax
Christian Dozzler: harmonica
Jatinder Takur: tablas, sitar
Pippa Armstrong, Alee Thelfa, Dorretta Carter, Bobby Hammer, STS:backing vocals

upJohnny & The Devil
(Hans Theessink)

Johnny was a countryboy
Made his living off the land
Every saturdaynight he'd play the guitar
With the boys in the local band

Now the devil he played with golden fingers
Near the waters he did dwell
Made your backbone shiver - when you walked by the river
And you listened to his tunes from hell

The river runs on so freely - the river runs to the sea
Johnny sold his soul to the devil down below
Who will never more set him free
And he never can again be free

Johnny talked to the river
Shouted into the deep
You can have my soul if you give me your guitar
Make her laugh - make her mourn and weep

Up came the devil and he spoke to Johnny
You'll be the best in all the land
You'll play hot - you'll play well - as the fires from hell
But your soul will be at my command

The river runs on so freely ...

Johnny can jive and Johnny can boogie
Let the music flow so free
Play the strings so you can hear them ring
Through the bayou country

Now the people came from near and far
When they heard about the guitar-man
Johnny's voice got hoarse and his fingers were all bloody
But his playing never took an end

Sometimes in the dead of night
There's music sounding through the trees
The devil plays a tune on the bank of the river
Johnny's soul sings harmony

The river runs on so freely ...

upTravelling Man
(Hans Theessink)

I'm a travelling man and the highway is my home
Here today - tomorrow I'll be gone
From the mexican line to the windy city
Ain't got much to loose
And all I need is a good old country-blues

Gypsy woman told my mama on the day that I was born
You got a boychild coming - he's gonna be a rolling stone
Mama locked the windows - barred the door
But friends it was no use
'Cause I was born with the travelling fever blues

I'm a picker and a singer - don't have much company
The breeze in the trees is all I got for harmony
Restless blood runs through my veins
I got fever in my shoes
And all I need is a good old country-blues

Put my thumb in the wind - tryin' to catch a ride
Got a little bit of something - help me make it through the night
I got no home - no fixed adress
But that's the life I choose
And all I need is a good old country-blues

I'm a travelling man ...

upSitting In Limbo
(Jimmy Cliff)

Sitting here in Limbo
But I know it won´t be long
Sitting here in Limbo
Like a bird without a song
Well they´re putting up resistance
But I know that my faith will lead me on

Sitting here in Limbo
Waiting for the tide to flow
Sitting here in Limbo
Knowing that I have to go
Well they´re putting up resistance
But I know that my faith will lead me on

I can´t say what life will show me
But I know what I´ve seen
I can´t say where life will lead me
But I know where I´ve been
Tried my hand at love and friendship
But all that´s passed and gone
This little boy is moving on

Sitting here in Limbo
Waiting for the tide to flow
Sitting here in Limbo
Knowing that I have to go
Well they´re putting up resistance
But I know that my faith will lead me on

upLiving In The Fast Lane
(Hans Theessink)

Once I had a good friend - very dear to me
He said: I can handle it - it doesn't worry me
Cocaine and the needle - I know when to say no
Let me tell you: my good friend - ain't here no more

Living in the fast lane - never go slow
Living in the fast lane - anything goes

Way back in the sixties - I remember well
Mindblowing parties - gate to living hell
First it gives you sweet dreams - makes your mind fly free
But that goddamn' habit is killing by degree

Living in the fast lane ...

Builds walls around you - bars up the door
Makes a strong man helpless - cry out for more
Makes you beg for mercy - on your knees and pray
Timebomb on your brain - ticking night and day

Living in the fast lane ...

(Hans Theessink)

Starting out of memphis - highway 61
Traces of the places where the blues began
Sun is blazing - horizon far
Echoes of a national steelguitar

Down in Mississippi (4x)
Where the blues was born

Yazoo river rolling through the land
Cradle of the blues - that deltaland
Cottonfields - catfishfarms
Steady-rocking rhythm since the dawn of time

Down in Mississippi ...

Wade Walton's barbershop - backroom booze
Shave and a haircut - lots of rhythm 'n blues
Greenville jukejoint - saturday night
Get down 'n boogie till the morning-light

Down in Mississippi ...

Brokendown Chevy on a muddy track
Ten people sharing a two-room shack
Folks so poor - nothing to loose
Get religion or that lowdown blues

Down in Mississippi ...

Charly Patton, Fred McDowell, Willie Brown
Son House, Son Thomas - that delta sound
Black man's heart - black man's soul
Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters and Howling Wolf

Down in Mississippi ...

Big Joe Williams * Bukka White * Robert Johnson * Jimmy Reed
Sam Chatmon * Ishman Bracy * Tommy Johnson * Skip James *
John Lee Hooker * Elmore James * Mississippi John Hurt *
Memphis Minnie * Peetie Wheatstraw * Sonny Boy Williamson

Down in Mississippi ...

Wade Walton's Barber Shop
Clarksdale, Mississippi

upFlying Shoes
(Hans Theessink)

Baby baby don't you know
What happened to me a while ago
I may be wrong and I may be right
When I came home and I turned on the light
Somebody running out your backdoor
Never seen a thing move that fast before

Flying shoes - flying shoes
Running like a bullet - down the avenue

Baby baby take my advice
I tell you once and I tell you twice
Mama I want you to understand
I don't want you messing with no other man
Hey baby don't you fool around with me
'Cause I'm as jealous as a man can be

Flying shoes ...

Trouble hiding on a big old tree
Old man trouble ain't no friend to me
Looked him straight in the eye as I turned around
Son-of-a-bitch came tumbling down
Big bang as he hit the floor
Sure won't bother me no more

Flying shoes ...

upShake Hands With The Sun
(Hans Theessink)

Bye bye to the concrete - gotta leave the town (2x)
Don't want no city hounds and foxes - always dog me 'round

Days are getting longer
Light is getting stronger
You can feel the warm sunshine
Goodbye blues - hello summertime

I'm gonna sit on the hillside - let the time roll by (2x)
Watch the birds and the bees
And the flowers and the trees
With my feet down in the valley
And my head up in the sky

Days are getting longer ...

Listen to me mama - let me tell you what we do
If you come along with me - I will sing for you
We won't have to worry - how to get our daywork done
We gonna talk to the moon - shake hands with the sun

Days are getting longer ...

Schiffkowitz, Timischl, Steinbäcker - STS
upDough Roller Blues
(Trad./Arr.: Hans Theessink, from the singing of Garfield Akers)

Yes I rolled and I tumbled - cried the whole night long
Yes I rose this morning - didn´t know right from wrong

Have you ever woke up - your dough-roller gone
Then you wring your hands - cry all day long

Yes, I told my woman - before I left the town
Don´t you let nobody - tear your barrelhouse down

Yes, I fold my arms and slowly walked away
I said "That´s allright mama - your troubles gon´ come some day"

Yes I rolled and I tumbled - cried the whole night long
Yes I woke up this morning - didn´t know right from wrong

upGrinning In Your Face
(Trad./Arr.: Hans Theessink, from the singing of Son House)

Don´t you mind people grinning in your face (2x)
There´s one thing to bear in mind
A true friend is hard to find
Don´t you mind people grinning in your face

Your mother she may talk about you
Your brothers and your sisters they will talk about you, too
No matter how you´re trying to live
They will talk about you still
Don´t you mind people grinning in your face

Don´t you mind people grinning in your face ...

They´ll jump you up and they jump you down
They´ll try to turn you ´round and ´round
As soon as you turn your back around
They´ll try and crush you down
Don´t you mind people grinning in your face

Don´t you mind people grinning in your face ..

upFalse Accusations
(Hans Theessink)

If I had money just like Henry Ford (2x)
Have my breakfast here
And my supper in New York

They accused me of murder - never raised my hand
I may be a poor man
But I never harmed another man

They accused me of robbery - never took a dime
There's men in this world that steal millions
And they never have to do no time

False accusations - lord can't you hear me cry
Gonna get up in the morning
Take a long black train and ride

If I had money just like Henry Ford
Have my breakfast here
And my supper in New York

up What the press said ...

Journal of American Folklore, (USA)
New Music Report, (USA)
HiFi Vision, (D)
Audio, (D)
Musik Express Sounds, (D) 11/90
VOR Magazin, (A) 12/89
Dirty Linen (USA)

up Journal of American Folklore, USA

Hans' innovative interpretations of works by bluesgiants, his deep voice, intimate approach, and acoustic slide guitar will inevitably remind many listeners of Ry Cooder's blues style. It would be a disservice to Theessink however, to cast him as a simple imitator, for he is not. His own songs convey the personal interpretive mood of the best of acoustic blues, and is accomplished in a singular, arresting manner.

up New Music Report, USA

With a whiskey-soaked voice and the ability to play almost anything with strings well Hans Theessink cooks up a tasty mix of originals and traditional blues. Each song is performed with a sparse yet funky sound.

up HiFi Vision, D

Der Mann ist ein Phänomen. Er ist ein feiner Gitarrist, hat eine angenehme Stimme und er schreibt Songs, die rockende Leichtigkeit mit Folk-Blues Tradition verbinden. (Bob Tilling)

up Audio, D

Seine Saiteninstrumente zupft HT, als sei er durch die Mississippi-Sümpfe gestreift und dann bei J.J.Cale in die Lehre gegangen. Und so cool - nur besser - singt der Holländer auch.

up Musik Express/Sounds, D, 11/90

Check this out man: Dieser in Österreich lebende Holländer zupft und singt den Blues wie ein swingender Veteran aus den Sümpfen des Mississippi-Deltas. Eine Prise Western Swing hier, ein Quentchen Swamp-Rock und Cajun da, mal feinster Delta-Blues und zur Abwechslung auch mal ein Karibik-Blues von Jimmy Cliff mit Sitar und Tabla – dieser Hans Theessink kommt mit allen Elementen prächtig klar. Daß er dabei rockt wie J.J.Cale, ist auch kein Fehler, und daß in den Arrangements neben den verschiedenen Gitarren ausgerechnet eine Tuba die Hauptrolle spielt, macht dieses Album endgültig zum Genuß. (gil)

up VOR Magazin, A, 12/89

GRANDIOS! Für mich ist das die herausragendste einheimische Produktion des Jahres. (Poidinger)

up Dirty Linen

When I saw that this CD was available for review, I jumped at the opportunity. I've been playing it on my radio show for a month and like it a lot. Known as the Euro Bluesman, Theessink's new release showcases his fluency in a variety of blues styles. "Travelling Man" and "Shake Hands With the Sun" are country blues/swing tunes in the style of Merle Travis. The traditional delta blues numbers on this CD are also outstanding. Stinging dobro and mandolin licks punctuate the Son House-influenced "Grinning in Your Face" and Theessink's "False Accusations." Jimmy Cliff"s "Sitting in Limbo" is done in a "Caribbean Blues" style with just a hint of its reggae roots. "Flying Shoes" was penned while Theessink was touring with Bo Diddley and features Diddley's classic open chord riff.Hans Theessink's vocal range is similar to Leon Redbone's, but his delivery is much smoother. One listener thought he was hearing new Jerry Jeff Walker material. All of the songs on this CD feature the tuba playing of John Sass. Used in place of a bass guitar, the tuba is an excellent complement to Theessink's deep voice and gives all the songs unique texture. With the exception of the Jimmy Cliff song, Theessink wrote or arranged all the material on this release. He provides lyrics and liner notes, as well as denoting the key in which each song is written. A great CD for a tin-eared living room musician like myself. I not only get to listen to ten excellent blues tunes, I can also play along. (Gerry Lell)