Start Date: January 20, 2019 (15:00)
End Date: January 20, 2019 (22:00)
Location: Torch Club, 904 15th St., Sacramento, CA 95814
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Friends and fans of one of Sacramento’s most beloved blues players, Johnny “Guitar” Knox, will play in his birthday honor on Sunday, Jan. 20 at the venerable Torch Club. Proceeds will go to the Sac Blues Society Hall of Fame. Knox was inducted into the SBS HOF in 2010 and passed away in 2016 after long battles with health problems.
Johnny “Guitar” Knox Pro Memorial Jam
Sunday, Jan. 20
The Torch Club
904 15th St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
3 pm-9 pm
$10 donation requested
Whether he was playing local clubs or busking on the streets, Knox lived and breathed the blues, and his loss has been felt in the two years since his passing. He was a music teacher and mentor to many area Sacramento blues artists and they will be on hand to share the music. Fellow SBS Hall of Fame member Ray “Catfish” Copeland will emcee the event and join in playing, along with HOF members Aaron Moreno (Aaron King), Joe Lev and Ratatat Pat Balcom plus Kenny Marchese, Dave Croall, Leo Bootes and Jerry Felsher.
“He was one of the most beloved members of our community,” wrote The Torch Club on their Facebook page in 2016. “Johnny Knox has been one of the defining musicians of not only the blues scene in Sacramento, but also at the Torch Club for decades… Our hearts are heavy and we will miss you forever.”
SBS HALL OF FAME BIO:
Johnny “GUITAR” Knox
(1950 – 2016)
Born in Oakland, California in 1950, Johnny was the oldest child in a family led by Jack Knox, a local guitarist and former radio personality who had broadcast from his home as a teenager in the 1940s. His dad encouraged him to learn music and he got his first guitar at the age of 14. Johnny moved to Sacramento to play the blues and while watching and playing with Little Charlie Baty and Rick Estrin, he started honing his skills in harmonica accompaniment. This prompted them to head down to Moon Studio to record their new 45’s. With Little Charlie and the Nightcats backing him in the studio, Johnny recorded the Muddy Waters classic “Honey Bee”, as well as Freddie King’s “Tore Down”, which Johnny re-released as a CD in 2010. Like many of his peers from that era, Johnny was no stranger to substance abuse issues, and went through a long spell where he would hit the streets daily with his guitar for his daily hustle. Through local musician Ray “Catfish” Copeland, Johnny met Mike Balma, local blues promoter/producer, at the Chicago Blues Fest ‘91, who soon booked studio time for a record. With a mix of solo tracks as well as additional tracks with backing by upright bassist Greg Roberts, Rick Estrin on harmonica, and Copeland on guitar, the record was released as “Johnny Guitar Knox, Hoboin’,” and won an award in Denmark! Local guitarist Kenny Marchese sums it up nicely when he says “Johnny gave his help and support to the Sacramento blues scene by teaching and encouraging the younger players, and Sacramento has returned the favor by helping Johnny recover what he had tossed.”
Knox’s legacy will give Sacramentans a blues Sunday to celebrate.