Junior Boogie (aka Jeremy Heinemann) is a bluesman from Northern California. The Sonoma County native has been playing the Blues harp in and around his hometown since high school when his friends dubbed him ‘Boogie.’ The musician’s moniker is a derivative of ‘Booger,’ his brother’s childhood nickname for Jeremy.
Regular readers of The Static Dive are familiar with Junior Boogie. He appeared on these pages a few weeks ago with his single “Put the Bait on the Line.” That song introduced a talented musician with an A-list band and a traditional swampy Blues sound. The song is the lead track from Heinemann’s debut solo album “Wingo Moon.”
Released worldwide to all major streaming services on December 20, 2021, “Wingo Moon” is a treat for any fan of live music. That may seem to be a strange thing to say about a studio album. The record was not recorded on stage. There is no audience. Nonetheless, the 10 song collection is a testament to the sound of a killer band knocking out some smoking live blues, captured beautifully by recording engineer and producer Matt McDavid and ten-time Grammy winning mastering engineer Luiz Tornaghi.
From the opening chatter and strum of “Put the Bait on the Line” to the slow Rock groove of “Love Is a Gun,” the record pops with the organic feel of live room reverb, the warm glow of tube amplifiers and the raw soul of Junior Boogie’s harp. He sings of heartache and pain and the band delivers a timeless Blues vibe. The album revels in the great traditions and loose improvisational freedom of the classic Blues. Junior Boogie tells tales of toxic love on tracks like “She Put Me Through Hell.” While he and the band ride a slow groove, a haunting slide guitar rides the horizon.
As the album progresses it touches on a number of variations of that musical theme. “Highway 17” rolls on a Johnny Cash-style freight train shuffle while Junior Boogie trades lead licks with a smoking electric Blues guitar. On “Baby’s Gonna Leave Me,” the drums and an upright bass lay down a classic Jazz vibe as Junior laments the impending doom of his love life. The song ends on a pair of melodic solos, first harmonica and then sax while Junior repeats the song’s mantra, “It’s alright baby, everybody plays a fool sometimes.”
“Booze for Breakfast ” takes on a a saucy Bossa Nova feel for the story of an alcoholic who knows he’s at the end of the line, but is not sure if he can change. The song features some fantastic guitar sounds, as does the title track with it’s mellow Hendrix “Wind Cries Mary”-style intro. With stark harp leads and vivid visual lyrics, Junior paints a mysterious and foggy scene.
The introspective thoughts of a man fighting the bottle continue on tracks like the melancholy “One Shot of Bourbon,” “Looking in the Mirror” and the slow Country Blues waltz “Faith in Me.” The latter is a powerful emotional moment as the narrator looks at his mistakes, past and present. He cleans up the booze bottles and cigarette ashes around him, recognizes he needs a change and begs for his love to have faith in him.
“Wingo Moon” is a Blues record, through and through. And like any great Blues artist, Junior Boogie knows that there is a world of music within that classification. He and his excellent band serve it up with style. Check out “Wingo Moon” below, or listen on your favorite streaming service. Follow the links below to connect with Junior Boogie. Get on his socials and get in the loop.