Last week on Friday I checked out Jonny Barefoot at the Juke Joint in Nishi-Azabu, a beautiful basement bar located in a bermuda triangle between useful stations, at the end of the darkest, scariest alley in Tokyo. Knowing that in advance, it's actually a lot easier to go in. The staff even speak English, and the nacho dip is brilliant—it's basically chili.
Jonny has been playing for decades, and is possibly the best folk/blues guitarist you could hope to encounter, besides which he is a brilliant, feeling, and uplifting lyricist. He used to play the university circuit in southern Ontario, opening for quite a few bands that later became household names in Canada.
I actually felt a little thrill as he introduced me as "my photographer, Mike". I was even wearing a silly fedora-style hat and circling the stage to stand in odd positions, so I really did feel like that insider photographer guy at the event. And Jonny got to be an artist who rocks up with a photographer.
I was also in charge of taking iPhone video of his playing, which can be seen here on his YouTube channel. City Boy, Country Man is sort of his signature track, and Lessons of a Smokey German Ghost, the story of the time he was visited by the gost of his father, is both brilliant and haunting. And yes, there is a purple light on his face, about which there was nothing I could do. Boo.
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