top of page

Junior Watson & Dean Shot East Coast Tour with special guest The Outcrops

NJBS and Crossroads produced a blues-infused event on 2/23/23. West coast guitarist, Junior Watson, formerly of the Mighty Flyers & Canned Heat was joined by East coast guitarist, Dean Shot, of the Fabulous Thunderbirds. The two guitar slingers were supported by Steve Kirsty (bass) and Jason Devlin (drums). Opening the show were The Outcrops with Cassidy Rain (vocals, guitar), Bryan Schroeder (guitar), Qaasim Munoz (bass) and Max Adler (drums).

Like Dean Shot said from the stage Thursday night , " You folks here are the smart ones , coming out and supporting live music " . Like Dean said that night - and he was right - " This place should be packed right now , going out the door , for a true legend like Junior here " . For the folks who did make the journey to Crossroads - it was a night never to forget .

It wasn't just the music that electrified the loyal audience of fans . The stories that Jr. Watson told and his banter with Dean displayed a deep connection between the two legendary guitarists. Their brotherhood , the fun that they were having throughout the night , certainly was contagious. Jr.'s stories were often hysterically funny , his comments about forgetting song titles and lyrics ( Dean at one point laughingly said , "We'll wing it . They'll never know " ) understandable considering his decades of recording work . Jr. was clearly having a great time on that Crossroads stage . Dean was in perfect sync with his masterful friend , trading blazing solos , adding the perfect flavors and spices to the mix all night long . Steve Kristy on bass and Jason Devlin on drums were the engines driving the beats forward and you couldn't ask for a better team behind you . By now you have seen the videos and checked out the photos displayed on Instagram , FB , and even on YouTube . . All I can say right now is - " You should have been there " - This was an unforgettable night of music performed by two masterful guitarists . Two friends sharing the stage together and having a great time . Who will ever forget the song " Bald Head " as Jr. removed his hat to reveal his own bald head while Dean encouraged the rambunctious crowd to yell out the chorus " Bald Head " - to Inviting all of us lucky enough to be there to share in the fun , share in the excitement , and enjoy the dynamic duo performing some of the best guitar work seen in quite some time. East Coast and West Coast creating an earthquake of tsunamic proportions.

Special thanks to The Outcrops who started the evening with an exciting set or originals taken from their two acclaimed releases . If you have not yet seen this band, by all means find them and enjoy their music . The Outcrops perform just about everywhere from Cape May to Sussex County and everywhere in between . These unforgettable road warriors are on their way to national acclaim so catch them here in New Jersey while you can . Bobby Olivier , music writer for the Star Ledger, called The Outcrops one of the top bands to watch out for - well deserved praise for a band that ignites a fire everywhere they perform .

Thanks to everyone at Crossroads for helping to host this event . Thanks to Lee Frankel for providing the perfect venue for this remarkable evening of extraordinary music.

Below are two sets of photo collages.

Some photos of Junior Watson and Dean Shot from the event:

Some photos of The Outcrops from the event:

Press release for Junior Watson and Dean Shot:

With nearly forty years of experience, Junior Watson has reached cult status. Junior has done what all great artists have done: melting diverse styles to create a style all his own. With influences as diverse as Tiny Grimes, Oscar Moore, Bill Jennings, Rene Hall, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Jimmy Rogers, Eddie Taylor, Guitar Slim, Earl Hooker and others he has truly created one of the most unique and original guitar voices to come along in years. Besides his mastery of blues and swing he often adds his own cartoon-like twist to everything he plays. You’ll never know what he will do and when asked he doesn’t know himself. His energy and playing gives you a feeling of reckless abandonment. As he was once quoted “like a train off the tracks”.

His artist resume is as large as it is impressive. A founding member of The Mighty Flyers he stayed with the band for ten years. He then left to join Canned Heat for ten years. He then toured for a while with LA-based harmonica player/vocalist Lynwood Slim. All along the way he has backed up and recorded with the who’s-who of the blues. His list of musical endeavors include backing up and recording with Big Mama Thorton, George Smith, Jimmy Rogers, Shakey Jake, Luther Tucker, Charlie Musselwhite, Kim Wilson, William Clark and many more.

While Junior Watson has appeared on hundreds of recordings, his solo releases are few. The latest release, Nothin’ To It But To Do It shows Watson’s command of the instrument – either when soloing or playing rhythm. His voice shines on the recording and, as with his previous Long Overdue recording Nothin’ To It But To Do It features other vocalists as well – in this case the greats Alabama Mike and Lisa Leuschner Andersen. Also featured on the recording are saxophone great Sax Gordon along with organ master and Little Village Foundation founder Jim Pugh. Watson features his first boss Gary Smith, the godfather of SF Bay Area blues harmonica. The rhythm section consists of longtime bass player Kedar Roy and drummer Andrew Gutterman.

Vocal and guitar stylist Dean Shot is and has been for many years one of the East Coast’s Premiere authentic blues artists. Born and raised in West Orange, NJ. Dean’s mother played piano around the house, and performed in summer stock plays as a youth. The influence of his mother singing and playing piano must have stuck with Dean as an infant, he was always drawn to music. In his teens, Dean took up guitar and began pursuing all the blues music he could find to listen to.

Dean spent his formative years playing alongside blues legend Hubert Sumlin for six years. Dean took Hubert's word to heart when Hubert asked him to carry the music forward and give it to others. In recent years, Dean has toured with blues royalty such as Junior Watson and Mark Hummel, and is currently a member of The Fabulous Thunderbirds.

Dean’s resume is long and speaks to his dedication to the real blues and roots. The list of artists he has toured and/or performed with is substantial and significant: Hubert Sumlin, Kim Wilson, Junior Watson, Ronnie Earl, Big Jay McNeely, Big Jack Johnson, Mark Hummel, Danny Russo, Lurrie Bell, Otis Rush, David Maxwell, Greg Piccolo, Paul Oscher, Steve Guyger, JB Lawson, Doug James, Floyd Phillips, Lonnie Youngblood, Sax Gordon, Studebaker John, Eddie Shaw, Carl Weathersby, Bob Margolin, Jesse Morrison, Cecil Brooks III, Christian McBride, John Primer, Pat Tandy and many more.

139 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All