The 70s Japanese tours of Otis Rush, Jimmy Dawkins, Eddie Taylor and others created a small but intense Japanese blues following that today bursts over with talent three generations and forty years later.  Delmark Records presents No Border Blues, the first-ever American compilation of the underground Japanese blues scene.  Here are twelve of the best Japanese bluesmen and women today you should know about, with musical contributions by Johnny Burgin and production by Stephanie Tice.

Recorded 5.5.19 at Fukada Studios, Osaka and 9.20.19, Riverside Studios, Chicago.

Vocals: Johnny Burgin, Lee Kanehira, Kotez, Nacomi Tanaka, Kaz Nogio, Iper Onishi.  Guitar:  Johnny Burgin, Yoshi Mizumo, Nacomi Tanaka, Minoru Maruyama.  Piano: Lee Kanehira.  Harmonica:  Kotez, Kaz Nogio, Iper Onishi.  Drums: Takigiman, Ataka Suzuki, Fumiko Maejima, Stephen Dougherty.  Bass: Yoshimi Hirata, Hironori “Zee” Yanaga, Chris Matheos.

A week after No Border Blues’s official release, it hit  #1 on the Oregon Roots Music Report, #1 on the Chicago Blues Roots Music Report, and #8 on the Top 50 Blues Albums Roots Music Report.  It hit #5 on the Living Blues radio chart.

No Border Blues is gloriously loose, earthy, and immediate Chicago Blues… stellar fretwork.  Vintage Guitar

Man these cats wail!  And this is as underground as a scene gets.  Mike Greenblatt, Goldmine, Click here for full review.

No Border Blues is a powerful collection by a master which shows how this iconic American genre transcends borders, culture and languageBill Turck, WCGO AM

No Border Blues is a great effort to expand the reach of Chicago blues globally; it’s a first but let’s hope not the last of these kinds of recordings to showcase Chicago’s greatest musical gift to the world. Greg Easterling, host of the “American Backroads” and writer for Chicago Blues Guide.  Click here for full review.

   Steve Ovadia, Blues Rock Revue.  Click here for the full review.