Johnny Sansone is a blues musician who plays the King Biscuit Blues Festival. He was born in Orange, New Jersey, in 1957, went to college in Colorado, and ended up in New Orleans. Seeing Howlin' Wolf as a kid convinced him to be a performer.
Sansone's father, a sax player with Dave Brubeck during World War II, taught him tone and phrasing. Junior Wells taught Sansone to develop his own style, which you can hear on his best album, The Lord Is Waiting and The Devil Is Too. Sansone is fiercely independent but often works with fellow blues veteran Anders Osborne and is a staple at the Voice of the Wetlands Festival.
Sansone is a philosopher who treats performing like his early passion, competitive swimming, and gives it everything he has. "Think about food as music. Food is for nourishment, and it makes you who you are. Your body is built from what you eat, and I think music should be consumed the same way. If you listen to sugary music, you're not going to be able to understand this beautiful thing that exists in this world."
Still frame from Pryor Center video interview with Johnny Sansone at Bubba's Blues Corner during the King Biscuit Blues Festival; Helena, Arkansas, 2016
© Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History, University of Arkansas