John Németh
the Future of Blues

The Love Light Orchestra

By 2017, John Németh had released nine albums and won several awards. While much of his work may have been carefully planned ahead of time, The Love Light Orchestra sort of happened naturally. It all started when Németh and a handful of fellow artists discussed their passion for postwar blues over a game of poker. As a result, a recorded performance ensued, and a new fan base was created for Németh.

Although The Love Light Orchestra sort of “just happened,” that’s not to say that blood, sweat and tears weren’t put into it. It just formed so naturally and so quickly when Németh and fellow bandmates each picked their favorite songs, put the band together and played their first gig.

The recruited band members consist of 10 of the best blues artists in Memphis, including Németh on vocals, Tim Goodwin on bass, Joe Restivo on guitar, Earl Owens on drums and Gerald Stephens on the piano. The remaining five are horn players Art Edmaiston, Marc Franklin, Kirk Smothers, Scott Thompson and Jason Yasinsky.

The response to their first gig was so good that they decided to play more and record a live record, which was the idea of Grammy winning producer Matt Ross-Spang. The album was recorded at Bar DKDC in Memphis, Tennessee and features 12 tracks. Of those tracks, some are classic postwar blues songs and others are originals that include “Lonesome and High,” “Singing For My Supper” and “See Why I Love You.”

Marc Franklin has claimed that the overall sound of the album was like Duke Ellington, “but more downhome,” as it has features that aren’t normally heard on blues or soul records. One of those features is its extended harmonics. Overall, this goes to prove how versatile John Németh really is as an artist.

As devoted to blues as Németh is, he really reaches into his bag of tricks to showcase a style of his own — a style that absorbed everything from the Hungarian folk music his father played him as a child, through traditional rock n’ roll and eventually on to blues. When you hear this record, you know it’s Németh on vocals, but you’re still getting a taste of BB King, Little Junior Parker and Bobby “Blue” Bland. This album really gives Németh an opportunity to shine.