Andrew Chapman a.k.a. JoJo

It was in the late 1960s at a small Houston nightclub named the Act III that Andrew Chapman first met Tony Braunagel. Chapman was watching his friend Johnny Winter and his brother Edgar perform, with Tony’s friend and neighbor Willie Ornelas on drums. Braunagel had a band called Buttermilk Bottom, and Chapman came onboard to manage them and helped them release a single through Polydor Records in 1970.

Chapman and bassist Terry Wilson formed a band known as The Bloontz All Stars which Braunagel later joined. Ron Johnsen, engineer and executive director for Electric Lady Studios, auditioned and signed the group in 1972. After a stint as the male lead in the Houston run of a play by Broadway's C.C. Courtney called "Ripped and Wrinkled," Chapman recorded an album with Bloontz at Electric Lady in 1972-73. Eventually, he and other members of the group signed on to tour with Houston's Johnny Nash (hot on the heels of Nash's massive hit ”I Can See Clearly Now”), playing legendary venues such as the Bitter End in New York and the Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica.

Chapman ultimately tired of the industry -- "I loved the music, but the business turned me off," he says -- and began a successful corporate life in hotels and investment banking. But he continued to hit the studio with his friends periodically. A couple of years ago, he decided he wasn't finished with music, so he reached out to his former Bloontz All Stars bandmate Terry Wilson, who had become a respected producer and engineer. Recording in Los Angeles, London, Houston, Nashville, and Mobile, Alabama, Chapman and his fellow musicians sent tracks to their keyboardist friend John “Rabbit” Bundrick (The Who, 1979-2012) for his contributions, and had Braunagel jump into L.A.'s Ultratone Studios to add drums. "The trust level between us was amazing," Chapman says. "This record greatly exceeded my expectations."

“When Andrew asked me to get together with him to discuss doing a record I immediately said, 'Well, it's about time!’. I've been wanting to do a "JoJo Project" with Andrew for a long time and we've finally done it. Our history goes way back.

 

Andrew has a long list of musician friends that covers a lot of ground through many styles of music. Lots to draw from. I'm very proud of what we've done and what we've accomplished on the project.

We had a chance to resurrect some of the old material of Andrew’s after our original band (Bloontz) had disbanded and since then its members have gone on to work with, record or tour, with such artists as:

 

The Who, Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt, Delbert McClinton, Eric Burdon, The Blues Brothers, Johnny Nash, Jimmy Reed, Lightnin' Hopkins, Robert Cray, Rickie Lee Jones, Bette Midler, Free, Back St. Crawler, Teresa James & the Rhythm Tramps, etc.

 

Some rock n' roll history there. All the influences are drawn on here with the JoJo project. Whether it's a tune written by Andrew or by myself or from friends like Shake Russell, Stephen Bruton, Tommy Kay…..it's become a great CD.” 

 

- Terry Wilson, Producer