Hermann and Sherman
For the past two decades, music fans have known John “JoJo”
Hermann as the free-wheeling keyboardist of the Athens, Ga.-based band, Widespread Panic.
But when the Panic isn’t doing anything, Hermann stays busy with a variety of side projects, including a duo act with New York City-based singer-songwriter-guitarist Sherman Ewing called “Missing Cats.”
Missing Cats will be performing at Canyons of the Blue Ridge in Blowing Rock on Saturday, April 14, in conjunction with the Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival. The show starts at 10 p.m., doors open at 9 p.m., and admission is $15 per person.
Missing Cats combines keyboards, acoustic guitar and vocals to create the sounds of New Orleans boogie-woogie and raw, blues-based, original tunes.
Hermann and Ewing met in New York City years before Hermann replaced keyboardist T. Lavitz in Widespread Panic in 1992. The duo began playing the city’s vast club scene in 1983. They later formed the band, Sherman and the Bureaucrats. Later, Hermann moved to Oxford, Miss., and joined the band, Beanland.
Ewing continued his singing and songwriting career in New York as a member of several bands before launching his solo career in 2002.
After playing together on and off for a quarter century, Ewing and Hermann officially reunited in 2006 to write new songs for the Missing Cats project. Drawing on material from Ewing’s solo album, “Single Room Saloon,” as well as Hermann’s three solo efforts, including his latest, “Smiling Assassin,” Missing Cats toured for the first time in 2009 to tremendous response.
This spring, Missing Cats will record its first album under the direction of Grammy Award-winning producer Jon Randall Stewart. He has previously recorded with such artists as Emmylou Harris, Sam Bush and Lyle Lovett. Stewart also produced Dierks Bentley’s acoustic album, “Up on the Ridge.”
For more information on the April 14 show, call Canyons at (828) 295-7661. Canyons is located at 8960 Valley Blvd. in Blowing Rock.