Johnny & the Bootlegs Create a Blues-Punk Hit

Johnny & the Bootlegs

In a blend of blues rock and punk, Johnny & the Bootlegs released their new single “Thrift Shop.” The track is the second single from their upcoming EP, NYC Rags. The band is based out of NYC and focus their attitude and sound around the crawling night life of New York. The single itself refers to the spreading trend of thrift-shopping, the financially sound approach to shopping for clothes.

“‘Thrift Shop’ speaks about the odd underlying nature of wearing someone else’s clothing, not knowing if they are still alive or what their character may have been whilst wearing said clothing,” said frontman John Santiago. “The band has frequented Brooklyn’s own Urban Jungle thrift shop in Bushwick for years and the song was inspired during ‘a hop, a skip, a jump away’ afternoon trip to their clothing racks. One of those contemplative songs that is essentially overthinking a moot point, so may as well have fun with it!”


I know that I personally had never put so much thought into thrift shopping; the idea is definitely food for thought.


Johnny & the Bootlegs Rock the Blues


Johnny & the Bootlegs don’t follow the typical “rock” band style. They are more casual, more genuine, and a little rough around the edges (in a charming way). “Thrift Shop” is a simple, honest track that carries the vocal grit and emphasis on guitar that blues brings. At the same time, they maintain a punk-rock energy; loud, fast, simple, and honest.


The chanting background vocals are add a “we don’t care as a collective” feeling. It brings the Bootlegs into the vocal spotlight, and makes Johnny more than just the frontman; he’s one of the band. I think that Johnny & the Bootlegs bring an appropriate amount of energy, as well as a bit of edge that goes a long way. They are not just a punk band, they are not just a blues band, they are Johnny & the Bootlegs.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.