VICTORIA MUSICIAN BILL JOHNSON RECEIVES JUNO NOMINATION FOR BLUES ALBUM OF THE YEAR
February 7, 2012, Victoria, BC
Local blues musician and blues guitar great Bill Johnson has received a JUNO nomination for his critically acclaimed CD “Still Blue”. The recognition continues a run of great response to the CD. Bill Johnson recently wowed the crowd at Toronto’s Koerner Hall with a performance of “Half the Man” during the Maple Blues Award show, where he was honoured by three nominations, including Recording of the Year, Electric Act of the Year and Songwriter of the Year. He has also been acknowledged with a Western Canadian Music Award nomination and three Underground Blues Awards, including Best Canadian Blues CD, Best Blues Song and Best Blues CD of the International top 10. A JUNO Award winner himself, Michael Wrycraft sums up the praise by saying “trust me...you want to hear this.”
Bill Johnson is a master of the blues and his live show is described as a “blast of majestic Blues power”. During the 70’s and 80’s Bill played with various projects, exploring different musical genres. Then he began to study the likes of B.B. King, Elmore James, and T-Bone Walker: “These guys knocked me out. I was immediately hooked on their rhythm and phrasing”. During the 90’s Bill Johnson played in the Sidewalk Blues Band with Doug Cox, before forming The Bill Johnson Blues Band in 1993. Early engagements those years included opening for Otis Rush, Delbert McClinton, and a CD and tour into Scandinavia with the Lebeau Petersen Band. During this time he played with Grammy-award winning Donald Ray Johnson and was featured prominently on his recordings. Bill continued his education as a member of the house band at Calgary’s notorious King Edward Hotel, and with stints as sideman to the likes of Hubert Sumlin, Son Seals, Cash McCall, and the one and only Dutch Mason.
In 2006 Bill was nominated for a Maple Blues Award by the Toronto Blues Society for his CD Live, confirming his stature as one of the country’s top performers. In 2007 he released the Worksongs CD surprising everyone with his talents playing solo acoustic blues guitar. In June of 2010 the CD Still Blue was released to critical acclaim. Producer Joby Baker’s reputation as a brilliant engineer and producer is evident as he captured the sound of a great live blues band in a studio.