Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page

Bill Johnson began playing the guitar when he was 9 years old. Records by Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, and Eric Clapton, were his early influences, but Bill remembers: "Chuck Berry was the one that did it for me. Chuck made me want to play guitar".

Bill became a working musician early and spent most of his teens making music. 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 world famous slide guitarist Doug Cox, before forming his very own The Bill Johnson Blues Band in 1993. Early engagements those years included opening for Otis Rush, Delbert McClinton. In 1996, and again in 2009, Bill played with Grammy-award winning Donald Ray Johnson and was featured prominently on his recordings. Bill has continued his education with stints as sideman to the likes of Hubert Sumlin, Son Seals, Cash McCall.

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 countries top performers. In 2007 he released the Work Songs CD surprising everyone with his talents playing solo acoustic blues guitar. Now in 2010 Bill's breakout cd is here. "Still Blue" is a masterwork of the blues exemplifying his different abilities as a song writer, singer, and probably to most versatile and amazing guitarist of the modern blues genre. Bill Johnson has spent a lifetime immersing himself in the Blues.

He's a master of the form and live is a blast of majestic Blues power.

bill johnson