Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
Steve Johnson - Steven Bryan Johnson, born January 12,
1956, started playing guitar in 1963 after his Uncle Mickey Johnson played
his electric guitar for him. Played in rock blues bands in California until
moving to Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1982. There he met Albert Collins,
Dixon, Luther Allison, Duke Robillard, Johnny Winter, and lots of Chicago
and Detroit area blues players. Moved to New York City in 1983 and formed
The Tanks, a Blues Power Trio and recorded 3 albums all independently
released in the U.S. Played with Paul Butterfield, Johnny Copeland, Paul
Schaeffer, Albert Collins, Little Jimmy King, Jaco Pastorious, Fernando
Saunders, Tony Smith, Little Mike, Hubert Sumlin, Popa Chubby, Big Ed
Sullivan, Jon Paris, Bill Perry, Michael Hill and most New York Blues
2008- Open for many name acts at Mexicali Blues Cafe including Duke Robillard, Billy Hector, Watermelon Slim. Begin hosting Tuesday Night Open Jam at Mexicali Live Cafe, Teaneck, N.J. Guest artists include, Melba Moore, Poppa Chubby, Michael Hill, Dave Fields, Dave, Hughes, Dave Moore, Nikki Armstrong, Ray Patterson, and many more. Records "Live at Mexicali" album with Cliff McComas- drums and vox, Mark Pavlica-bass and vox, Harry Fritz -harp and vox, and the great Moe Thomas on guitar. To be released early Summer 2009.
Online Blues mag "Blueswax" review with Richard Ludmere.
2007- ACM places tunes in mainstream Television episodes of "Medium", "Monster Garage" and "Chopper Build-off" episodes.
2006- Digital Online Music Library and Media deal with ACM Records. This helps to place songs in International TV, movie and advertisement soundtracks.
2005- Bluestoons released in the USA and Canada.
2004 - Select releases of "Bluestoons" Sept. 15. NO feedback yet except Phil, Melinda, Sparky and Darla liked it.
Took my son Travis to meet Sammy Hagar and Eddie Van Halen for his B-day, June 3. Great time was had and the band sounded and played great. Hagar gave Travis a "high 5" and told him to keep playing music and told me to come to Cabo to play in his club, "Cabo Wabo"
2003- release "Blues from the Roadhouse" The first "LIVE" album. Gets
lots of airplay in France and the New York City area. Magazine reviews, etc.
Gets a deal with "Silk City Record Co." for US and International Online sales for all Virgin CDs. Contributes, "Mean Old Xmas" to Silk City's "Santa Has Left the Building" , a CD compilation by the Slik City artist roster for a Christmas CD 2003. Contributes "Almost 4 a.m." and "Happy Song" to the United Jersey Blues Network CD. Writes, "Jesse James" for Discovery Channel's "Monster Garage" television show about the LA chopper builder King. Airplay in 2004.
2002- As a result of 9-11 the music scene in Europe dries up. Most Summer festivals are cancelled and nobody releases any albums or does any touring. This sucked!
2001- Releases "Bluesville" with Merced Bluesman Michael Boykin a Special Guest on harp and backing vocal. Fall tour 2001 is cancelled after 9-11 terrorist attack on NYC.
2000- Releases "Blues Distortion" on Virgin. Great response again and a trip to Paris for interviews and radio spots in February 2001 follows.
1999- Releases "Blue Guitar" on Virgin. Great response and reviews in Europe. The single, "Can't Take it with You" is included in the sound track and one episode of the CBS TV show, "Ed". A 2 week engagement at the famous Blues and Jazz club in Paris, "The Chesterfield" follows and is sold out 13 days in a row. Establishes a new format , much to the dislike of other Blues Bands of playing straight through the night without a break from 11- 2:30 a.m.
1997- released "Back to Memphis (Virgin France/New Risin' Blues)
1996- released "Steve Johnson and Nuts + Bolts" (Virgin France/New Risin'
Plays at the birthday party for Blues Rock Guitar Legend Leslie West. Yankees win the Series in 6 games.
1995- Backs up Memphis Blues Guitar Legend , "Lil Jimmy King" for 2 sold out nights at the club "Lola" in NYC.
1994- "Sooner or Later All Nuts Come Home to Find Their Bolts and Rust", independently released in US. 1994
1994- Plays Alligator Records Blues Summit at Carmnegie Hall "after gig party" at SIR , NYC with Albert Collins, Johnny Copeland, Jaco Pastorius, Lonnie Mack, Eddie Martinez, Paul Schaeffer and others. Filmed by MTV and aired Nationally.
1993- "Nuts and Bolts LIVE from the Rodeo Bar", independently released in US.
1993 Winner of Guitar Player's , "Ultimate Guitar Competition - Blues
In 1992 released "The Long Shadows" with Carolina singer Michael Rowe.
1990- Releases the 3nd "Tanks" album independently in the US. Recorded at the Magic Shop, NYC.
1989- Releases the 2nd "Tanks" album Independently in the US. Recorded at the Power Station, NYC.
1988- Releases the first "Tanks" album Independently in the US. Recorded at the Power Station, NYC.
1987- Releases "The Backbones" RECORD. A high energy soul-blues-funk quintet that played NYC clubs and did one Tour ending in Hollywood, Ca. Steve continues to do sessions for record label companies like Virgin, Sony, Columbia, Clive Davis'-"J-Records" ,MTV, and whatever sounds like fun. He also continues to play out every week, except for vacation time, in New Jersey, New York, Conn., California, North Carolina and Europe. Has played in California every year in April for the Brews and Blues Bash/Party to benefit American Cancer Society and the Merced Battered Women's Home. This event is sometimes repeated in the Fall for the Central Valley Blues Festival.
Since 1995 Steve has had his own trio with Cliff McComas on drums and vocals and Mark Pavlica on bass and vocals. They have recorded 10 albums: 5 for Virgin, 2 for Dixiefrog, and 3 for ACM Records. See "DISCS" for album availablity and purchase.