Johnny J. was a founding member of the popular New Orleans rockabilly quartet the Blue Vipers, developing a reputation as one of the Crescent City's premiere roots rockers. As Johnny J.'s musical inspiration evolved, he formed his current band, Johnny J. and The Hitmen.
The band debuted in critical acclaim with their 1986 album "Nuclear Hayride" on Great Southern Records, produced by former Boxtops frontman, Alex Chilton. Substantial radio airplay of the release throughout Europe and Scandinavia brought 1987's Nuclear Hayride on Tour in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark, earning Johnny J. and The Hitmen an international following.
As an integral member of New Orleans' close-knit musical community, Johnny J. was included on the legendary Tipitina's 1989 compilation "Tipitina's Live & in Person" that included artists such as Walter Wolfman Washington, Marva Wright, Jon Cleary and other New Orleans musical luminaries. On this historical collection, Johnny J. performs Coco Robicheaux's "Thrift Store Suit."
1991 brought Johnny J.'s sophomore release entitled "Wizard of Odds," produced by legendary Nashville producer and Neil Young band member, Ben Keith (who also produced Jewel's multi-platinum debut CD) for Germany's Zensor label. The release, and subsequent European tour, further cemented the sounds of Johnny J. and The Hitmen with European audiences. While popular in Europe, the CD was never released in the United States, and was available only as an import.
The mid-nineties saw the release of "J. Walkin" on Carlo Ditta's Orleans
Records label featuring J.'s collaboration with Alex Chilton of the Box Tops,
Ben Keith, and the late, legendary guitarist Wayne Bennett, best known for his work with Bobby Blue Bland. The CD is an inspiring mixture of rockabilly,
blues, country and rock n' roll, highlighting Johnny J.'s "walkin, runnin and
ridin" through a variety of musical styles.
In addition to his own recordings, Johnny J. is a much sought after New
Orleans session player and has appeared on numerous releases by notable
regional roots artists including a solo to the title track of Roland
Stone's 1993 "Remember Me."
Johnny J. is the guitarist of choice for rockabilly as well as blues and R&B legends performing in New Orleans J has performed with Dale Hawkins, Alex Chilton, Lazy Lester, Wayne Bennett, Eddie Kirkland, Wanda Jackson, Joe "Ducktail" Clay and the late Carl Perkins in a promotional video for Perkins' last CD, recorded at the Mermaid Lounge in dowtown New Orleans.
Around New Orleans on any given night, Johnny J. can be seen performing with his band at mainstay venues like the Rivershack Tavern, Mid-City Rock -N-Bowl, and the Carrollton Station with his own band, The Hitmen, or with other New Orleans musicians such as Little Queenie Harris, Harpman Ben Maygarden and Lips and the Trips at Bourbon Street's 711 Club. Over the years, Johnny J. has also been a member of Them Taggert Boys and Little Queenie & the Swinging Gates of Heaven, as well as the comical, satirical rockers, OLD.
Johnny J. and the Hitmen can also be seen performing at the House of Blues, where they have opened for Jerry Lee Lewis on numerous occassions.
In recent years, Arkansas' legendary rockabilly artist, Dale Hawkins, best
known for his 1957 hit single "Suzie Q," has enlisted Johnny J. to tour and
record with him. In between his work with Hawkins, Johnny J. has just released his latest album "Fever Water" on the Blue Viper label.
Coming up, in association with his new release, will be a late 2001 and early
2002 "Fever Water" tour throughout the deep south and southwest.
Booking & Management: Third Rowe Entertainment
Record Label: Blue Viper Records
210 Baronne St., Suite 1040
New Orleans, LA 70112
Fax: (504) 528-9399