See Johnny Live!

See Johnny perform with the legendary Nighthawks, or with his own band, the Thrillbillys.

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Greetings from 2013

I know. It seems like I only update once a year, and this is this year’s update. My webhost, Lane Baldwin, and I have changed the website to where I can actually access and maintain it myself, so look for a potentially serious decline in website quality. Ha, I’ll do the best I can, but I’m sort of like a hog lookin’ at a wristwatch when it comes to cyber stuff!

After my hip replacement recovery in 1/12, the Nighthawks were surprised to learn Mark Wenner needed a quintuple heart bypass!! That idled the band for another month and we had to cancel a 2 week road trip. Mark recovered beautifully, and we resumed touring. We worked our way west to Colorado, missing the “derecho” that laid waste to trees and houses from Indiana to the East Coast. We also got a brief respite from the 110 degree temps that were prevalent for most of the trip. Our new CD “Damn Good Time” got some great airplay across the country, as well on Sirius/XM satellite radio.

In May, the Thrillbillys closed down the legendary Sunset Grille in Annandale, VA playing the final night to a packed house. After performing there most Thursdays for 20 years, it left quite a hole in my scene & routine. My 1st Thursday night off  I heard my car start up in the garage around 7pm… it was heading down to the Sunset Grille without me! Another legendary establishment, JV’s in Falls Church, VA has picked up, dusted off us Thrillbillys, and we are happily performing there the 1st and 3rdTthurdays of each month (schedules permitting).

September found us doing a brief tour with the 44’s who are out of L.A. These guys are great! Many reviewers say they are like the Nighthawks…same lineup, but they have an upright bass instead of electric.They can get down!! Check out “The Church” on their newest CD “Boogie Disease”, produced by and featuring Kid Ramos. Even gets MY old jaded bones up and moving! Speaking of Kid, he’s unfortunately battling cancer and our prayers, thoughts and hopes are certainly with him.

Later in Sept. we flew to Europe to start a slamming  3 week tour.We played 18 shows in 7 countries in 21 days! The 3 non-gig days? Travel days. Quite a grind for us old guys! When we returned to the US, we grabbed the wives and took off for San Juan, Puerto Rico, (flying over Hurricane Sandy en route) where we boarded the Celebrity Summit cruise ship for our maiden voyage on the Legendary Blues Cruise, sharing the bill with the likes of Taj Mahal, North Missippippi Allstars, Trampled Under Foot, and the Derek Trucks/ Susan Tedeschi Band. What a great cruise!! The weather was OK if you like perfect! I think Old San Juan, P.R. is my new favorite place…and you don’t need a passport.

2013 is here, and so far no surgeries! The Thrillbillys are delighting the remaining “Grillbillies” at JV’s and beyond. The Nighthawks are pumped for more touring, including FL in March and Europe for most of September. Additionally, we are gearing up for yet another CD recording. Oh, almost forgot! The Nighthawks won 2012 Wammies ( Washington Area Music Awards) for Blues/R&B CD ( “Damn Good Time”) and Blues/ R&B Group, and the Thrillbillys won for Roots Rock Group, as well as our contributions to Band House Gigs’ “Tribute to (my ol’ pal) Nick Lowe” CD which also won. Thanks voters!! And thank YOU for your interest in my goings on and for supporting live music!