Making a Scene Presents an Interview with Jeremiah Johnson
Born and raised in St. Louis, Jeremiah Johnson is the voice of Mississippi River blues blending with the struggles of everyday life. He began learning guitar at age 6, drawing inspiration from his rich St. Louis blues heritage and legendary guitarists, like Alvin Lee, Eric Clapton and Hank Williams Sr. and Jr. With these influences, Johnson began building his musical foundation.
After relocating to Houston, TX, in 1999, Johnson finished in first place for three consecutive years at the Houston Regional Blues Challenges, sponsored by the Houston Blues Society. Johnson returned to St. Louis in 2009, and merged Texas style with STL blues to create the unique sound you hear today. The 10 years Johnson lived and performed in Texas changed his musical style in ways you can still hear in his music today. In 2011, Johnson was the proud winner of the St. Louis Blues Society IBC Challenge and went on to the semifinals to represent St. Louis in Memphis, TN. One year later, Sirius XM’s B.B. King’s Bluesville picked up the Jeremiah Johnson Band, where they can be heard nationwide, and they have been playing his music ever since. You can also hear Jeremiah Johnson on Touch Tunes Jukeboxes in bars/clubs across the US and on radio stations around the world. In September 2014, Johnson filmed his docu-concert, Ride the Blues, directed by Australian Producer/Director Gary Glenn, at the historic Capitol Theater in downtown Burlington, IA. The film is live music video about Johnson’s rise to prominence, featuring intimate interview segments, still photography, guitar solos and stunning vocals. Donations from concert attendees were generously given to the theater and to the National Blues Museum, connecting Johnson’s roles of musician and music advocate. 2014 Johnson records Grind, produced by Devon Allman, features Grammy award winner Yonrico Scott on drums. Grind has been featured on SiriusXM’s B.B. King’s Bluesville, and on the international radio show “Confessing the Blues”, broadcasting on 50 stations in 10 countries worldwide. Grind reached the #8 slot on the Billboard Blues Charts the week of November 7th, 2015.
Johnson follows the success of Grind with a self-produced release, Blues Heart Attack, released worldwide on July 22, 2016. This unique record is a blend of Johnson’s entire musical career. “It’s a combination of our earlier works, and then Grind,” he explained. “There’s horns and keyboard reminiscent of Brand Spankn’ Blues, but also some heavy guitar driven tracks. It’s the evolution of everything in a Blues Heart Attack.” Special guest performers include Tom ‘Papa’ Ray on harmonica, and Nathan Hershey on keys. Blues Heart Attack reached #5 on the Billboard Blues Charts following its release in 2016.
After signing a record deal with Ruf Records in March of 2018, Jeremiah immediately went to Texas to record his debut Ruf Records release, Straitjacket, with BMA award winning Mike Zito producing. Straitjacket debuted #1 on iTunes New Blues Releases and #6 on Billboard Blues Album Chart and has been in the top of the Roots Music Report ever since. After a European tour with Mike Zito in the Beginning of 2019 and then followed by a Northeastern USA tour with Zito again, Johnson has truly electrified a whole new audience.
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