Heavens To Betsy Jeremiah Johnson
- 1White Lightning03:52
- 3Soul Crush02:32
- 5Forever And A Day03:18
- 6American Steel03:15
- 8Leo Stone03:53
- 9Castles In The Air02:58
- 10Long Way Home04:09
- 11Born Under A Bad Sign02:34
- 12Preacher's Daughter03:16
Info for Heavens To Betsy
Some artists need smoke and mirrors. All Jeremiah Johnson needs are songs. In the age of manufactured pop, the acclaimed St. Louis bandleader is a beacon of time-honoured songcraft, writing on acoustic guitar, digging deep for raw lyrics and insisting on studio production that bottles the sweat of his shows. The approach might sound old-school, but on latest record Heavens To Betsy, the result is some of the most vital music of the new decade.
As the sequel to 2018’s acclaimed Straitjacket, Heavens To Betsy is another creative leap for an artist on fire, representing Johnson’s boldest writing yet. Try White Lightning, the lyric penned from the perspective of a struggling Southern farmer, powered by money-lick sax and wah pedal. Put your foot down with the hard-driving Castles In The Air and American Steel: a salute to the joy of the US freeway. Or fall hard for poignant moments like Long Way Home and Forever And A Day, where Johnson showcases his eloquence on topics like dementia and the wrench of touring.
Like all the best records, Heavens To Betsy didn’t come easy. Johnson tells of long days under producer Pete Matthews, sometimes catching the spark in the first take, sometimes at the end of a twelve-hour day. “Recording this record was absolutely the most intense experience I’ve ever had in a studio. Good enough was not an option. But I’m extremely thankful that Pete pushed everyone to get the best out of every performance.” These songs deserved nothing less. On Heavens To Betsy, Jeremiah Johnson has delivered on his mission statement – and then some – with a record that demands to soundtrack the moments of life that matter. “I want this record to be something you’ll want to crank up when you’re with your friends and celebrating life,” he considers. “I want people to throw this record in the stereo and get a kick in the ass…”
"A white boy that knows well how to be a shredding blues rocker decides to take it to the next level and bring songs to the riffs letting them light sparks off each other. Not satisfied to make a set where you can fill in your own blanks, he put in the time so that all you have to do is sit back and enjoy his celebration of all things that made southern rock such a hallmark sound of the 70s. This is a return to how the greats did it.” (Midwest Record)
Jeremiah Johnson, guitar, vocals
Frank Bauer, saxophone, backing vocals
Benet Schaeffer, drums
Tony Anthonis, bass
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.
March of 2018, Mike Zito will be producing Jeremiah Johnson's new CD release. The band is headed to Texas to MARZ Studio with more than two handfuls of killer new original rockin blues tunes and Mike Zito producing! Mike is currently nominated for Two BMA Awards! Mike has produced albums for Samantha Fish, Laurence Jones, Albert Castiglia and others. He tours extensively in the USA, Canada and Europe. He has been honored with multiple Blues Music Awards over the past 10 years.
Johnson performs with Benet Schaeffer (drums), Frank Bauer (sax & backing vocals), and Tom Maloney (bass), bringing the Jeremiah Johnson Band to its highest level to date. It's safe to say this is going to be a huge year for the band. 2018 is going to rock!