Going strong for 20 years, the Johnny O. Band maintains a firm foothold on the Colorado music scene. Seasoned veteran drummer, Marion Edwards, has been with Johnny 0 for 18 of those years. Now, joining forces with Andy Irvine, a highly accomplished and internationally recognized musician. Johnny O accompanied the Andy Irvine group on several trips to Europe, playing concerts and touring. “I have been playing with Andy on and off for over 10 years and he is a fantastic bass player” – JO. Edwards and Irvine form a funky, well oiled rhythm section, combined with Johnny O’s powerful stagemenship creates an infectious groove that doesn’t let go. With renewed energy the band is re-focused and committed to bringing their unique sound to the national and international music scene.
The Band’s latest CD was recorded Live at the Dickens Opera House in Longmont, Colorado and captures the powerful energy that the band throws down at every engagement. “Life’s Tough” features five songs of the late, great and longtime Colorado resident Howard Berkman, a Chicago Bluesman who mentored Johnny O. into his professional career from the time John was 12. “I owe a huge dept to Howard and I am honored to be able to bring his music to a new audience now that he’s gone”~J.O. The CD also features the Johnny O. original “Crescent City People”. J.O. wrote this after the Hurricane Katrina decimated the city of New Orleans. “I spent some very formative times in my life there in NOLA and feel like we’ve injected a healthy amount of that city’s energy into our sound.”~J.O. With a number of blues classics thrown in, “Life’s Tough” is an album that will have strong appeal across the board from the blues purest to the funky, jam-band enthusiast of today.
Johnny O. and the Band are heading into another busy summer of touring around the region. Johnny O. has toured in Europe several times as well as a half dozen tours in Brazil. “We’re so happy to be able to bring our music to places in the world where they rarely, if ever, sit in front of a show and sound like ours. “It’s really these experiences that I thrive on, that make me see clearly the sometimes difficult path that needs to be forged every day and every step of the way.”~J.O.
At home in any performing environment, from the big stage to the sometimes (omit) small and intimate clubs, from festivals to weddings and corporate parties and events, the band’s decades of experience makes it easy for them to gage their show to fit any circumstance. With their repertoire of hundreds of tunes, originals and re-invented classics, the band can maintain the musical integrity of quality and please the most discerning audiences.
The Johnny O. Band released its first self-titled CD in the fall of 1997. It featured the band’s most popular music at the time and included five Johnny O. Band originals. The CD was well received and sold well over two thousand copies, most of which were sold at the band’s live performances. John wrote, arranged and produced the band’s second CD, “River in the Sky”, which was released in the fall of 2000. This release is now in its third printing. John also wrote, arranged and produced the band’s third CD, “Time for the Turnaround.” Both “River in the Sky” and “Time for the Turnaround” represent a great time period in the band’s development. Those original songs are still a part of the band’s repertoire and show that well conceived and written tunes stand the test of time. In late 2008 Johnny O. had the opportunity to explore a different side of his talent by releasing the instrumental and somewhat Brazilian influenced album entitled “A Volta”. All the music on this unique musical voyage was composed by Johnny O., a reflection of his many trips and wonderful experiences while traveling and touring in Brazil. “A Volta” was the first time he worked with three time Grammy award winning engineer and producer Tom Wasinger.
The summer of 2012 was a busy one, at the beginning of which Johnny O. released a solo acoustic CD, the first tribute to his late friend and mentor Howard Berkman. This CD, entitle “Rosie” is a small collection of four of Howard’s tunes as well as a mix of Johnny O.’s own originals: tunes that he regularly performs when he plays solo. The, “Rosie” album exhibits J.O.’s song writing prowess as well as his finger picking style that he learned mainly from Berkman. Then late in the summer of 2012 the Johnny O. Band released the long awaited Live CD “Life’s Tough.” Johnny O. once again enlisted the skill of Tom Wasinger at Subterranean Studios for his masterful engineering abilities. “I was able to do a lot of recording at my own home studio on this CD but when I felt the demands of mixing an album of this caliber got to be more than I could feel confident with, I called Tom again. He did an amazing job with this CD, bringing it to a whole other level and at the same time he taught me so many things about producing and engineering. I’m very fortunate to have Tom in my corner.”~J.O.
The live performances and studio albums both reveal the Johnny O. Band to be at the top of their game. Between the three band members there are over 100 combined years of musical and on stage experience, and it shows. They move effortlessly through performances, reading the audiences and always delivering a show that the people remember.