Jay Jesse Johnson is an American blues-rock guitarist with more than 40 years in the music industry and has recorded on 28 albums, including 7 solo albums. Born in rural Indiana, Johnson grew up in the 60’s, influenced by American Blues, Soul, Rock & Roll and the British Invasion. He started playing guitar at the age of 10 and was soon performing at school dances, and venues in the Midwest.
When he was 18, Johnson hit the road to the East coast, where he began gigging in the New York/New England music scene with the CT based band “Cryer”. Recognized for his powerful guitar work, he was soon playing on many studio recordings.
In 1983 he was the guitarist for ArcAngel on the CBS/Portrait Records self titled album and appeared on MTV with the band’s hit single, “Tragedy”.
While collaborating in 1989 with Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame drummer, Neal Smith from Alice Cooper, they recorded Deadringer “Electrocution Of The Heart”. That album also included Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame member Dennis Dunaway (Alice Cooper) as well as Blue Oyster Cult’s Joe Bouchard and vocalist, Charlie Huhn (Gary Moore, Foghat).
In 2004 Johnson released his first solo album,”Strange Imagination.” It was followed by “I’ve Got An Axe To Grind” (2007) which featured Charlie Huhn from Deadringer, along with Bj Zampa (House Of Lords, Dokken) and Matt Zeiner (Dickey Betts). In 2009, his third solo album, “Play That Damn Guitar” was released on Grooveyard Records and was featured on Classic Rock Magazine’s CD, Blues Breakers, “The Hottest In New Blues Rock.”
Johnson was signed to Shrapnel Records in 2012. With executive producer Mike Varney, he released “Run With The Wolf,” which was featured on the UK’s Blues Magazine CD, “Cats Whiskers, Best of Contemporary Blues.” While working with Shrapnel Records, Johnson recorded 2 albums with the Blindside Blues Band and joined them for a series of shows in Europe.
In Sept. 2015, Johnson released his sixth album, “Set The Blues On Fire”. It was featured with Robert Cray, Canned Heat and Joe Bonamassa on the CD release, “In Safe Hands” The Next Generation Of Blues Superstars. It included Johnson’s, “Ghosts In Texas”.
In 2016, Johnson was featured on “Shrapnel Records Presents The Best Of Modern Blues” with his version of “Rollin and Tumblin” along with guitar icons Leslie West, Pat Travers, Neal Schon (Journey), Michael Schenker, Eric Gales and others.
Jay Jesse Johnson has shared the stage with blues/rock legends, Johnny Winter, Robin Trower, John Mayall, Walter Trout, Rick Derringer, Pat Travers, as well as super groups, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Jefferson Starship, and Foghat, to name a few. He currently tours with his band, the Jay Jesse Johnson Band.
Jay Jesse Johnson / Discography
1983 Arc Angel (Portrait/CBS)
1988 Cannata–Images Of Forever (Carrere-CBS)
1989 Deadringer–Electrocution Of The Heart (Grudge-BMG)
1993 Cannata–Watching The World (Oxford Circus)
2002 Arc Angel/Cannata–Tamorok (Oxford Circus)
2004 Jay Jesse Johnson–Strange Imagination (Git Real Records)
2006 Cannata–Mysterium Magnum (Oxford Circus)
2007 Jay Jesse Johnson–I’ve Got An Axe To Grind (Git Real Records)
2009 Jay Jesse Johnson–Play That Damn Guitar (Grooveyard Records)
2010 Mountain Of Power (Grooveyard Records)
2010 Blues Breakers–The Best New Blues Rock (Classic Rock Magazine)
2011 Blindside Blues Band–The Blues Is Evil (Grooveyard Records)
2012 Blindside Blues Band–Generator (Blues Bureau International/Shrapnel Records)
2012 The Sound of Guitar Rock–Best Of Vol. 1 (Grooveyard Records)
2012 Jay Jesse Johnson–Run With The Wolf (Blues Bureau International/Shrapnel Records)
2013 The Cats Whiskers–Cream Of Contemporary Blues (The Blues Magazine)
2013 Arc Angel–Harlequins Of Light (Frontier Records)
2015 Jay Jesse Johnson–Set The Blues On Fire (Grooveyard Records)
2015 Mountain of Power–Volume Three (Grooveyard Records)
2015 In Safe Hands–Next Generation Of Blues Superstars (The Blues Magazine)
2015 Mike Onesko’s Guitar Army–In the Name of Rock and Roll (Grooveyard Records)
2015 Shrapnel Records–The Best Of Modern Blues (Shrapnel Records)
2016 The Sound Of Guitar Rock–Vol. 3 (Grooveyard Records)
2017 Jay Jesse Johnson Band–Down The Hard Road (Git Real Records)
2019 Blindside Blues Band–Live At Satyr Blues Poland (JIB Machine Records)
2019 The Sound Of Guitar Rock–Vol. 4 (Grooveyard Records)
2020 Neal Smith–Pop 85/95 (Kachina Records)
2021 Jay Jesse Johnson–Man On A Mission (Grooveyard Records)