Texas Johnny Brown
                                                             & the Quality Blues Band
 

 

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Texas Johnny Brown

Texas Johnny Brown is truly one of the legendary figures of the American blues scene. Johnny began his professional musical career in Houston in the mid- 1940s with Amos Milburn's "Aladdin Chickenshackers". Johnny played guitar on many of Milburn's recordings on Aladdin Records, and Milburn and other members of his band backed Johnny during his Atlantic Records recording session in 1949. Johnny also appeared on Ruth Brown's first Atlantic Records recordings, which were cut during those sessions.

Three of Johnny's original songs from his Atlantic session, There Goes the Blues, Bongo Boogie and Blues Rock, were included on an Atlantic compilation of blues guitarists in 1986. Johnny recut There Goes the Blues for his debut full-length CD, Nothin' But the Truth, which was released in 1998 by Choctaw Creek Records.

Johnny toured with Bobby "Blue" Bland and Junior Parker in the 1950s and 1960s as guitarist and bandleader and was a studio musician for Houston's Duke/Peacock Records. He recorded a number of his own compositions for Duke/Peacock, including Snakehips and Suspense, and his distinctive guitar style graced the recordings of numerous other Duke/Peacock blues artists, including Bland, Parker and Joe Hinton. Johnny also wrote the beautiful blues classic, Two Steps from the Blues, which was one of Bland's biggest hits. Nothin' But the Truth marks the first time that Johnny recorded Two Steps from the Blues himself. Nothin' But the Truth also contains nine new original compositions by Johnny and an instrumental version of Aretha Franklin's Am 't No Way.

Nothin' But the Truth was nominated for a W.C. Handy Blues Award (1999) for Comeback Album of the Year and received Real Blues Magazine '5 Real Blues Awards as Best Texas Blues CD (New) and Best Independently Released Blues CD for 1998.

Since returning to music full-time in 1991, Johnny has played the Telluride, Colorado

Blues & Brews Festival (2000), the Baltimore (2000), W.C. Handy Blues Awards (1999),Chicago (1998 and 1996), Houston Juneteenth (1998, 1996 and 1995), Pocono (1997), Molde(1997), Long Beach (1996) and Bowie Street (1999, 1996 and 1995) Blues Festivals, the 2001Mardi Gras Galveston Festival, the 2000, 1999, 1996 and 1995 Houston International Festivals, the 1999 Reliant Energy Power of Houston Festival, the 1998 Bluestock Festival and the 1992 Blues Estafette, and has toured in the United States and Europe. He is scheduled to play the Houston International Festival in April 2001. He has also been featured on the cover of Juke Blues Magazine (issue 41; July, 1998) and in Living Blues Magazine (January/February, 1997) and Soul Bag (Fall, 1996). Johnny also won the 2000 Houston Press Music Awards for Best Blues and Best Male Vocalist and the 1999 Houston Press Music Awards for Best Guitarist and Best Male Vocalist.



HONORS

  • 2005 HOUSTON PRESS MUSIC AWARDS - BEST BLUES

  • 2001 Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton Blues Festival - BLUES ARTIST OF THE YEAR

  • 2001 September 22, City of Houston, TX - TEXAS JOHNNY BROWN DAY

  • 2001 HOUSTON PRESS MUSIC AWARDS - BEST GUITARIST

  • 2000 HOUSTON PRESS MUSIC AWARDS - BEST BLUES and BEST MALE VOCALIST

  • 1999 HOUSTON PRESS MUSIC AWARDS - BEST GUITARIST and BEST MALE VOCALIST

  • 1999 20TH ANNUAL W.C. HANDY BLUES AWARD NOMINATION for “Comeback Album of the Year” for Nothin’ But the Truth

  • 1998 REAL BLUES MAGAZINE’S 5TH ANNUAL BLUES AWARD WINNER in the categories of “Best Texas Blues CD” for 1998 and “Best Independently Released Blues CD” for Nothin’ But the Truth


FESTIVALS

  • 2008 Hayward / Russell City Blues Festival, Hayward, CA

  • 2008 42nd Annual Smithsonian Folklife Foundation Festival, Washington, DC

  • 2008 Black Diamond Blues Festival, Pittsburg, CA

  • 2007 Charles Brown Day of Remembrance Blues Festival, Texas City, TX

  • 2007 Summertime Blues Festival, Freeport, TX

  • 2007, 2006 Bluebonnet Blues & Fine Arts Festival, Marble Falls, TX

  • 2006 Rio Grande Valley Blues Festival, Mission, TX

  • 2006 Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival

  • 2006 Kansas City Kansas Street Blues Festival

  • 2006 Riofest, Harlingen, TX

  • 2006, 2004 Yardbird Suite, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

  • 2005, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1996, and 1995 Houston International Festival, Houston, TX

  • 2004 Portland Waterfront Blues Festival, Portland, OR

  • 2004 Lucerne Blues Festival, Lucerne, Switzerland

  • 2004 Cincy Blues Fest, Cincinnati, OH

  • 2004 Blues Masters at the Crossroads Festival, Salina, KS

  • 2004, 2001 Hayward/Russell City (CA) Blues Festival

  • 2003 King Biscuit Blues Festival, Helena, AR

  • 2003 Interviewed about Houston Blues on The Connection on Channel 8, Houston's PBS affiliate

  • 2002 Played at the Hideout at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

  • 2002 Performed on The Debra Duncan Show on Houston's KTRK Channel 13 (ABC)

  • 2002, 1999, 1996, and 1995 Bowie Street Blues Festival, San Antonio, TX

  • 2002 Rio Sun Freedom Fest, Harlingen, TX

  • 2002 Carnival Blues Cruise of the Caribbean; departed from Galveston, TX

  • 2001 Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton Blues Festival, Houston, TX

  • 2001 Mardi Gras Galveston Festival, Galveston, TX

  • 2001 Blues on the Hill Festival, Harlingen, TX

  • 2001 BP Power of Freedom Festival, Houston, TX

  • 2001 Blues and Boos in Market Square, Houston, TX

  • 2000 Baltimore Blues Festival, Baltimore, MD

  • 2000 Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, Telluride, CO

  • 1999 W.C. Handy Blues Awards Festival, Memphis, TN

  • 1999 Reliant Energy Power Of Houston Festival, Houston, TX

  • 1998 and 1996 Chicago Blues Festival, Chicago, IL

  • 1998, 1996, and 1995 Juneteenth Blues Festival, Houston, TX

  • 1998 Bluestock Festival, Memphis, TN

  • 1997 Pocono Blues Festival, Big Boulder Ski Area, Lake Harmony, PA

  • 1997 Molde Blues Festival, Molde, Norway

  • 1997 Houston Blues Fest, Houston, TX

  • 1997 Tour of Norway and Sweden

  • 1996 Long Beach Blues Festival, Long Beach, CA

  • One week performing at the Chesterfield Cafe, Paris, France, May 1996

  • 1995 and 1996 South by Southwest (SXSW) Showcases, Austin, TX

  • 1995 Performed on the Crossroads program on Houston's KTRK Channel 13 (ABC)

  • 1992 Blues Estafette, Vredenburg, Utrecht, The Netherlands


OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Cover and feature article on Johnny in issue number 41 (July, 1998) of Juke Blues (a London blues magazine)

  • Johnny’s photograph featured in The Blues is a Feeling by James Fraher and State of the Blues by Jeff Dunas (books of photographs of American blues musicians)

  • On-air (internet) live interview with Johnny by Howell Productions, Inc. from the Pocono Blues Festival, July 26, 1997, http://www.blueschat.com

  • Tour of Norway and Sweden, February/March, 1997

  • Profile of Johnny in Living Blues Magazine, January/February, 1997 issue

  • Article on Johnny in Soul Bag (French blues magazine), Fall, 1996 issue

  • Performed at the Chesterfield Café, Paris, France, May, 1996

  • 1995 and 1996 SXSW Showcases, Austin, TX

  • Johnny profiled in Meeting the Blues: The Rise of the Texas Sound, a book by Alan Govenar


Kerry "KC" Cartwright

KC began his musical career in San Augustine, Texas where he joined the Lincoln High School band and later the Soul Dimensions. In 1970, he came to Houston and was in the Ocean of Soul. From there he opened shows for Kool & the Gang, Bobby Bland, Johnny Taylor, and Arthur Prisite. He also worked with Lowell Fulson and O.V. Wright before their passing. KC has been with Texas Johnny Brown and the Quality Blues Band for ten years.

 


Larry Evans


William Hollis