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Johnny J Blair
"Passion makes you vivid," says "Singer at Large" Johnny J. Blair. His innovative brand of "pop music with a twist" is a fast-paced mix of old school soul/r'n'b, psychedelia, punk/new wave and a melodicism breathed by classical, gospel, jazz and world beat.
Spotlight Magazine dubbed Blair "the Harry Houdini of rock'n'roll" for his ongoing "escape from typecasts." He was called "a white James Brown" by Brown's legendary drummer, Clyde Stubblefield. Earcandy.com called Blair "a delightful entertainer."
Urban humor, abstract romance and bittersweet spirituality are images in Blair's lyrics. His vocabulary is influenced by The Bible, classic comedy (Charlie Chaplin, Marx Brothers), the poetry of T.S. Eliot, and the writings of Raymond Chandler, Graham Greene and John Steinbeck.
For more than 20 years, Blair has issued acclaimed recordings—from the "new wave concept album" DOOR IN THE WATER, to the soulful masterwork FIRE, to the bare-knuckled acoustic "agitpop" of TREADMARKS to the "Ziggy Stardust meets Beach Boys" of GRATEFUL.
Besides making music for comic books and documentaries, Blair has collaborated with and produced a variety of artists—most notably, a stack of projects with Davy Jones of The Monkees (Blair plays bass in Jones' touring band).
Blair has sidelined in music journalism since 1974, starting with an article on King Crimson for an underground newspaper. Since then, he has written for publications in Europe and the United States, including contributions to books and extensive liner notes for Rhino Records. Locally, he has written for Shinbone and the Williamsport Sun-Gazette.