MP3 Johnny 99 - Four Songs
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4 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Roots Rock, ROCK: Americana
Perhaps now more than ever, music artists are blurring the lines between genres. Case in point, Johnny 99 and their just-released EP, Four Songs. One minute, you think you have the four piece all figured out as a country outfit, the next minute, they detour into roots rock, or a decidedly punk/garage rock chord progression. I think a lot of people miss the fun and good times of rock music, explains singer/guitarist Kenny Jacobson. What's being call rock music today is just cookie-cutter angst and manufactured anger, and AAA is just a little too safe and precious. Our appeal is to those that want a fresh, new, gritty, underground feel - with the spirit of Springsteen, U2, Johnny Cash, and Led Zeppelin.
Interestingly, the group (which also includes guitarist Ammon Madsen, bassist Joe Rasmussen, and drummer Kevin Merrell) hails from sunny Orange County, California, which is best known for pop-punk, rather than alt-country. But according to Jacobson, Johnny 99 wouldnt have it any other way. It has definitely been a little more difficult to find where we fit in in Orange County. But the more we play, the more we keep hearing people say how much they like our kind of music, which is very encouraging of course. Hedging their bets, Johnny 99 also continues to play LA as much as they can.
The story of how Johnny 99 came into being is the classic finding the right combination tale. Jacobson had been trying to start a band since his return to Southern California post-college. By early 2002, Jacobson had met Madsen, and found they had similar musical tastes, and came up with a different angle to form a band - inviting anyone who wanted to come over to an acoustic jam night at Jacobson's house once a week. A rotating cast of characters was soon assembled - including fiddle, banjo, and accordion players, as well as acoustic guitarists. After about a year, Rasmussen signed on as bassist and Merrell occupied the drum kit. The chemistry was undeniable, and soon the four members began practicing and gigging together - what was originally conceived as a new folk/alt-grass group had now became a full-fledged rock band.
Taking their name from a song title that was used over the years by two of the groups favorite artists, Bruce Springsteen and Johnny Cash, the new group began penning original tunes, with Jacobson writing the majority of the songs, but with Merrell gaining ground. Soon, the group had penned two tracks which are among the finest on Four Songs - the melancholy country-tinged How Could I Say No? and the more uptempo Finding Out.
Although Four Songs was just issued in March of this year, the group is already planning their next move, which will be a self-produced debut full-length with the working title Rock N Roll Could Save Your Life. They are looking at a possible July 2007 release.
Check out our website (https://www.tradebit.com) for more demo songs and some footage of shows at the Key Club and Whisky A Go Go.
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