10 Horse Johnson is spawned from the rich tradition of country comedy and inspired by such classic artists as Johnny Cash, Roger Miller and Jerry Reed.
While much of today's country takes itself way too seriously, flashing only the occasional sense of humor, 10HJ takes just the opposite approach, repeatedly bustin' guts and kickin' ass.
Described by devotees as "'Tenacious D' on white lightnin'," the band serves up all-original, side-splitting satellite radio and cable TV-ready country. But don't hang 'em with a novelty tag. During their run, the quality of music and smart, funny lyrics have attracted such talented players to the group as Mark Hart ('Crowded House,' 'Supertramp') and the late Jerry Rightmer ('Sanford-Townsend Band,' 'Seals & Croft').
Lead Guitarist/Producer Jay Dover and Keyboardist Jeff Bek co-wrote 'Evel Knievel: The Rock Opera.' Guitarist Robert Pucci is a multi-selling screenwriter who penned the Chow Yun-Fat/Mark Wahlberg thriller 'The Corrupter,' while Drummer Gary Denton runs his own Stagg Street Studio in LA, where he has engineered Grammy and Emmy Award-winning recordings, and Bassist Sal Alessandro plays all over LA and owns Valley Leather (it's not what you think...but it could be).
Front man and songwriter Gary Newton is an eighth generation native of the Arkansas Ozarks whose first jobs out of college were interning at Tree Publishing and rolling videos for a then-fledgling Country Music Television in Nashville. He went on to a career in New York and LA as an actor, writer and filmmaker, all the while developing his comedy and music and plotting a return to God's country.
The Johnson history is just as diverse as its set list. The band debuted nationally on the legendary Dr. Demento radio show; gifted the song 'Lord Please Make My Daddy Burt Reynolds' for the iconic superstar on the set of an NBC sitcom; had a record-setting ten-week LA theatre run with Steve Martin's 'Picasso at the Lapin Agile;' and wrote and performed the Sirius XM Playboy Radio Night Calls theme, 'Talk Purty to Me.'
10HJ played live regularly at storied LA clubs Molly Malone's and Viva Cantina. The band has played Vegas, Memphis and Arkansas, and made its Nashville debut on Billy Block's Western Beat at the Exit/In, receiving a rare debut encore.
10HJ reunited in LA as the house band for Sirius XM Playboy Radio's 'A Playboy Home Companion,' opening and closing the two-hour broadcast and performing eight songs. Their appearance helped give the show the most listeners of any Sirius XM show on Thanksgiving. Their appearance on the July 4th special featured eight new songs, and rumor has it a live Christmas special's already in the works.
In April 2010, 10HJ made its Little Rock debut in a five-song set at Juanita's for Dwight David Honeycutt's Sweet Tea Party, where they premiered DDH's campaign song.
On Friday, September 10th, at 7:00 pm, 10HJ will debut the first live performance of their latest single, 'Woo Pig Fever,' at RazorRock in Little Rock's Riverfest Amphitheatre. For Hog fans, it's the other Swine Flu. The band will play an all-original, all-Arkansas seven song set.
In his Country Standard Time article, Robert Loy asked "Has country music lost its sense of humor?" If it has, 10 Horse Johnson has found it, put a bow on it, and is giving it back in time for your birthday.