WILLIAM LLOYD JOHNSON - SINGER - GUITARIST - SONGWRITER - BLUESMAN
Bill Johnson began playing the guitar when he was 9 years old. Records by Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, and Eric Clapton, were his early influences, but Bill remembers: “ Chuck Berry was the one that did it for me. Chuck made me want to play guitar”. Bill became a working musician early and spent most of his teens making music.
During the 70’s and 80’s Bill played with various projects, achieving respectable successes while exploring different musical genres. Then he began to study the likes of B.B. King, Elmore James, and T-Bone Walker: “ These guys knocked me out. I was immediately hooked on their rhythm and phrasing”. The mid-1980’s saw him leaving the stage to pursue steady work and to focus on the music he loved, the Blues.
During the 90’s Bill Johnson returned to the stage playing in the Sidewalk Blues Band with Doug Cox, before forming his very own The Bill Johnson Blues Band in 1993. Early engagements those years included opening for Otis Rush, Delbert McClinton, and a CD and tour into Scandinavia with the Lebeau Petersen Band.
In 1996 Bill moved to Calgary. During this time he played with Grammy-award winning Donald Ray Johnson and was featured prominently on his recordings. Bill continued his education as a member of the house band at the notorious King Edward Hotel, and with stints as sideman to the likes of Hubert Sumlin, Son Seals, Cash McCall, and the one and only Dutch Mason.
In 1999 Bill moved back to Victoria to be close to his family, and to pursue his own recording career. In 2006 Bill was nominated for a Maple Blues Award by the Toronto Blues Society for his CD Live, confirming his stature as one of the countries top performers. In 2007 he released the Worksongs CD surprising everyone with his talents playing solo acoustic blues guitar.
In June of 2010 the CD Still Blue was recorded. Here enters Joby Baker acting as producer. It was a great working team being that Joby was actually the BJ bands first drummer. Still his reputation as a brilliant engineer and producer is evident as he really caught the sound of a great live blues band in a studio.
As of January 2012 Still Blue has won two Blewzzy Awards, and been nominated for one WCMA award, three Maple Blues Awards and made numerous "Best of 2012" music reviews and lists world wide.
As of January 27, 2012 Bill has been signed to Woodrock Music Canada. A premier music creation company that now handles all aspects of Bill's career.
Bill Johnson has spent a lifetime immersing himself in the Blues. He’s a master of the form and live is a blast of majestic Blues power.