- Johnny Nicholas
Infobox musical artist
| Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist | Instrument =
Name = Johnny Nicholas
Born = 1948
Alias = Guitar Johnny
Top Cat Records
Years_active = 1958 - 19811991 - present
URL = [http://www.hilltopcafe.com/johnny/index.htm Hill Top Cafe.com]
"Johnny Nicholas" (b. 1948) is a
blues musician. He was most noted for as being a member of the Grammy Award winning group Austin, Texasbased Western swingband Asleep at the Wheel.
Nicholas grew up in
Rhode Island, where he formed his first band, The Vikings. The band performed cover songsof popular rhythm and blueshits of the time, along with songs by the Rolling Stones. In the mid-1960s, he formed the Black Cat Blues Band with Duke Robillard, Fran Christina and Steve Nardella. Around 1970, he formed the Boogie Brothers with Nardella. After attending the Ann Arbor Blues Festivalin 1970, the band eventually moved on to San Francisco, Californiain 1972 pre-request of Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen.
By 1974, Nicholas had moved to
Chicago, Illinoisand began playing with Big Walter Horton. During his time in Chicago, he would record music with Walter, Boogie Woogie Redand Robert Lockwood, Jr.In 1974, he created his own single, "Too Many Bad Habits" for Blind Pig Records. Moving back to Providence, Rhode Island, he formed his own band, Johnny Nicholas and the Rhythm Rockers, which included Kaz Kazanoff on saxophone, Terry Binghamon drums, Sarah Brown on bass guitarand Ronnie Earleon electric guitar.
Nicholas began his stint with
Asleep at the Wheelin 1978, when the band asked him to perform with them. During his off time, he would travel to various cities for solo shows, but would often visit Louisianato play with Link Davisand Cajun accordionplayer Nathan Abshire.
By 1980, however, Nicholas decided to take time off from music in order to raise a family. He was also noted as being fed up with the scene, stating "the whole thing got so reversed it became a parody of blues." Between 1981 and 1990, Nicholas and his new wife Brenda owned and managed a roadside
restaurant(formally a gas station) called the Hill Top Café near Fredericksburg, Texas. After fathering three boys, Nicholas returned to recording blues music with Johnny Shinesand Snooky Pryoron the album " Back to the Country" in 1991. Since then, he has released one studio albumand three live albums on Topcat Recordswhile also returning to regular live shows.
Too Many Bad Habits" - Blind Pig
Broke Again" - Hill Tip Records
Thrill on the Hill" - Antone's
Rockin' My Blues to Sleep" - Topcat
Livin' with the Blues" - Topcat
*2006 "" - TopCat
* [http://www.hilltopcafe.com/johnny/index.htm Johnny's Official site]
* [http://www.wirz.de/music/nichofrm.htm Illustrated discography of Nicholas]
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