Scott Albert Johnson

small:If I only knew the words


“There are harmonica players and then there is Scott Albert Johnson… One of the best harp players in the world.” Cashbox Music Reviews

Born in St. Louis and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, Scott Albert Johnson was bathed in the wide range of the American songbook, as well as the sounds of his 1970’s and 80’s childhood. The soul and spirit of that diversity is at the core of his new album, Going Somewhere. Johnson incorporates elements of rock, jazz, blues, funk, country, and world music, mixed with thoughtful lyrics, strong vocals, and virtuosic harmonica playing, to create a unique, modern concoction of sound.


“I’m influenced by almost every kind of music that I’ve ever heard,” says Johnson. “Growing up in the heart of the South, obviously blues has had a big impact on me. It’s also the heart and soul of virtually every type of modern music. But I also grew up a big fan of artists like Peter Gabriel, the Police, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Bruce Hornsby, Ray Charles, Louis Armstrong, Daniel Lanois, John Scofield, and Rush, just to name a few. So I draw on all of that, and I try to write lyrics and music that have an emotional as well as intellectual impact. Then I throw in some harmonica for good measure.”

Johnson has become a true harmonica master, utilizing a unique and difficult technique known as “overblow,” which allows the diatonic harmonica to be played as a fully chromatic instrument. He is one of a small group of players who can do this. He also utilizes digital effects to expand the sonic palette of the instrument, and he counts such harmonica masters as Toots Thielemans, John Popper, Howard Levy, Stevie Wonder, and the late Chris Michalek as major influences. Yet Johnson sees the harmonica as just one piece of what he does musically.

“I've always felt most influenced by artists who are kind of what I would call triple-threats,” says Johnson. “They sing well, they play at least one instrument very well, and they write great songs. I take each of these three parts of the equation as seriously scott albert johnson as any other part. I also feel most in-tune with artists who kind of are ‘their own genre,’ borrowing from many different kinds of music.
I hope my music reflects that."




He likes most the 1847 SILVER harmonicas which he uses now exclusively for his live performances!


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