Bill Johnson
Guitarmania lX (2008), Calgary Bluesfest 2012

Considered one of Canada's top blues guitarists, Bill Johnson is a master of the form... in short, the man is a powerhouse who never fails to impress.

Bill, who's been called “Victoria’s Guitar Flame Thrower”, has spent a lifetime immersing himself in the blues. Aside from leading his own bands for many years, his fiery fingers have opened for the likes of Delbert McClinton and Otis Rush as well as played lead guitar for veteran bluesmen Dutch Mason, Son Seales, Donald Ray Johnson and Cash McCall, to name a few.

Johnson's style is strongly influenced by the blues of the forties and fifties but brings his own fresh take on that “jumped up” sound reminiscent of T-Bone Walker. He's known for his jazzy phrasing mingled with B.B King’s sweet gospel soul, squeezing the last juice out of a fresh picked chord.

Like many fine musicians Bill started playing as a child. influenced by the music he heard at home such as Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, and his brother's blues albums, by the age of 17 he was a working guitar player, fronting his own band and developing his singing chops.

Bill has released two albums under his own name, and received a nomination for the Maple Blues Guitarist of the Year Award in 2006.

“He’s a fine singer and his guitar playing is a rare mix of passion and musical clarity” Tim Williams

Bill Johnson