Calgary Bluesfest (2005, 2006, 2007), Guitarmania Vll (2006), Calgary Bluesfest (2009)
Johnny V forged his original fire-brand style of blues touring and performing internationally for more than three decades. The term "getting in your face" has never known a better illustration than when the "Vmeister" starts firing volleys of scorching guitar passages intertwined with his passionate vocals.
Like the original blues greats, it has not been an easy course for Johnny to chart in order to reach larger and more understanding audiences. It's his distinctive phrasing and monster guitar tones that make the V-man stand out. He's not a one trick pony or a flavour of the day, and has remained true to the form. You may hear hints of the great players he has studied, but his style is all his own and he understands the idiom right down to the tones, licks, and equipment. If you have ever witnessed one of his live performances, the first thing you notice is he always has the right sound for the song being played. Wherever Johnny V plays return engagements are the order of the day. If not acting as a headliner, it's not uncommon to find him sitting in, supporting, or providing back-up for renowned blues statesmen. He's garnered the respect of the genres finest artists and feels fortunate to have shared the stage with such luminaries as B.B. King, John Hammond, Otis Rush, Dr. John, Amos Garrett, Delbert McClinton, Pinetop Perkins, Eddy Clearwater, Sonny Rhodes, Frankie Lee, Larry Davis, Mighty Joe Young and Johnny Clyde Copeland to name a few. Johnny V is about the Blues. All his independent recordings have captured the attention of industry professionals globally, and been nominated for Juno awards on more than one occasion. Even the recordings he played on with Canada's blues godfather Richard Newell (AKA King Biscuit Boy) "Urban Blues Re;Newell" and Amos Garrett's "Third Man In" were both nominated for Juno awards. Fans of the blues know only to well that if Johnny V is in the house, the joint's going to rock. As world renowned bluesman John Hammond said "Johnny V is a hard working guy who really plays the Blues" Elder Chicago Bluesman Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater first noticed Johnny in 1986 and invited him to live at his home in Chicago and join the band. Eddy took Johnny out on the road to promote him to the blues audiences in the U.S. and Canada. In 1988 Eddy put up the initial capital for Johnny to start work on his first solo recording project. In 1989 Johnny released those recordings of ten original songs titled "Roosters and Hens" and won a Juno Award in 1991 for his song "I Need A Woman" from those sessions. Throughout the years that followed, Johnny pursued his own career gleaning many awards and recognition along the way. Then in September of 1998 Eddy Clearwater once again invited Johnny to Chicago to be part of his new band. Johnny accepted the offer and moved to Chicago, he performed with "The Chief" in clubs, theatres and festivals throughout the continental United States, Europe, and South America for almost a year, then in July of 1999 he accepted an offer to become a member of Billy Branch's band "The Sons of Blues" and continued touring the globe as part of the "SOB". He even welcomed in the new millennium at The Kingston Mines (Chicago's oldest and most famous blues club) performing with "The SOBs" on New Year's Eve. He remained with Billy until late January of 2000 when he was invited to fly to Riga, Latvia to groom and record with the Latvian Blues Band. He spent 7 weeks there teaching master classes and arranged, produced, mixed, and recorded a new CD called "Blues Party" released in late May 2000 on Laura Records. It was the first ever blues recording done in that country. He then was invited to Greece to perform with the original Louisiana Red (Iverson Minter). In 2001 Johnny spent almost 4 months in the Ukraine establishing himself and trailblazing a path for future bluesmen.
He is presently home in Calgary working locally while his son, a budding drummer, completes high school. He released an independent live CD in 2001 titled "Mustard and Relics" and in 2005 recorded and released the CD "Agonostically Eclectic" in order to keep his name out there while he focuses his attention on his son and attends to his responsibility as a father. As respected blues guitarist Dave Myers said "Johnny V can play man, he's deep, real deep"
Over the years Johnny has made several appearances at CBMA shows as part of the backing band for visiting blues legends including Sonny Rhodes, Zora Young and more.
This summer, Calgary Bluesfest fans will see Johnny acting as bandleader for his latest incarnation, the Recession Blues Band, featuring Johnny at the helm with his rippin' guitar, a world-class rhythm section, and a killer horn section led by Paul Ashwell.