Folky, Country, Americana Roots Sound Coming to Chickasha
Johnson, Brown and West isn't the newest law firm in town, they are three musicians that have been playing together since the late 1970s. They bring their country rock sound to Chickasha Nov. 21.
Michael D. Johnson, Paul Benjamin Brown and John William West are scheduled to be in concert at 8 p.m. in Te Ata Auditorium on the USAO campus. The concert is free and the public is invited.
"I would say that most of our material is folky, country, Americana roots sort of stuff. Louis Armstrong once said 'there's only two kinds of music, good and bad.' We play the good kind," Johnson said.
"We have been playing together since the late 70s, sometimes not for months or years at a time, but when we do get together, we settle into our signature tunes with ease. Even if the version we are doing isn't just like we played it last time, it's alright because it keeps everything fresh and exciting."
The group members have been playing since the 1950s and 60s. "Now we are starting to reach the age thing -- we are all over 50," Johnson said.
Johnson was classically trained on the piano. "I discovered it is very hard to be in the high school marching band if you are just a piano player." Johnson took up trumpet before moving on to lower bass in junior high at Jenks.
"And then the British Invasion groups exploded on the scene. Bass just wasn't cool anymore. You had to be the guitar player or the drummer to catch the eye of all those pretty girls." Johnson learned the bass guitar. "It had fewer strings and Paul McCartney played bass. So, here it is nearly 40 years later and it is as much fun now as it was in the beginning," Johnson said.
"Paul Benjamin Brown is the rhythm guitar player and one fine singer. He has that smooth silky quality to his voice when he cuts loose on a tune. He always makes you want to hear more," Johnson said. Brown is from the Tulsa area.
Jon William West is the song-writing master behind the group, Johnson said. "Jon has been singing and playing guitar since he was smitten by Dylan and Neil Young and the rest of the folk movement of the turbulent 1960s. He has a variety of styles he likes to play, so you can never tell what song is up next." West was a student at the Oklahoma College of Liberal Arts (now USAO).