Quality Ideas

"What drives you be so productive?” 

Johnny: I think I'm becoming more fruitful in my, uh, venerable years, and let’s face it; at some point in time you feel like you’re running out of it! I also feel like…

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Drawn To Soulful Singers

"Who did you want to sound like when you were growing up, when you started singing?" 

Johnny: I don't know if I wanted to sound like anybody. I knew I could sing, but I for the longest time…

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Communicating With Backup Singers

"How do you communicate what you want to hear from a backup singer?" 

Johnny - Well, for starters, I always have printed lyrics for the vocalists, and for most folks that becomes their 'scrawling pad’…

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Singing At Home

“Are you constantly singing when you're at home?” 

Johnny: Yeah, sort-of, but probably not how one would imagine. It’s mostly in my head and it’s more like constantly working; both the blessing and curse of this musical obsession…

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Don't Let The Machines Control You

"What do you think about the advance of technology and the reliance on things like Pro Tools?” 

Johnny: So for those who don’t know, 'Pro Tools’ is a digital recording platform that has virtually replaced analog tape recording…

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No Formula

Regarding songs I write for myself or outside artists, there's no formula. If I come up with a good lyric, I'll try and wrap suitable music around it. If I have a strong musical idea I can’t live without…

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The Goal

Good stories or heartbreakers . . . If I can put into words what someone else can't say themselves, I've done what I set out to do.

Unfinished Songs

Some songs just come out, you know? Pow! It's wonderful. And others . . . well, I've got some great hooks, lyrics and music from 15-20 years ago that I've never finished, but it looks like I’ve got a…

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Vocal Character

I suppose I’m overstating the obvious when I say everyone's voice changes over time, and this occurs throughout our lives. Mine has definitely roughened up a bit. It's got more character than it used to have, and it's actually…

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It Started As A Warm Up

HLN's a cappella got its start with us singing our favorite R&B ‘oldies’ backstage just to warm up the voices before shows. I’d been making little home demos of my favorite tunes for years, so this was a natural…

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Discovering My Character

"How have you changed as a singer over the years?" 

Johnny: I think my voice finally grew up. I actually couldn't stand the sound of my own voice for a number of years, probably why I didn't become…

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My Audio Obsession

Sometimes I'll think of a song and I’ll go put the record on . . . I have about 500 LPs. Then I’ll pull the same song up on the internet, or maybe get the CD out. I only…

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