The Johnnie Ninety-Nine Band

The Johnnie Ninety-Nine Band

BandAmericanaBluegrass

Like a disheveled railroad orphan with a six-shooter and a matching set from Tiffany's, Johnnie Ninety-Nine and her bindle of fables raft their way down both the frigid North Saskatchewan and the mighty Mississippi on a rough-hewn wooden door stolen straight off the hinges of the village church.

Biography

"Johnnie kicks her Bluegrass up a notch by creating sonic textures and atmospheres, resulting in songs that are felt as much as heard. You’ll dig it if you dig: Michelle Shocked rewriting the American Country Songbook with Daniel Lanois producing the session." -Brian Baker, City Beat (Cincinnati OH)

"Johnnie Ninety-Nine's voice is one of those that catches you off guard. Her youthful, smiling, slightly awkward stage presence disappears the moment she starts singing, and is replaced by a maturity and confidence that makes you sit up and take notice. She has a timeless quality that is as rustic and "old-timey" as it is fresh, young, and contemporary. The kind of voice that connects up the present with a line that draws back into the distant and dim past. It's a voice that demands attention, and then rewards the effort." -Adam PW Smith, Live Event Photographer (Vancouver BC) http://www.adampwsmith.com

Prairie girl Jobi "Johnnie" Mihajlovich has been playing music since she was big enough to crawl onto the piano bench in her parents' Albertan mobile home. By age 6, she was competing with music students more than twice her age at the provincial level in composition. Since then, she has eagerly attempted every aspect of the Muse she had an opportunity to explore, and has finally come full circle to an individual style heavily influenced by the Howlin' Wolf, Hank Williams, and Hendrix she was raised on.

Described by one slack-jawed onlooker as a union between Marc Bolan and Janis Joplin, Johnnie’s powerful voice and unique frailing slide style on the resonator banjo electrifies every room she plays. Ceaselessly inspired, she can also be found weaving keyed and choral tapestries with her brethren in emerging cosmic folk-rock group, Buffaloswans, or shooting bottle caps and gittin’ ‘er done with Shiloh Lindsey and her country blues outfit.

By January 2011, worn smooth by a year on the road and ready to plug in and crank up, Johnnie was back in the studio with long-time producer pal Luke de Villiers of hotshot reggae menagerie, Giraffe Aftermath. Tentatively titled, A Whole Box of Shells is a rustic twang of two players and one microphone that builds to the multilayered overdriven swamp sludge of wreckless modernity. It tastes of depression dustbowl thirst, quenched with back-forty moonshine, and taken on down to the dancehall.

In some circles, "johnny/ie" is a term of endearment. Johnny 99 is a rock solid Bruce Springsteen song. Probably thanks to some poor soul inspired by the first verse, a johnny ninety-nine is also a ruthlessly efficient beverage essentially using wine as a bed for a shot of gin. The Johnnie Ninety-Nine Band take a similar approach to their instruments, believing that high-proof music should be combined, not diluted. The music comes to life on the road, as this rogue gypsy navigates the highways and hayfields of North America to bring you some of the best that modern Canadiana has to offer.

Lyrics

Whiskey, Flow Like A River

Written By: Jobi Mihajlovich

I was born and raised of a prairie son
I spent all my days just waiting for the big break
Nobody ever told me the West had already been won
By a million, just a thousand miles too late
The man in rags made of listless golden tongues
He broke my back, he broke my heart, he broke my lungs
I'll only steal if I can't afford a meal
Somedays the bottle's the only friend who'll give me some

Whiskey, flow like a river
Sing me that faithful childhood song
They'll bury me like a stranger here
With that sweet Kentucky velvet on my tongue

I learned my trade for the surest way
I left a candle at the altar of the gods of getting paid
But there's nothing stops a chicken filling up on feed
And there's nothing keeps a rich man from his greed
Soon a day came that they near derailed the train
And a gentle wash reached a fever pitch and broke and backed right off
Now I'm only twenty-some, may as well be ninety-one
'Cause an honest gal can't get no honest work
In this city built on talk

Whiskey, flow like a river
Sing me that faithful childhood song
They'll bury me like a stranger here
With that cheap Tennessee velvet on my tongue

Oh Alberta, don't you fold your loving arms
I left a wake of discontent and a basement full of bones
The wrecking ball keeps swinging and the water's getting warm
And now they've burned it all, and there's no place left to go

So whiskey, flow like a river
To that childhood lost and gone
You're gonna bury me like a stranger
With that bottom-shelf homegrown premium

Two-Lane Blacktop

Written By: Jobi Mihajlovich

I left in the middle of the night
While you was sleeping on your side
The call it came and I couldn't stay
So I locked the dor behind me, chained the dog and slipped away
It was almost 2 AM when the car pulled up
And I had a half a pack of smokes in ashes on the curb
We left you just enough supply to take my place
But we took the guns, the drugs, a fast car and an old suitcase

The highway waits
Cut open wide with restless hold and solid yellow lines
Johnny's getting stoned while we take a break from the drive
So I loaded up the .44 and shot out the tail lights

Remember, you and I stood at the tracks
You curved that outlaw mouth into a crooked smile and slicked your engine-grease hair back
And told me "Girl, don't drop an anchor in me:
I ain't no ocean's floor"
I thought you were just being funny
'Cause I'm a ship that never comes to port

The highway waits
Cut open wide with small town lights and burnt-out motel signs
Alice stays awake while Johnny drives
Those damn kids in the ditch slingshot rocks and busted the headlights

Suicide runs up at Big Horn
Empty out the glove box when you see the highway cops
If you hear her motor purr, it'll be the only way you'd know we're there
Like a fool shot in the dark, a black bullet hurtling towards the heart
Roll them windows down so we can feel the stars on our arms

I'd come back if you want me to stay
But I'm scared I'll become the ghost in your hall when the day dies
You're nervous like a green horse with twice as much room to run
But I'll stick it out till my body rusts down and the dirt road race is done

The highway waits
It splits the orange sky
We play it off each time and sever half our ties
Johnny rests his head while we take a break from the drive
So you and I loaded up a half of the score and burned out our own eyes

Gunstreet Girl II

Written By: Jobi Mihajlovich

Past last call on the streetcar, headed back downtown
Felt his hand on my arm so I reeled right around
And said "If yer lookin' for a fight, sir, I think you've found one"
He talked some trouble and his right fist swung
So I put my hand on my gun

Blam! Blam! Blam!
I'm a Gunstreet Girl, boys
Oh yeah

Bolt southwest on the freeway, the border was the finish line
Sun so hot folks is dropping like flies and the vultures don't seem to mind
I've got an open whiskey bottle on the backseat
A dimebag on the dash up front
When the sheriff pulled me over doin' 91
So I put my hand on my gun

Blam! Blam! Blam!
I'm a Gunstreet Girl, boys
Yes I am

Back up north to see my man after 6 weeks on the run
I called him from the road on the telephone to tell him that I'm coming home
He met me on the drive with a nervous smile sayin' "Baby, you're the only one"
I caught a blondie out the back door like a cat on fire
So I put my hand on my gun

Blam! Blam! Blam!
I'm a Gunstreet Girl, boys
Don't you know I am
Blam! Blam! Blam!
I shot him down
I'm a Gunstreet Girl, boys
Don't you mess around

Discography

Whiskey Pushin' EP [November 2009]
(at The Hive with The Buckin' Ladybugs)

Good Enough for Canada! EP [February 2010]
(at Designer Recordings with The Buskin' & Robbin' Band)

No Home Like Nowhere [June 2010]
(at Ogre Studios with The Hornets)

The Highway Ghost EP [August 2010]
(at Welcome to 1979 with The Good-Time Family Band)

FORTHCOMING:

A Whole Box of Shells [April 2011]
(at The Red Cedar House with producer Luke De Villiers)

True Grit, Cigarettes & Gasoline [Fall 2011]
(at Welcome to 1979 with The Good-Time Family Band)

Set List

Sets can be tailored to suit any slot.

Originals:
12 Gauge Shotgun
Nothin' At All
O Captain My Captain
Johnson City Sugar Shine Blues
Let Me Be
Adeline
Crimson Tide
Don't Need Nobody
Plains of Eve
Highway Ghost
Damn the Taxman!
Long Road to California
Get Yer Gun
Appalachian Farewell
When You Call, Lord
Knucklebones
Whiskey, Flow Like a River
Low Like Thunder
Gunstreet Girl II
You Won't Get Down
Dirt City Rebels
St. Theresa
For the Drifters
Space Between the Sounds
Two-Lane Blacktop
12 Dollar Blues
A Wicked Man
Cold Meadow
A Dollar or Two
Leland's Valley
Old Luther
Friendly Fire
Ricky
Tommy & Maggie
Winter Comes
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

Covers:
Paranoid [Ward/Butler/Osbourne/Iommi]
Why Don't We Do It In the Road [Lennon/McCartney]
Walkin' After Midnight [Block/Hecht]
Son of a Preacher Man [Hurley/Wilkins]
My Babe [Dixon]
Dirt Road Blues [B. Dylan]
Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You [B. Dylan]
Cocaine [J. Browne]
Angel From Montgomer