Johnny Blackthorn

Johnny Blackthorn

 Oxford, Mississippi, USA
BandRockBlues

The Blackthorn Band offers up a funky blues roots rock explosion. Think Springsteen, Johnny Cash, and Chris Cornell in a room writing songs for Bob Dylan.

Biography

Hailing from the Mississippi delta, Blackthorn is a strong, intense songwriter and performer with a haunting voice that demands your ear. Blackthorn recorded his debut solo acoustic album, I Belong Here , in 1999. The following year was both exciting and challenging. During the birth of his debut CD, Johnny teamed up with talented blues guitarist Brian Fones, an established musician in the Richmond scene. Johnny's infectious lyrics and melodies and Brian's ghostly slide guitar quickly filled the acoustic venues and began to attract other musicians. The Johnny Blackthorn Band was soon formed and an original music mix influenced by the likes of the Allman Brothers, Pearl Jam, Jethro Tull, and The Band is the product. The Johnny Blackthorn Band was well received as they were playing eight to twelve times a month out at local Richmond and neighboring cities' venues. Johnny and the band made the decision to hire on management and chose Archangel Promotions to manage their burgeoning career.
It was the entrance of Dave Hill into Johnny's life that changed the course of the next four years. Dave had already made a name for himself as the drummer with a John Bonham kick in many local bands, but his genius as a producer and sound engineer proved to be just what Johnny was looking for. Johnny and Dave set to the arduous task of capturing their vision for Johnny's music. Resurrection by Degrees , recently released in October of 2004, is the product of their commitment to this vision.
Blackthorn's music is straight from the soul - his lyrics capture the strength and fragility of the human condition and band provides the musical warmth and intensity to carry them.
The Blackthorn band is unbridled, they play for one objective - to express their passion.

Lyrics

Goodbye Virginia

Written By: Johnny Blackthorn

I was arrested on a tuesday - stealing bread for pay
Doing time at a job that I didn’t like
They said, "hey, boy, your gonna reform - you gonna have to comply
And by the way you get thirty days in the county jail"
So I came home weary from the court that day
My future was a bright…hazy grey
And all I could think about while I was dressed in orange and black was:

Goodbye Virginia you aint gonna get me down
You got your thirty days but you don’t get me
Yea, goodbye virginia - you aint gonna take me in alive

Well now, oddly enough it was a Tuesday
When I was released to my own personal disgrace
I said, "Hey bossman, you aint ever gonna see me again
You sure taught me a lesson, Sir…then I smiled when I shook his hand
Then the first thing I did - after I stole a car
Was to hook up with my source - and then I commenced
I was stoned and pure - chasing my desire
When I blew across the border of that Virginia state line….singing

Goodbye Virginia, you aint gonna get me down
You got your thirty days but you don’t get me
Yea, goodbye Virginia - you aint gonna take me in alive - no way

Now, I been on the run for bout thirty days - my candle here is burning low
And I'm seven hundred miles from Sunset Boulevard
This life is a cage with it's golden bars
It seems I wont be discovered on this playground
Cause all I had to say when those blue lights came
Was - "Hey bossman, don’t touch the hair…and the name is Johnny B"

And goodbye Virginia - you aint gonna get me down
You got your thirty days and you don’t get me
Yea goodbye Virginia you aint gonna take me in alive no way
Yea goodbye Virginia you aint gonna take me in alive - no sire, no way

Canyons on the Moon

Written By: Johnny Blackthorn

“Something is calling us home”
“Hey we’ve got to go where the North Winds blow”
Said the Spirit to the Soul
Soul said…“That’s a mighty long way to go”

And Spirit said, “Well you can stay here Soul, but I say we must go”
“Cause if we stay here we’re gonna die and that’s all I need to know”
Soul said…“That may be true but I’m so damned confused”

And Spirit said…“You know as well as me where we belong is on
The Canyons on the Moon”
“Yea where we belong is on the Canyons on the Moon”

“Well hey I’ve got the beggers’ blues from wearin these graveyard shoes”
Spirit cried…“I know me too”
“And I may not know where to go – but you can count on this”, said Soul,
“I will follow don’tcha know”

“I say we are a part of a bigger plan”, said Spirit with a smile
“It lies just on the other side of right and wrong”

Then with the thundering sound of the mission bell
I saw Spirit and Soul walking out of a crowd
Sick and tired of a two-bit truth – they were wiping the dust off their boots
Lepers in a ghost town they said,
“We aint going out lying down”
And the only time you see them now is every once in a while
On the Canyons on the Moon – Yea now once in a while on the
Canyons on the Moon….hey

I’m gonna find the Canyons on the Moon
I’m gonna find my freedom…on the Moon
Yea I’m gonna find my freedom
Gonna find my freedom, yes I am
I’m gonna live above rejection
I’m gonna live a life full
I’m gonna find my freedom, yes I am
Destiny is calling me to the
To the Canyons on the Moon

Desire of a thin Man

Written By: Johnny Blackthorn

I don’t wanna be - at the alter of my yesterday's…and feel regret
And I don’t wanna be the one - who walked away from his Destiny
Cause he thought it was just a dream
And I don’t wanna be - the one who never had the faith
To question the very answers he was looking for
And I don’t wanna find - that I am just another saint
The saint…of Medocrity

So I will go behind the curtain - I will pay the price
I will deconstruct the images and I will survive
Because I can have assurance - that I am the innocent
Is that not enough?
And I can believe - the you inside of me
Cause my faith is where I dream - my faith is where I dream
My faith is a land of dream - my faith is a land of dream

Guitar/harp solo

I am the one who dared to say - that I can change the world
I am that one…I am the myth that I say I am
Yea I am the one who dared to say - that I can change the world
Because I am the myth that I say I am
Hey I am the one who dared to believe that I can change the world
Because I am the myth that I say I am
And I am the one who stepped away - I took hold of a Desire
I am broken…yet beautiful

So I will go behind the curtain - and I will pay a price
I will deconstruct the images - and yes, I will survive
Cause I can have the assurance - that I am the innocent
Is that not enough?
And I can believe - the you inside of me
Cause my faith is where I dream - my faith is where I dream
My faith is a land of dream…my faith is a land of dream

The very end of rainbow - could be a burning flame
But my faith is where I dream

Mississippi Mojo Queen

Written By: Johnny Blackthorn

There was a Mississippi mojo queen who put her voodoo on me
This Mississippi mojo queen, she put her voodoo on me
I ain’t been the same since – and somehow I know
I ain’t ever gonna be--

She could walk for miles in a slinky black dress and high heel shoes
Walkin’ long, standin’ tall wearin’ high heel shoes
All the time holdin’ a champagne glass and singin’ the blues

She could sing amazing grace with the fervor of a prostitute
or hum out a Joplin tune with an angel’s face
When I asked her what love was, she sounded so damn cool
She spoke ‘bout God’s grace then said
Hey my man, love is a danger game--

I told her baby I can’t go back into slavery
I said – Hey Babe, I can’t go back into slavery
She said honey you don’t know me as well as you might think

Then one day the sun came up and man I was feelin’ fine
She told me that she loved me -- and I knew somethin’ must be wrong
She went out for a camel’s and I never saw her again
Yea that girl went out for a pack of camel red’s and I never saw her again
I tell ya -- she was just enough fucked up to make her beautiful
That girl was just enough fucked up -- to maker her beautiful to me

And do you know that, that was when the voodoo kicked in on me
Yea man, that was when I lost myself and I had to find her again
That was when the voodoo began pumpin’ through my veins
Like a Mississippi mojo queen -- is gonna tend to do
Yea like a Mississippi Mojo Queen…is gonna tend to do
To you

Burning Rosary

Written By: Johnny Blackthorn

These memories...set my mind a burning flame
and each one is a rosary
The past is a funny thing...she'll keep you guessing all night long
thinking you can rub her deeds away
Somewhere between the doubt and the idea
there is a pool of possibility
Somewhere between the doubt and the idea
there is a pool

It only takes a thought that made it to a page
that you look back upon to prove you had the pain
And even though you don't regret you cannot douse the flame
for she is like the dawn that leads us to today
Where here I lay…
Somewhere between the doubt and the idea

This aching reminisce...of a long gone lullaby
is haunting me tonight
With a symphony of images...from ancient letters to torn up photos
She can make you believe that the Sun is just a lamp and the sky is green
Yea, Memory is a burning Rosary
Somewhere between the doubt and the idea
there is a pool

It only takes a thought that made it to a page
that you look back upon to prove you had the pain
And even though you don't regret you cannot douse the flame
For she is like the dawn that leads us to today
Where here I lay
Somewhere between the doubt and the idea

Now I don't know...what posses me to even try to analyze
What may have been – What IS – What's meant to be
And the Big time – What IF
Well I suppose that I always feel like I'm just one point of view away
When she's singing to me
Somewhere between the doubt and the idea
there is a pool of possibility

You know it only takes a thought that made it to a page
That you look back upon to prove you're not the same
And even though you don't regret you cannot douse the flame
For she is like the dawn that leads us to today
Where here I lay....

Slave to the System

Written By: Johnny Blackthorn

Hey I disagree with the things I see that take place in the world before me
But talk is cheap and my words are weak if I be led down the wide road of society

The very deeds that I used to hate now reflect upon my face
And the lifestyle that I once dispised now shines forth in my eyes
As each day passed I grow close till soon I become
A Slave to the System

The more I buy – the more I sell – the more I need
Till I’ve sold myself
And what a price this is to pay for my self-respect and my dignity

You know the enemy that you cannot see is dressed up in decency
He’s a slow movin devil – he’s a killin machine
And he goes by the name of complacency
So when the credit rolls in and your life’s in debt
You know you have become a
Slave to the System, Yea a Slave to the System

So say what you will about the way I live
But I just can’t take big brother’s deal
Do we not partake in deeds of darkness
With our apathy and rationalization

You better watch out brother if you think you’ve won
You just may be a Slave to the System
Yea you better watch out sister if you think you won
You just may be a Slave to the System

Yeah a Slave to the System
I’m a Slave to the System

Hard Love

Written By: Johnny Blackthorn

Ive searched the world over from pleasure to pleasure
But I always seem to end up in bad weather
So I take a moment to gather my thoughts
Over the many miles ive crossed
My mind begins to wander just to avoid the Thunder
Where am i going, where the hell did i just come from
Suddenly I see that I am in an Odyssey
Searching myself once more

Chorus:
Tears like a poem are spoken down my face
My heart is upon a fire
I am face to face with the fear in me
To love myself…takes a Hard Love

Now I'm caught up in a dream, lying in a meadow
Peacefully secluded from daily confusions
I’m laid out on the grass beside a winding river
And i look down to see my reflection
Deceiving and cheating—lying and theiving
Transgressions and all kinds of temptations
Are all imprisoned within my reflection like a billion grains of sand in an hour glass

Chorus:

Now I am awake – driven by a dream
I can see the ambers of a fire passed away
Centered in the aftermath I see a figure
Just waltzing beside a winding river
With this revelation I threw my body to the ground
I gave everything I had away
And to my amazement I walked out of the storm upon a new foundation

Tendered Angels

Written By: Johnny Blackthorn

Baby, when I look into your eyes
I can see the journey of a painful time gone by.
Baby, when you touch me I can feel the yearning of an angel
tendered by a thousand tears.

But it's when I hold you in the soft light,
That's when I know we're gonna make it,
This life ain't gonna burn us blind.

Now, I don't profess to understand the struggle that we may go through,
But if we look our battles in the face they cannot break us in two.
There is a calm, there is a forgiveness, a milk and honey land.
We've both got lights to see the way, if we let 'em shine.

Baby, I sometimes wonder how life can get to a place
to leave us all alone haunted by our own desires.
But I see people hurt each other so and they call it love,
But that's not what we will find as long as we decide

That we do not profess to understand any struggle that we may go through.
And if we look our battles in the face, they cannot break us in two.
There is a calm, there is a forgiveness, a milk and honey land.
We've both got lights to see the way,
if we let 'em shine,
if we let 'em shine,
let 'em shine.

Just let your light shine.
Let it shine, into a paradise.
And when you feel that little girl within, but she slips away,
I'm gonna spread my heart and let my light shine
down over you.

Siege of Vicksburg

Written By: Johnny Blackthorn

Goin down my hometown - felt like yesterday
Like a two-time war old cannonball of forgotten memory
I's livin off the way of life that I'd been told would save my soul
Sixteen and goin on Thirty-three

Yeah I was the boy with a better day - Bought outright, No doubt
Promised unto me
By a voice that just would not let me be
But I was brought up in a town that taught me how to dance
And soon I fell away
to the Self-degredaded logic born out of Original Sin

And there's been a many of these old downtown monkeys on my back
There's been a multitude of chaotic details at the city gates
And I'm drivin into Babylon and I aint gotta care
But to bring the Siege of Vicksburg to an end
Gonna bring the Siege of Vicksburg to an end
And the river can flow unvexed...I shall never live in fear again

Anyway I'm goin down my hometown - doin the carpenter to King thing
It's a Versace state of mind I'm in
That radiates my walk - I been the dancin stranger for way too long
So pull up a chair, Anxiety - I'm gonna kick you to the curb
Ya never did know who I was - Hello -
You never will
So here I am, come get me - down on Mission 66

Singing bout the many of these old downtown monkeys on my back
And the multitude of chaotic details at the city gates
But Hey I'm drivin into Babylon and do you know I aint got a care
But to bring the Siege of Vicksburg to an end
Gonna bring the Siege of Vicksburg to an end
Pull off the guards and step away - the river is now gonna flow unvexed
And I shall never live in fear again

For the Siege of Vicksburg is at an end

Goodluck & Goodbye

Written By: Johnny Blackthorn

So many burning bridges in my past
Like demons after innocence they set my soul afire
Questions tower over me like shadows over light
Bringing darkness to the revelation eyes of a child

And to mine eyes have been revealed the evil of this world
Like a criminal on a playground I just don’t fit in
Well you could drift to sleep as your heart beats to a gypsy melody
But never feel the spirit dance like the sun across the sea

Now I can't dance in this voodoo trance you have caste upon my soul
I'm spellbound on evil ground so far from my home
And it's time for me to fly to higher ground
Yea it's time for me to fly…higher ground

And for those of you left behind
It's GoodLuck & Goodbye…GoodLuck&Goodbye
Cause I was born to fly
GoodLuck & Goodbye, GoodLuck & Goodbye
And I will catch you somewhere across the sky

One way tickets to paradise lay torn upon the floor
And the resurrection train don’t run round here nomore
Freedom, Love and Passion, baby, they wont save the world
An empty word is like a beautiful church built upon the sand

And all I've ever tried to do was Love just a little bit
Have I caste aside so many pearls of price to fall into some kind of trap
I've wished upon every falling star till the sky faded to black
But I was wastin time on an empty sky puttin scars across my back

Now I can't dance in this voodoo trance you have caste upon my soul
I'm spellbound on evil ground so far from a heavenly home
And it's time for me to fly to higher ground
It's time for me to fly to higher ground

Yea, flyin on the prowl like a midnight falcon
Till I reach the other side of this lonely mountain
And as I fly I cannot look back cause chasin me is the MojoMan
And for those of you who are left behind…
It's GoodLuck & Goodbye…GoodLuck & Goodbye
Yea GoodLuck & Goodbye, GoodLuck & Goodbye
It's gonna be all right
GoodLuck & Goodbye
And I will catch you somewhere across the sky

Discography

Debut solo album, "I Belong Here", released in Fall of 1999
Full length band album, "Resurrection By Degrees", released Fall of 2004

"Mississippi Mojo Queen" was the number one song in the state of Virginia at MP3.com within a month of the debut CD release. "Canyons on the Moon", also on the debut CD, receives radio play at many folk radio stations in the states and abroad.

Singles, "Take a Walk with Me" and "Siege of Vicksburg" are already in the rotation at college radio stations in the states.

Both Albums are available at any of the online stores.

Set List

"I Belong Here"
1. Highway Traps
2. Mississippi Mojo Queen
3. Goodbye Virginia
4. Canyons on the Moon
5. Slave to the System
6. Threshold
7. I Will Take it All
8. Take a Walk With Me
9. The Sabbath
10. Visions

"Resurrection by Degrees"
1. Detached
2. Abandonment
3. Take a Walk with Me
4. Goodbye Virginia
5. Mississippi Mojo Queen
6. Desire of a Thin Man
7. If Everything Falls Apart Right
8. Burning Rosary
9. Siege of Vicksburg
10. Antichrist Over Coffee
11. Scarecrow
12. Tendered Angels

A typical setlist for Blackthorn is an erray of original music. Johnny has over 80 original songs in his bag of tricks and offers up covers from Dylan, Pearl Jam, Springsteen, Elvis, Van Morrison, Beck, Cash, STP, Zepplin, and many others.
A typical set can often exceed 4 hours