Johnny G And The All Stars
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Johnny G And The All Stars

Columbia, Missouri, United States | INDIE

Columbia, Missouri, United States | INDIE
Band Blues Funk


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"The language of blues"

Spend a little time with the guys from Johnny G and the Allstars and you pick up on one thing quickly: Instruments in the blues world aren’t just used to play music - they’re used to communicate.

"Other bands don’t know how to allow the others to speak," said drummer John Walker, who at 28 is the band’s youngest member. "But that’s actually what happens with this band. We talk to each other, and we talk to the audience."

Asked what attracted him to the blues, Pablo Kohler added: "I like the feeling, the emotion behind it. I do most of my talking through my guitar."

A live recording of the band illuminates a little of what Walker and Kohler are talking about. At times, Kohler’s guitar can whine, coax and beg.

Johnny Gibble’s trumpet can gloat, and Bill Roe’s bass can grumble.

Kohler said the blues isn’t just about putting together music to dance to, although you can dance to it. It’s not just about sounding pretty or funky - though it can do that, too.

"The technique, of course, is great, but it’s the heart and soul behind it that you need," he said.

Johnny G and the Allstars is a four-piece that’s played for about five years, but the band doesn’t play in Columbia often. It often gigs in the Lake of the Ozarks area, where Gibble and Kohler live. Walker and Roe live in Columbia.

However, local blues fans will have the opportunity to see the band Saturday at Honest John’s Neighborhood Tavern & Grille, 1100 Vandiver Drive, and again March 13 at Big 12 Bar & Grill, 10 W. Nifong Blvd.

The performances come on the heels of the band’s recent performance in the International Blues Challenge on Beale Street in Memphis, Tenn. The band attended the competition after being named a finalist in a MO Blues Association blues-off at Mojo’s.

Gibble - or Johnny G - started the band in 1998 when friends asked him to play at an Imo’s Pizza in Osage Beach.

A former member of the Kansas City Street Band, Gibble decided to add "allstars" to his new band’s name because when he agreed to play at the pizza parlor, he didn’t have a lineup for the rest of the band.

"I got the gig before I had a band," he said. "I didn’t know who was going to be there."

The ensemble with Kohler, Roe and Walker came together fairly quickly. The chemistry seemed right, and the four have been playing together since.

Walker described the band’s sound as somewhat similar to Stevie Ray Vaughan’s and said it plays a combination of standards and originals.

"It’s more of a musical kind of blues," Walker said. "There’s movement most of the time."

It’s a misnomer that blues music is inherently depressing, said Roe, who plays in Columbia frequently as half of the duo Forté and Roe with Sutu Forté.

Actually, many blues songs can be quite uplifting, Roe said.

"A lot of the stories are about how tough life is, but it’s often done in a humorous way," he said.

Although maturity can be a disadvantage in rock ’n’ roll, it’s an asset when playing the blues.

"It’s not as age discriminatory as rock ’n’ roll," Roe said. "It’s a kind of music where having five kids and two jobs actually helps."

Kohler, 40, said he’s been playing the blues for 20 years.

"You draw on your personal experience and turn that pain into a positive," he said. "But it’s not that it’s always sad and depressing. It’s just life."

Gibble said he can’t imagine playing or singing another kind of music.

"I like the freedom of expression, projecting the way you feel or have felt at one time," he said. "Blues is the beginning - rock ’n’ roll and jazz sprang from it, and I think it’s where many musicians eventually return to."

Kohler agreed.

"I didn’t really choose the blues," he said. "It chose me."

- Columbia Daily Tribune

"Bluesmen battle on Beale Street"

Johnny G and The Allstars competes at the international level

The New Daisy Theater on Beale Street brimmed with blues fans at the International Blues Challenge’s jam in Memphis, Tenn., on Jan. 30, and stargazing fans got a fix of inspiration from mid-Mo bluesmen Johnny G and The Allstars.

Ninety-four competing bands made the 20th International Blues Challenge the largest one in the competition’s history. At the jam on Jan. 30, band members from each band rotated in two-song shifts throughout the evening. The band’s drummer, John Walker, and bassist, Bill Roe, were called on stage early in the evening at the jam. Roe and Walker are both Columbians, and the other two band members, guitarist Paul “Pablo” Kohler and vocalist and trumpeter Johnny G, both live at the Lake of the Ozarks. Roe, who has been a professional musician for 37 years, says that the jam was the most fun he had during the three-day competition in late January.

On Jan. 29, the first night of the Memphis competition, each band played a 30-minute set in a different club on Beale Street. Johnny G and The Allstars took its turn at Club 152. Each band in the competition bounced from club to club to watch other acts after their own performances. One club The Allstars visited was B.B. King’s Blues Club; King still frequently stops by to strum on Lucille when he’s not on tour.

Before tearing up Beale Street,

Johnny G and The Allstars spent five years playing the blues together in mid-Missouri. They play most often at the Lake of the Ozarks though they do occasionally play in Columbia. Walker thinks the band has played between 700 and 1,000 shows in the time they’ve been together.

Their music is primarily improvisational. “We usually add something or change something each time we play a song. And if it works, it’s awesome, and we keep it the next time we play,” Roe says. The Allstars usually start their shows by playing whatever comes to mind for the first 10 or 20 minutes. “It’s not a song,” Roe says. “It’s just whatever we feel like doing.”

Although Johnny G and The Allstars did not make the blues competition’s finals, just winning the regional championship to get to the Memphis competition was a huge accomplishment. For the band members, it’s not whether they win or lose, it’s that they keep on playing

the blues.

Even in the middle of winter, Johnny G and The Allstars is willing to brave a two-hour drive in a snowstorm to play a show at Donna’s Icehouse at the Lake of the Ozarks. “We might not even make it,” says Walker, “but we’re going to try.” As it turns out, the snowstorm held the band at bay that night, but the bluesmen were back at the Icehouse the next week to play another gig. Come rain, hail, fog or snow, they’ll do whatever it takes to play the blues. Go, Johnny, go.

- Columbia Missourian

"Johnny G and the Allstars perform at IBC in Memphis"

On October 28, 2007, Johnny G and the Allstars edged out close competition and were deemed by the panel of judges to be the best of the entries. Johnny G and the Allstars will represent LOTOBS in Memphis at the International Blues Challenge January 31 - February 2, 2008.
LOTOBS awarded a $1500 cash prize to the winning band.

For more information on the International Blues Challenge, visit
- Lake Ozark Blues Society Newsletter


Johnny G And The All Stars Tales From The Lakeside(2002)

Live At Franky & Louie's (2004)Please check website for music



Labeled by the media as the hardest-working band in the Midwest ,this band is influenced by and incorporates the sounds of a wide spectrum of artists not limited to, but including Stevie Ray Vaughn,Jimi Hendrix,Albert King, The Allman Brothers,Muddy Waters,Robert Johnson,and George Clinton.