Julie Johnson & The No-Accounts

Julie Johnson & The No-Accounts

 Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

We bring new instruments and the influence of jazz, classical, blues, and hymns to soulful versions of Upper Midwestern traditional songs.


Watch a video of us recording "Gary's Polka" at Wild Sound Recording Studios in Minneapolis: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1857699562510


Based in Minneapolis, Julie Johnson & The No-Accounts is made up of Julie Johnson on flute and bass flute, Doug Otto on vocals and guitar, and Drew Druckrey on resonator guitar, vocals, and mandolin. We each bring the influence of jazz, classical, and hymns to our versions of traditional songs. We play the Delta blues tunes and traditional Southern standards that drew us to roots musicartists like Leadbelly, Howlin Wolf, and Skip Jamesbut also roots music from our own region, the Upper Midwest.

Along with originals, our set list includes a version of Leadbellys In the Pines influenced by music from Carmen; an arrangement for vocals, flute, mandolin, and bass clarinet of Bob Dylans little-known Winterlude; an old North Woods shanty boy (logging camp) song, The Little Auplaine; as well as polkas, waltzes, Mtis jigs, and a pioneer hymn from The Laura Ingalls Wilder Songbook.

Our versions of these Minnesota tunes (written primarily by band founder Julie Johnson, but developed by all three members of the band) cross back and forth between song and composition, popular and chamber music. Were influenced by many artists, including Skip James, Gillian Welch, Astor Piazzolla, Patty Griffin, Villa-Lobos, Bartok, and Robert Johnson.

Michael Walsh at City Pages speaks to our drive to experiment in a profile and review of our debut album, The Banks of The Little Auplaine, released in spring 2011. Describing the searing, supersonic jazz/classical fusion flute solos and a serious restlessness, a curiosity that shames most other self-proclaimed experimental bands out there, he calls our album unsettlingly intimate demanding of contemplation, and reward[ing] you with a beauty so honest it hurts.


The three of us share a connection to Augsburg Colleges music program, with its musically diverse faculty, and weve been collaborating for several years. Formed in the summer of 2009, Julie Johnson & The No-Accounts have played at The Cowles Center for Dance and The Performing Arts, The Kitty Kat Club, Bryant-Lake Bowl, Amsterdam Bar, Studio Z, The Black Dog Caf, MacPhail Center for Music, The Red Stag, The Fine Line Music Caf, Lees Liquor Lounge, St. Pauls History Theatre, and other bars, clubs, and festivals. In summer 2011 we were featured on the KFAI House Party at the 331 Club in Minneapolis, and played in the libraries, schools, and community centers of Western Minnesota on a tour supported by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. In 2010, the band made the stand-by list for the Austin, Texas music festival South by Southwest. Julie Johnson has played with groups as varied as the Minnesota Chorale and the Texas blues singer Dede Priest, while Doug Otto (of Doug Otto & The Getaways) and Druckrey (of The Jason Dixon Line), both veterans of the Augsburg College Choir, have also played together in bands such as The North Country Bandits.

Johnson featured Otto and Druckrey on Arrest, her 2008 album of compositions based on folk and street music from around the world, which received praise from Rift Magazine, 3-Minute Egg, The St. Paul Pioneer Press, and the Take Note feature at Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine, which called Arrest a fascinating experiment in using the flute to play such nonflute-like music as blues, jazz, flamenco, and folk. Said Tammy Reese at Rift, Johnson mixes contemporary and classical styles into a fine frenzy of idiosyncratic masterpieces . a talent that is sure to become a greater artist than she already has become.

DEBUT ALBUM: The Banks of The Little Auplaine

With help from a grant from The American Composers Forum, as well as a residency at the Lanesboro Arts Center, Julie Johnson & The No-Accounts premiered our first full recording of composition/songs based on Minnesota folk music at the Open Eye Figure Theatre in Minneapolis on April 1 & 2nd, 2011. The album is available on CD Baby at


* an arrangement of "Where Did You Sleep Last Night," by Leadbelly, arranged by Julie Johnson, released on Julie Johnson's self-produced CD *Arrest* (2008)

* The Banks of The Little Auplaine, full-length debut album, self-produced, available at

Set List

We usually do 45--60 minute sets, made up primarily of Julie Johnson's original composition/songs based on historic Minnesota folk tunes, but also arrangements of old blues and country songs and original tunes by all three members of the band. Below is a current typical set list.

1.) Red River Jig--Traditional Metis/ arr. Julie Johnson

2.) Hard Time Killin’ Floor--Skip James

3.) Cumberland’s Crew--Northern Minnesota Logging Camp Song/ arr. Julie Johnson

4.) Winterlude--Bob Dylan/ arr. Julie Johnson

5.) The Removed--Julie Johnson

6.) Round and Round--Doug Otto

7.) The Panther--Julie Johnson

8.) The Little Auplaine--Northern Minnesota Logging Camp Song/ arr. Julie Johnson

9.) Gary’s Polka--Norwegian Traditional/ arr. Julie Johnson

10.) The Home of the Soul--Minnesota Pioneer Hymn/ arr. Julie Johnson

11.) Waltz--Julie Johnson

12.) In The Pines/Where Did You Sleep Last Night--Leadbelly/ arr. Julie Johnson