Pat Johnson
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Pat Johnson

Band Americana Acoustic


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


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solo releases:
CD Wellsprings of Hope - Phonograph- 1991 USA
7" Wellsprings of Hope - Another Train Blues 1993 USA
CD Mooner 1995 Germany
CD Invisible Juan 1997 Germany
CD Famous Butterflies 2004 USA
CD October Moon 2005 USA


Feeling a bit camera shy


Pat Johnson has been writing, recording, and performing his own remarkable style of music since the early 1990s. His first release, under the name Wellsprings of Hope, teamed him with such diverse musical icons as Chris Cacavas (Green On Red), Ralph Carney (Tom Waits) and Penelope Houston (Avengers). Pre-dating the Alt Country movement by several years, Pat's songs for the Wellsprings ran the gamut from rustic and rowdy to smooth and soulful. The british magazine Bucketful of Brains commented that The Wellsprings of Hope "Phonograph" CD "drilled down into the bedrock source of American roots music, far below the fickle roots of fashion…" and the Guardian's Kurt Wolff wrote that Johnson "has red-dirt country and roots-rock blood pumping through his veins."

The Wellsprings split in 1993 after another single and several contributions to various tribute compilations, including Conmemorativo: A Tribute to Gram Parsons on Rhino Records. Johnson continued to write and record with Penelope Houston and others before relocating to Germany, where he recorded the stunning Mooner LP. Critics across Europe wrote that Johnson had earned a place in the pantheon of great songriters that includes Leonard Cohen and Van Morrison. His soulful singing brought home Mooner's theme, that of the wandering soul in an increasingly hard edged world. He toured extensively around Germany and Scandinavia, performing solo acoustic sets that kept audiences enthralled.

Upon his return to San Francisco, and after a subsequent tour of Europe with a handpicked band of jazz musicians, Johnson returned to the studio to record Invisible Juan. Hearkening back to his late eighties work with art rock legends Royal Trux, Pat exchanged his roots music influences for a more experimental sound. Combining lo-fi electronics with Dylanesque song imagery, the result was very original sounding, but nearly impossible to duplicate onstage.

Between 1999 and 2001, Pat dedicated his time to songwriting and performing with longtime collaborator Penelope Houston, and as part of The Rusty Nails, a rowdy country rock band he formed with Pete Gowdy (The Sugar King Boys) as a way to "stay true to my country roots." In 2002 he formed The Maydays, with Gowdy, Alec Palao (The Sting Rays, The Sneetches) and Ron Silva (The Crawaddies). A full fledged rock band with strong 60s influences, The Maydays first single on Flare Records features two Johnson originals and has drawn critical praise from across the pond and at home alike.

In 2004 Flare Records released a rarities CD containing tracks from all periods in Pat Johnson's recording career, many never before released in the USA. Included in the collection are four newly recorded tracks featuring John Hofer (Mother Hips), Mike Therieau (The Loved Ones, Mover) and Gene Parsons (The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers) and Dave Gleason (Wasted Days).

Pat performs with various bands all over the world- he can be spotted onstage any week of the year with Penelope Houston, Dave Gleason's Wasted Days, MTB, Dave Insley's Careless Smokers, and his own band Pat Johnson and the New Sheiks. He is also "ringmaster" of the Jackpine Social Club songwriter showcase in San Francisco, a monthly round robin featuring some of California's best songsters. His new album, OCTOBER MOON, has just been released in the United States by DBK Works.