Victor Johnson
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Victor Johnson

Band Pop Singer/Songwriter

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"Victor Johnson - Parsonage Lane"

From Southeast Performer Magazine, August 2004

Reviewer -Shawn M. Haney

With the warm endearing feel of Latin jazz, and enlightening folk-pop, Victor Johnson spins out melodies and poetic messages with genuine heart and wit on the breathtaking Parsonage Lane. The opening track, "Heavenly Eyes" is somber and romantic, a perfect love ballad to help the record begin to flow. The listener can be engaged in awe of Johnson's daring group of backup musicians. You'll hear the soprano sax of Stuart Reinhardt, the dynamic percussive rhythms of River Guerguerian, and Chris Rossser playing a riveting bass. In "Real World," Reinhardt brings charm and energy to Johnson's dazzling poeticisms with bright flute passages, delivering the following message: "Life is for Living." Johnson's songs are versatile, with melodies reaching a colorful palette of feelings, striking a variety of emotions, from the somber, the sad, to the uplifting and spiritual. Be sure to catch the haunting emotional lift of Parsonage Lane, a song reflecting on home, friends and laughter, even during times of isolation and distress. Ron Clearfield offers the uncanny bliss of an enchanting cello in the album's title track. "Carolina" is a lush and beautiful song written by Johnson in dedication and gratitude to James Taylor, who is a major influence. "Master of the Ring" gives the record a much-needed lift, as this up-tempo tune is carried gracefully by harmonies, and the magical poetry of this artist. The album is full of great compositions but lacks the quality and staying power of a radio-friendly hit. Still, I'm sure Victor Johnson is satisfied with his work, in which a powerful vision becomes a genuine reality. Everything on this album is delightful in terms of quality. The musicians contribute spontaneous, sophisticated instrumental work, with Johnson's strength not only as a composer but a wordsmith and poet shining forth. Even the artwork, created by Janis Dunckel is compelling and dreamy, adding the right touch of atmosphere to the music and lyrics. Songs like "September Bride," "Scarlet," and "Sailing" point out the ease at which this artist excels. - Southeast Performer Magazine


Discography

Victor Johnson-Tangled (1998)
Victor Johnson-Parsonage Lane (2003)
Victor Johnson-The Beauty of a Soul (2010)

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Bio

With the warm endearing feel of Latin jazz, and enlightening folk-pop, Victor Johnson spins out melodies and poetic messages with genuine heart and wit on the breathtaking Parsonage Lane. The opening track, "Heavenly Eyes" is somber and romantic, a perfect love ballad to help the record begin to flow. The listener can be engaged in awe of Johnson's daring group of backup musicians. You'll hear the soprano sax of Stuart Reinhardt, the dynamic percussive rhythms of River Guerguerian, and Chris Rossser playing a riveting bass. In "Real World," Reinhardt brings charm and energy to Johnson's dazzling poeticisms with bright flute passages, delivering the following message: "Life is for Living." Johnson's songs are versatile, with melodies reaching a colorful palette of feelings, striking a variety of emotions, from the somber, the sad, to the uplifting and spiritual. Be sure to catch the haunting emotional lift of Parsonage Lane, a song reflecting on home, friends and laughter, even during times of isolation and distress. Ron Clearfield offers the uncanny bliss of an enchanting cello in the album's title track. "Carolina" is a lush and beautiful song written by Johnson in dedication and gratitude to James Taylor, who is a major influence. "Master of the Ring" gives the record a much-needed lift, as this up-tempo tune is carried gracefully by harmonies, and the magical poetry of this artist. The album is full of great compositions but lacks the quality and staying power of a radio-friendly hit. Still, I'm sure Victor Johnson is satisfied with his work, in which a powerful vision becomes a genuine reality. Everything on this album is delightful in terms of quality. The musicians contribute spontaneous, sophisticated instrumental work, with Johnson's strength not only as a composer but a wordsmith and poet shining forth. Even the artwork, created by Janis Dunckel is compelling and dreamy, adding the right touch of atmosphere to the music and lyrics. Songs like "September Bride," "Scarlet," and "Sailing" point out the ease at which this artist excels. - Shawn Haney, Southeast Performer

In September of 2001, I flew to Boston for a weekend of music, festivities, and fellowship, centered around a common love for the music of Joni Mitchell. On September 3rd, I flew home from Logan airport to Atlanta, and experienced an incredibly beautiful flight that seemed almost heavenly. On September 10th, 2001 I wrote a song about my flight and the weekend called "Parsonage Lane", named after the street where the weekend took place. I posted the lyrics that night...the next morning was Sept 11th, 2001. For the next several months, I was haunted by how poignant the lyrics seemed now...

"...Yet I know I must soon go
To wander among the clouds
Where the roads go on forever
They always take me home"- Parsonage Lane

The following year I spent a year in Asheville, writing and recording a cd that would be eventually be called "Parsonage Lane." All of the songs reflect the beauty and the intensity of the people and places that inspired them. I feel a direct connection to the natural world that comes across in the lyrics I write. In April of 2002, I actually visited ground zero in New York city and spent several hours there, walking around Manhattan. That trip resulted in the song "Boomerang Love", about how all the love you send out, comes back around.

"How can you know that you are happy
If you've never been sad
If you never get lost, how can you ever be found?
All the love you give away, it will come back around."- Boomerang Love

After spending the last 4 years studying music at Georgia State University School of Music, I am working on a new project, including songs inspired by the birth of my son Coltrane. The title of the project is "The Beauty of a Soul" and each song explores the beauty of a soul, whether it be the soul of a love, a town, or that of a newborn baby.

I am influenced by artists like Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake, Stevie Wonder, Rush, and the Grateful Dead, all artists who have a unusual and unique quality to their musical voice.

I currently play solo jazz piano at the Atlanta airport's international concourse. Former clients include the Governor's mansion, Atlanta History Center, GSU Foundation, GSU College of Education, a Morehouse School of Medicine doctor, an Emory Law School dean, Atlanta Medical, among others. I am also a classically trained singer and can sing jazz, classical, and do cover gigs, including material from artists such as Dave Matthews Band, Stevie Wonder, U2, Tom Petty, James Taylor, Van Morrison, CSNY, etc...