Wonderful Johnson
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Wonderful Johnson


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The best kept secret in music


"Clubs jam with Wonderful Johnson"

By Jill Schaus 05/12/2004

The band Wonderful Johnson has fans rocking throughout Southwest Florida, with their original music and high energy performances.
Submitted photo
From its name to its music, and everything in between, Naples-based band Wonderful Johnson is one-of-a-kind.

Established only nine months ago, the five member group has fans flocking to clubs throughout Southwest Florida eager to jam to the original tunes written by Tim McGreary, lead vocalist/acoustic guitarist.
Writing music is as natural as breathing to McGreary. At the age of 5, he would play his piano lessons for the instructor, then perform a song he wrote.

"I write every day because I have to," he said. "It's a place for me to vent my emotions and feelings when I see things at my job and in the world."

McGreary's job as a flight medic/firefighter puts him in the midst of tragic, humorous and heroic situations, all of which offer ideas for his music. He spent two weeks at Ground Zero, following the 9/11 attacks. From that "life-changing experience" several songs were born.

"You live life and you write about what you live," said Doug Carman, who performs on guitar, lap steel guitar, keyboards and vocals. Carman moved to Naples from Nashville, Tenn., last summer. Music has always been an integral part of Carman's life. He has been part of bands since the age of 13. During much of the 1990s, he worked the clubs in Nashville as a sideman and musical director, but focused mainly on songwriting.

Jim Cloney and Dan Wolkoff bring an eclectic music background to the group, along with knowledge from careers in computers, Web design and television production. Cloney plays bass, Wolkoff, guitar and keyboards, and both are vocalists. John "Chopper" Doria creates an electric energy on drums.

Keeping with the distinctive style, McGreary wanted an upbeat name for the band. The inspiration came from a man whose legal name is Wonderful.

"The whole idea of Wonderful Johnson was an affirmation," said Carman.

Combining the styles of jazz, rock, funk and country, Wonderful Johnson has carved a unique niche for itself. McGreary said they're trying to cater to the 25 to 60 age group.

"I think there's a huge void because no one is writing for them," he said.

McGreary's non-stop song production keeps performances fresh. Carman helps with the arranging.

"Doug helps polish it up," said McGreary. "It's been a real good match."

The band soon hopes to feature some of Carman's songs as well. The goal is to create a variety of music that's long-lasting, music that gets people singing and dancing.

In less than a year, the popularity of the group is fast growing, and the future looks bright. Performance venues have stretched to include Florida's east coast, Gainesville, Tampa and Orlando. Songs have been picked up by television and movies as well, including the shows Smallville, Glory Days, and an independent film called One Happy Movie.

The group will perform at U.S. Vet Aid in Atlanta on Sept. 11, along with Badfinger, Kansas and Bob Stiger. The fund-raiser benefits families of veterans. In addition, the band is sending out new demos in hopes of landing a record deal.

"We want to be the next big thing in Florida," said McGreary. "There's a lot of room for this music."

Wonderful Johnson's first CD, Authentic Memphis Samich, continues to receive rave reviews and radio airplay throughout the country. One CD was purchased by an individual in Japan. A second CD is in the works and likely will be released in June or July.

"The things that are happening with the band are unbelievable," said McGreary.

Some of the band's performance venues include Ridgeport Pub, Bamboo Dance Club, Gotham Hall, Jimmy's Roadhouse, Borders Book Store, Dwyers Pub and Disney's Pleasure Island. Upcoming performances include:

* Disney's Pleasure Island ­ May 18-22

* Dwyers Pub, Fort Myers ­ June 4 and 5

* Foxboro, Naples ­ June 25 and 26.

For more information, visit www.wonderfuljohnson.com. CDs are available at www.cdbaby.com or www.amazon.com.

©Naples Sun Times 2004
- Naples Sun Times

"Wonderful Johnson is rock with a superlative edge"

By ELIZABETH WENDT-KELLAR, ehwendt@naplesnews.com
March 12, 2004

We come now to the wonderful story of a wonderful band: Wonderful Johnson.

If "wonderful" seems overused, it is because other adjectives need not apply.

Wonderful Johnson is wonderful, and not only in name. They play wonderfully, perform wonderfully and — most wonderful of all — write original songs wonderfully. But because words tend to lose their meaning and sense when repeated (try it with "purple" when you have a moment), I'll summon some other words of praise to describe the work of the five-person Naples band.

Words such as "stirring" and "distinctive."

In a play list that is strongly driven by the original work of lead vocalist and songwriter Tim McGeary, fans will find ballads that aren't overt ballads. They'll find rocked-up, ready-for-radio-single-status songs, complete with memorable hooks.

They'll find songs about some unnamed "she," a woman with whom love has an epic air to it. That epic feeling runs throughout the band's songs — a sense of unwavering resolve.

As for the actual sound of the songs, though, that varies. That's McGeary's plan.

Too often, he says, bands develop one specific style. Wonderful Johnson wants to stay away from that, McGeary explains.

"Not every song has to sound like every song," he says.

Lending their voices to that deliberately undefined Wonderful Johnson sound are Doug Carman, Dan Wolkoff and Jim Cloney. Cloney also plays bass; Wolkoff also plays guitar and keyboard; and Carman also plays guitar, lap guitar and keyboard. On drums is John "Chopper" Doria. McGeary also plays acoustic guitar.

In performance, the band swings easily between song styles.

On "I Want Your Number," McGeary gives his rock take on one of the sacred rites of dating. But then the band follows with "Cry," one of those non-ballads ballads, where McGeary repeats the line "I never let you see" with more and more urgency and woe.

The band wants to write and perform songs that people can connect with, McGeary says.

"I want to connect, not just musically, but emotionally too," he says.

On "Open the Doors to Heaven," McGeary asks "open the doors to heaven/open the doors quickly this time/open the doors to heaven/ I got a good friend coming by."

This, more than some of their other songs, is something listeners latch on to, McGeary says. It's a sentiment every one can relate to, he says, that wish that a friend could find a home in heaven.

(McGeary especially relates: The song was inspired by the loss of a young friend to cancer, but also by the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. A flight medic and firefighter, McGeary worked at the World Trade Center Ground Zero site following the attacks.)

On "Don't Mean a Thing," pronounced "thang," the Johnson boys add an unmistakable bit of blues to their rock, rolling out what quickly became my favorite of the set. With a great back beat, the song stands as one of the band's most inspired tracks.

But here are a few more words to describe Wonderful Johnson's music:

There's McGeary's self-description of the band's music — pop music with an edge. My own contributions would be evocative and irresistible — pop music with a superlative edge.

Next up for the band is working on a followup to the first album, "Authentic Memphis Samich." Some of the songs on that album have appeared on television programs; "17 Years Down" has appeared on two television shows on the WB network. Also, Wonderful Johnson will play with Badfinger and Kansas on July 3 and 4 in Atlanta. For other shows, visit the Web site www.wonderfuljohnson.com

- Naples Daily News


Authentic Memphis Samich CD - 2003
Songs Featured in:


Feeling a bit camera shy


Wonderful Johnson’s music is full of harmony with solid hooks and an edgy feel.
Lead singer and acoustic guitarist, Tim McGeary, formerly with The Rescue, was
signed in 1984 to A&M records. The Rescue was produced by Tony Mansfield
and recorded in London at Sarm East Studios. Their record was on Billboard’s
recommended list and the band toured extensively for two years with Billy Idol,
Missing Persons, Duran Duran and others.
Doug Carman, lead and slide guitarist, background vocalist and keyboardist, was
also busy in the mid 80’s with a band called Velvet Elvis, a jangly guitar band with a
record produced by Mitch Easter. Doug has linked up with Tim after spending most of
the 90’s in Nashville, Tennessee, where he focused on songwriting and worked as a
sideman and musical director.
The band is rounded out by Dan Wolkoff on keyboards, guitar & vocals, and melodic bass & vocal work of Jim Cloney, and the
powerful and spot-on percussion from John “Chopper” Doria, the group’s drummer
and the driving force behind the music that’s creating so much excitement every time
Wonderful Johnson takes the stage.