Billy John (left) and the 11 O’Clock News Band
Los Angeles – It’s always a beautiful thing when a dream comes to fruition. Just ask veteran music man Billy John. The release of his debut CD is the embodiment of a life long dream for him. So much so, that he titled it, “Never, Never, Never Give Up” because at times he felt like felt it was never never gonna happen.
But John’s diligence and persistence has paid off as his “Never, Never, Never Give Up” release on Saraleta Records is the melodious concoction of years of music brewing and stewing in his veins. With “Never, Never, Never Give Up” he transports us with bluesy, R&B originals that hearken roots steeped deep and smothered in soul.
The opening “Make My Day” is “Never, Never’s” celebration. John’s vocals recall the timbre of soul men like Al Green and Bobby Womack. His husky tone rides an r&b beat that bounces off the four walls of a south side dive, where the patrons just bask in the joy off a simple reprieve at the neighborhood bar. “Lil Moma” is a rockabilly joint that finds John celebrating the virtues of a southern bred woman who has real survival game. On “Love Is Blind” John takes it tender with a love lullaby that twangs the heart chords with rhythmic cadence. With “Missin’ You” John breaks down the tribulations of a love affair whose effects still linger.
Billy John is the product of original bluesmen. Hailing from Evansville, Indiana, R&B, gospel, blues and jazz framed his early beingness. Legendary artists like Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, James Brown, Jackie Wilson and Bobby “Blue” Bland flavored the musical streams of data flowing his way.
His wake up call occurred when visiting his grandmother is Arcola, MS. His grandmother, Willie Hinton, was the aunt of ’60’s R&B legend Joe Hinton, who’s hit single, “Funny” was riding the charts. John took full advantage of his proximity to a musical legend and soaked up the energy.
Music continued to surround Billy John upon his return home. He went on to take up the piano and later the banjo, then drums as he continued his pursuit of all things music. Today John is a season professional who has mastered his craft. For over 25 years now, his musical styling’s have literally taken him around the world and he has shared the stage with some of the same legends he once idolized.
“Never, Never” is his reminder to himself and his gift to us. “This project represents a lot of promises and broken dreams,” recalls John. “But the perseverance to push on, regardless of the many obstacles is the ultimate lesson. And I am happy to be a student that has so far, passed all the tests.”
Never say never again. Check out Billy John at http://www.billyjohn.net and pick up “Never, Never, Never Give Up” online at CDBaby.com, Amazon.com, ITunes or wherever online music is sold.
Billy John will embark on a promo tour in support of his CD, stopping in Memphis, TN on July 14 and 15; Jackson, MS, July 16,17, 18; then Houston, TX the week of July 21; and returning to his hometown of Evansville, IN from August 11 through 13.