Damon Johnson of Alice Cooper/Thin Lizzy/Brother Cane/Black Star Riders debuts his new project “Electric” on Nov-22nd!
Brother Cane, Alice Cooper, Whiskey Falls, Faith Hill, Sammy Hagar, Damn Yankees, Thin Lizzy, Black Star Riders
Johnson lived in Monroeville, Alabama during his grade school years. It was there that he became obsessed with guitar and formed his first garage band with other 8th grade friends, Pat Buskill, Mac Baker, Allen Nettles and Troy Dobbins. He later moved with his family to Geraldine, Alabama where he graduated high school, all the while playing in various bands in the northeast Alabama area.
An offer to join Split The Dark, an established band fronted by former members of the power-pop band Hotel, prompted Johnson’s move to Birmingham, Alabama in 1987. Split The Dark was a very popular act on the Southeast US college club circuit, and had won the MTV “Basement Tapes” competition in 1986 but failed to secure a record deal. He would later get his first taste of “bands with record deals” as the guitarist for the Atlanta, Georgia band Witness in 1988 and with the Memphis, Tennessee band, Delta Rebels, in 1989. During this time he also performed with the bands Chinatown and Chyld. It was with Chyld that Johnson garnered the attention of the A&R at Virgin Records. After securing a developmental deal in November 1990, the label eventually persuaded Johnson to take over the lead vocal position, and change the band’s name to Brother Cane.
It was Brother Cane that would bring Johnson genuine national notoriety. The band released three albums on Virgin Records (the self-titled debut which sold 250,000 copies, Seeds, and Wishpool) that would yield three #1 singles on rock radio (“Got No Shame”, “And Fools Shine On”, and “I Lie in the Bed I Make”). “And Fools Shine On” was also featured in the horror film Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. Brother Cane toured extensively as a headliner and also as a supporting act on tours by Van Halen, Aerosmith, Robert Plant, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Candlebox. After what Virgin Records considered an unsatisfactory yield for record sales, the band was released from their contract, and amicably disbanded in 1998.
Post Brother Cane
Some of Johnson’s other notable accomplishments are contributing songwriting and guitar duties to Sammy Hagar’s Marching to Mars album (1997), recording an all acoustic solo album of mostly his own compositions, (Dust – released in 2000), co-writing the song “Every Day” for Fleetwood Mac vocalist Stevie Nicks (released as the first single from her solo album, Trouble in Shangri-La in 2001), releasing albums with two different side projects (Slave to the System in 2001 and Red Halo in 2003) and playing electric and acoustic guitars on Faith Hill’s smash hit single, “Cry” (2002). Johnson briefly joined the band Damn Yankees with Jack Blades, Tommy Shaw, and Ted Nugent, and recorded an album that was never released. He also performed as lead guitarist for legendary rock vocalist John Waite (2001–2003). In 2006, Johnson joined the country rock band Whiskey Falls. He also co-wrote the Carlos Santana song “Just Feel Better” with Jamie Houston and Buck Johnson, which featured legendary vocalist Steven Tyler of Aerosmith.
In 2005, Brother Cane reunited to perform two shows. A live DVD is also in the works.
In 2009, Johnson was confirmed as a collaborator/performer for Queensrÿche’s 10th studio album American Soldier .
In 2010, Johnson released his second acoustic solo album, entitled Release, which features a duet with his daughter Sarah Marlo Johnson as well as a guest appearance by Alice Cooper on vocal and harmonica.
In December 2012, Johnson co-founded the Thin Lizzy spin-off band, Black Star Riders. Black Star Riders’ first album All Hell Breaks Loose was released in May 2013.
Johnson was recruited for Alice Cooper’s band in 2004. He co-wrote and recorded with Alice Cooper on his album “Dirty Diamonds” and toured with the band from 2004 to 2007, leaving to commit to his new band, Whiskey Falls. Johnson returned to the Alice Cooper Band in the summer of 2009, and was featured in Cooper’s 2010 live concert DVD & CD, “Theatre of Death – Live At Hammersmith”. Johnson worked his fifth tour with Alice Cooper in 2011, and departed the band in September of that year to become a full member of Thin Lizzy. Cooper is also credited with assisting greatly in Johnson’s beloved golf game, as the two played hundreds of rounds in their years of touring the world together.
Witness – Witness (1988) (Arista Records)
Delta Rebels – Delta Rebels, 1989 (Polygram Records)
Brother Cane – Brother Cane, 1993 (Virgin Records)
Brother Cane – Seeds, 1995 (Virgin Records)
Sammy Hagar – Marching to Mars, 1997
Brother Cane – Wishpool, 1998 (Virgin Records)
Damon Johnson – Dust, 2000 (independent)
Damn Yankees – Bravo (unreleased)
Slave to the System – Slave to the System, 2002 (independent) / 2006 (Spitfire)
Faith Hill – Cry, 2002 (Warner Bros. Records)
Red Halo – Dead Man’s Vitamin, 2003 (independent)
John Waite – The Hard Way, 2004
Alice Cooper – Dirty Diamonds, 2005 (Eagle Rock)
Chris Scott – Hard Livin’, 2005 (independent)
Alice Cooper – Live at Montreux, CD & DVD, 2006 (Eagle Rock)
Whiskey Falls – Whiskey Falls, 2007 (Midas Records)
Damon Johnson – Release, 2010 (Double Dragon Records)
Alice Cooper – Alice Cooper: Theatre Of Death – Live At Hammersmith 2009 (DVD / CD) 2010 (Bigger Picture)
Black Star Riders – All Hell Breaks Loose (2013)
Other songwriting contributions:
Stevie Nicks – Trouble in Shangri-La (“Every Day” – Johnson/Shanks)
Ted Nugent – Craveman (“I Won’t Go Away” – Johnson/Nugent)
Skid Row – Thickskin (“Ghost”, “See You Around”, “Down from Underground” – Johnson/Bolan/Sabo)
Santana – All That I Am (“Just Feel Better” – Houston/Johnson/Johnson)
Queensrÿche – American Soldier (“Middle of Hell”, “Home Again” – Gray/Johnson/Rockenfield/Tate)
Official Thin Lizzy Website
Official Alice Cooper Website
Damon Johnson Fansite
The Cold Stares return on 11/29
Show time 9:30 pm est
Authenticity. A word that is frequently used in describing The Cold Stares, and frequently missing from modern music discussions. “We’re not just a blues band, or just a rock band, or anything other than who we are”, front man Chris Tapp says. There is a power and a realness that is arrived at by just doing what you do best. The Cold Stares do that.
Formed in 2008 after the duo had spent a number of years in other bands, Chris Tapp and Brian Mullins got together for the sole reason to just jam. No preconceived notions on what the project should be. Just do what comes naturally. The result is a hard rocking, story based brand of rock and roll that is sung from the soul.
Chris’ unique guitar rig, along with Mullin’s giant bass drum provides a visual and sonic landscape for the two to travel on different paths than other acts. In fact, you may find yourself looking for another member behind the curtains but it’s just these two men.
“The first time I saw them,” says Nashville radio personality Dan Buckley, “I thought they had at least two other musicians secretly behind the curtain. There’s just no way that sound comes from the two of them.”
As Huffington Post writer Radley Balko wrote in describing the first time he saw the group at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville-
“This will go on for an hour. Between songs, people will whisper. They’re asking one another if anyone knows who the hell this is. And it’s here that you and everyone in the room will have the same realization just about everyone else has the first time they see they hear the Cold Stares live: These guys are better than the band you came to see.”
The Cold Stares success has come from hard work and perseverance. Their climb is based on keeping everything in house. From booking, to promotion, recording and merchandise design, Chris and Brian have handled it at all themselves with great success.