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October 4, 2006

Bluesman Donald Ray Johnson Releases New CD

Written by
cindy mcleod

Canadian blues news


Donald Ray Johnson
CD Release “Travellin’
October 13, 14, 2006
Red Onion / Calgary

Calgary-based blues singer Donald Ray releases 3rd CD

Resident Grammy award-winning blues vocalist/drummer Donald Ray Johnson will be releasing his latest recording “Travellin’ Man” October 13 & 14 at the Red Onion in Calgary, who are celebrating their 2nd anniversary with the presentation.

Johnson is one of Canada’s finest bluesmen, relocating here from L.A. after falling in love with Canada on his many tours north with Phillip Joe Walker, the two sharing working relationship of over 36 years.

While in L.A. throughout the 70’s and early 80’s, Johnson worked with Joe Houston Big Band backing some of the west coast’s top blues artists, and as a highly regarded drummer and vocalist, Johnson worked with people like Charles Brown, Big Joe Turner, Smokey Wilson, and Big Mama Thorton.

He also met songwriter/producer Perry Kibble, who was in the process of developing a group that featured the talents of two young African American women. The band formed and later became known as “A Taste Of Honey”. In 1979, this was the first Afro-American Band to win a “Grammy Award” for “Best New Artist”.

By 1980 “A Taste Of Honey” disbanded, and Donald Ray returned to the blues in L.A. to work again in Phillip Walker’s band. Following a serious vision impairment situation and surgery that left Johnson near blind, he returned to Texas in 1986 and remained there until his move to Canada in 1990.

Johnson’s debut solo release, ‘It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Blue’ (1995) gained him recognition, but it was his ‘Pure Pleasure’ release of 2002 that sealed his place in the top echelon of Canadian blues.

Donald Ray Johnson was named “Best Canadian Male Blues Vocalist” in 1997 by Real Blues Magazine, and was nominated for “Best Blues Drummer” (1997) and “Best Male Blues Vocalist” (1998) by the Toronto Blues Society. He was recently nominated “Best Blues Artist” by the Alberta Recording Industry Association (A.R.I.A.)

for more information visit www.donaldrayjohnson.com

October 13, 14
Donald Ray Johnson CD Release
Red Onion / Calgary

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