There are musicians who perform the same music their entire musical lives, then there are those musicians who change genres with the times and their changes in musical direction.
Johnny Knehr – you pronounce the K – was a typical boy growing up. Learning to play the piano from the first grade and trading it in for a guitar in the sixth grade, but discovering sports put music on the sidelines for a while.
But after causing some serious nerve damage in a fall Johnny picked up the guitar again and the physical therapy rekindled the love of music and opened up a new career.
First it was Johnny E.K. And the Memphis Storm with upbeat Swing and Rockabilly. But the Memphis Storm gave way to Nice Guy Johnny and a darker sound and the Blues.
While Johnny still performs with Nice Guy Johnny, his newest album – due out early in the year – is a solo project with Johnny playing all of the instruments.
He also wrote all of the songs – something he began doing after some encouragement from his brother in law. In a genre he calls Dark Americana, Johnny pens songs from the darker areas of life including a song he wrote over three years ago title “The Raven”. About suicide, Johnny says that he has not performed the song since the death of his brother in law – Chester Bennington – earlier this year. But Johnny says that the proceeds from the sale of the song will go to the One More Light Foundation (https://www.facebook.com/OneMoreLightFoundation/) – a foundation founded in Chester’s name to raise the awareness of depression and suicide.
The New Jersey native notes that in his musical career he has been everything from the musical background for a bar fight to performing while patrons danced along the bar and on the tables.