Unemployed Highly Annoyed Jeremiah Johnson
- 1Burn Down The Garden 05:30
- 2Muddy Black Water 03:48
- 3Cherry Red Wine 04:56
- 4Daddy’s Going Out Tonight 04:57
- 5Unemployed Highly Annoyed 06:36
- 6Different Plan For Me 06:58
- 7Love And Sympathy 05:26
- 8Rock N Roll For The Soul 02:59
Info for Unemployed Highly Annoyed
"I think we caught lightning in a bottle with this snapshot of these difficult times and it is possibly my best record of my career, born from the most challenging time in my life as a musician." - Jeremiah Johnson
Jeremiah Johnson takes the dangers of the COVID-19 virus as seriously as his music career. But no matter how you look at it, the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic has effectively put him out of work. “Unemployed Highly Annoyed” is Johnson’s response to the adverse situation. 2020 started the year on a high note when his Ruf Records release, “Heavens to Betsy”, debuted at #3 on the Billboard Blues Album charts and soon climbed to the coveted #1 spot by April 11th. With a #1 record and 70+ European Tour dates scheduled with the “2020 Ruf Records Blues Caravan”; Johnson was set to have a breakout year before everything came to a crashing halt. Quarantined at home for months, Johnson decided it was time to get creative. “Being forced into unemployment has been beyond frustrating. I decided to produce an album of songs inspired by the “Covid-19 Pandemic” and try to turn the roller coaster of emotions into something musical. This is truly a concept album.” Johnson exclaims. The final product is a first-class Blues/Roots Rock record that is packed full of stunning guitar work coupled with soulfully passionate bluesy southern vocals. “Unemployed Highly Annoyed” is a striking musical reflection of the times that delivers a message the entire world can relate to.
“Unemployed Highly Annoyed” was conceived, performed and recorded by only 3 musicians. Tony Antonelli, formerly with The Devon Allman Project, drives the beat on drums and percussion with the skill of a seasoned veteran who is equal parts powerful aggression and feather soft touch. Paul Niehaus IV not only delivers a thunderous performance on bass guitar and keys throughout; but he also skillfully handled all the production and engineering. Niehaus’s production technique effectively puts the listener in the room with the musicians. What you hear is what you get and what you get is magic. Johnson explains, “We weren’t worried about the “perfect” notes and achieving that “polished” sound. In fact, I went old school; one guitar plugged straight into the amp. We love the passion and energy of the songs, so we kept it as live as possible, to preserve the emotion. It’s 3 unemployed musicians who are extremely frustrated, quickly going broke and trying to do something about it!”
Each of the 7 original tracks take a look at different aspects of the pandemic. Johnson covers everything from the desire to go out and see a live concert with “Rock and Roll Music to the Soul”, to the challenges of getting along with your significant other while in quarantine in “Love and Sympathy”. The title track “Unemployed Highly Annoyed” has a 70’s feel that sounds as if it could have been recorded live at Woodstock. “This song is based all the headlines I see on television and social media. One side says this, the other side says something else and no matter what side of the fence you might be on, I am still unemployed and highly annoyed!” says Johnson. The southern anthem “Burn Down the Garden” declares that we need to clear the weeds from the garden by burning it all to the ground and re-growing everything with seeds of love. “Muddy Black Water” explores setting aside pride while struggling to get your head above the water. The 8th track and the only cover song is a blazing rendition of the Luther Allison classic “Cherry Red Wine”. Johnson leaves no doubt that he is, at heart, an extremely skilled modern blues guitarist. Johnson says, “I wrote nearly every line of the lyrics to these songs while on hold with the unemployment office.” You can feel the desperation in every note.
Jeremiah Johnson blends the sounds of the south, with Mississippi River blues and a touch of country flair. Emotionally charged southern blues rock, powered by the common man’s passion for life and all the struggles in-between. Songs with meaning, a powerfully persuasive voice and master class musicianship. “Unemployed Highly Annoyed” has caught lightning in a bottle with this masterful snapshot of these difficult times and is truly a testament to his talent. Possibly the best record of Johnsons career, born from the most challenging time in his life as a musician.
Jeremiah Johnson, lead vocals, guitar
Paul Niehaus IV, bass, keyboards, backing vocals
Terry Antonelli, drums, percussion, backing vocals
Born and raised in St. Louis, Jeremiah Johnson is the voice of Mississippi River blues blending with the struggles of everyday life. He began learning guitar at age 6, drawing inspiration from his rich St. Louis blues heritage and legendary guitarists, like Alvin Lee, Eric Clapton and Hank Williams Sr. and Jr. With these influences, Johnson began building his musical foundation.
After relocating to Houston, TX, in 1999, Johnson finished in first place for three consecutive years at the Houston Regional Blues Challenges, sponsored by the Houston Blues Society. Johnson returned to St. Louis in 2009, and merged Texas style with STL blues to create the unique sound you hear today. The 10 years Johnson lived and performed in Texas changed his musical style in ways you can still hear in his music today.
In 2011, Johnson was the proud winner of the St. Louis Blues Society IBC Challenge and went on to the semifinals to represent St. Louis in Memphis, TN. One year later, Sirius XM's B.B. King’s Bluesville picked up the Jeremiah Johnson Band, where they can be heard nationwide, and they have been playing his music ever since. You can also hear Jeremiah Johnson on Touch Tunes Jukeboxes in bars/clubs across the US and on radio stations around the world.
In September 2014, Johnson filmed his docu-concert, Ride the Blues, directed by Australian Producer/Director Gary Glenn, at the historic Capitol Theater in downtown Burlington, IA. The film is live music video about Johnson’s rise to prominence, featuring intimate interview segments, still photography, guitar solos and stunning vocals. Donations from concert attendees were generously given to the theater and to the National Blues Museum, connecting Johnson’s roles of musician and music advocate.
2014 Johnson records Grind, produced by Devon Allman, features Grammy award winner Yonrico Scott on drums. Grind has been featured on SiriusXM's B.B. King’s Bluesville, and on the international radio show “Confessing the Blues”, broadcasting on 50 stations in 10 countries worldwide. Grind reached the #8 slot on the Billboard Blues Charts the week of November 7th, 2015.
Johnson follows the success of Grind with a self produced release, Blues Heart Attack, released worldwide on July 22, 2016. This unique record is a blend of Johnson’s entire musical career. “It’s a combination of our earlier works, and then Grind,” he explained. “There’s horns and keyboard reminiscent of Brand Spankn’ Blues, but also some heavy guitar driven tracks. It’s the evolution of everything in a Blues Heart Attack.” Special guest performers include Tom ‘Papa’ Ray on harmonica, and Nathan Hershey on keys. Blues Heart Attack reached #5 on the Billboard Blues Charts following its release in 2016.
March of 2018, Mike Zito will be producing Jeremiah Johnson's new CD release. The band is headed to Texas to MARZ Studio with more than two handfuls of killer new original rockin blues tunes and Mike Zito producing! Mike is currently nominated for Two BMA Awards! Mike has produced albums for Samantha Fish, Laurence Jones, Albert Castiglia and others. He tours extensively in the USA, Canada and Europe. He has been honored with multiple Blues Music Awards over the past 10 years.
Johnson performs with Benet Schaeffer (drums), Frank Bauer (sax & backing vocals), and Tom Maloney (bass), bringing the Jeremiah Johnson Band to its highest level to date. It's safe to say this is going to be a huge year for the band. 2018 is going to rock!