Royal Johnson release Belly Full
Georgia music artists Royal Johnson released their full-length debut Belly Full with a performance at Macon’s iconic Grant’s Lounge on Friday, September 25. The eclectic group puts forth a mixed bag of songs with Belly Full, all shaded with blue, but touching everything from funk, folk and soul to country blues and rock and roll. Royal Johnson is a completely independent band, self-recording and producing all of their music, and handling their own management duties. They present a multi-cultural, honest blend of each member’s diverse stylings. Belly Full sold out the first pressing in a little over two weeks.
Royal Johnson exploded into the Macon music scene early this year with an opening slot for Capricorn recording artists Stillwater at the Crazy Bull that drew over 1500 people. Highlights this summer include the Jodie Jam and the Gregg Brooks Benefit, both at the Big House Allman Brothers Band Museum. The band has played a couple shows at historic Grant’s Lounge this fall, once with Kentucky blues-rockers Otis, and once with resurgent R&B guitarist Robert Lee Coleman (James Brown, Percy Sledge). The album release show with Mr. RLC, which was the official GABBA Fest ’15 after-party, provided a capacity crowd for the band to paint upon. It was easy to see that Mr. Coleman has a great enthusiasm for sitting in with this band, which offered up only smiles as well.
Drummer Joanie Ferguson (Michigan) and bassist Kevin Vines (D.C.) – now both Atlanta residents - provide a slippery sea of funky grooves for the muscular but delicate guitar tones of Thomaston, GA natives Chance Royal and Andy Johnson to sail upon. This band offers a high-energy show electrified by chemistry so thick you can cut it. A straight-up good time based in funky blues.
Interestingly, the band’s sound and style transform easily into an acoustic setting, as shown with their October performance at Gallery West, the Macon photo gallery of iconic rock photographer and Allman Brothers Band tour legend, Kirk West. Royal Johnson will return to Gallery West for a performance for guest photographer Michael Weintrob’s exhibit Instrumenthead on October 24.
They will make their Atlanta debut with an interesting gig on Thursday, December 17, when they open for biker kings JB Walker and the Cheap Whiskey Band at the world-infamous Clermont Lounge.