It was a decision made on the spur of the moment. Laid up for three months, recovering from surgery on his left hand to fix what had been a debilitating carpel tunnel problem (“My hand got so numb I couldn’t even hold a fork”), Gordie Johnson was offered the opening slot on a national George Thorogood tour.
“I was restless, I wanted to play but I didn’t have a band at that time,” noted Johnson. “So I got together with percussionist Stephane Beaudin, we went into the studio and laid down some gospel-blues arrangements with dub reggae rhythms in like a day and a half and recorded “I Was Just Trying To Help” and then off we went, supporting George Thorogood.
“SOMEONE WILL HAVE TO REMIND ME THE DAY I ACHIEVE COMMERCIAL SUCCESS, I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE YARDSTICK IS FOR THAT. I DON’T HAVE TAYLOR SWIFTENVY! I MIGHT AS WELL BE BAKING BAGELS COMPARED TO WHAT THEY ARE DOING.”
Noted for his work as lead guitarist/vocalist for reggae-blues band Big Sugar, Johnson also made his mark with country-rock band Grady and even contributes on bass to rock-blues band Wide Mouth Mason. But now with Sit Down Servant, Johnson has added blues-gospel, set to dub reggae beat arrangements as another notch in his creative belt.
Call him a musical chameleon if you will, Johnson’s musical style defies description. He developed Sit Down Servant so he could play steel guitar which created less pressure on his weak left wrist, but in doing so, developed yet another musical outlet for his vivid creativity. Obviously this collaboration with Beaudin worked well enough that he’s doing it again, touring this fall as the opening act for Joe Satriani.
“Fans coming to our gigs shouldn’t expect us to play `Digging A Hole’,” warns Johnson. “Sit Down Servant is a new style with new instruments. It’s very satisfying creatively. When we tour there is no pre-conceived notions of what we are going to do. Whatever we bring that night is what we are going to do.”