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Artist Profile

Jesse Johnson

Jesse Johnson

Artist's Media Player

Tour Dates

Artist Country State City Venue Date
Jesse Johnson United States Texas Dallas Tom Joyner Morning show Apr 28, 2011
Verbal Penetration, Vol. 1 & 2 Cover
  • Verbal Penetration, Vol. 1 & 2
  • R&B/Soul, Rock
  • Jesse Johnson
  • 10/27/2010
  • Verbal Penetration, Vol. 1 & 2
Liner Notes: Mastered by: Robert Vosgien, Capital Mastering, Hollywood, CA Photography by Christopher Voelker, voelkerstudio.com jessejohnson.com jessejohnsonstore.com V.P.: THE CREDITS With all do respect, Jesse would like to thank the following individuals and companies: Elite Artist Services, NY & Jeff Epstein Photography by: Christopher Voelker-Voelkerstudio.com Make Up by: Melanie Manson-Melaniemanson.com Hair by: Valerie Abron-Harrell-Daydreams.salon@att.net Fashion by: Mike Sam-Englishclientele.com Logo Design: Brian Swanson-Cricketstudio.com Website Design: Sherry Bloomquist Victor Gardner Sheila Rae Tamika Johnson Mark Wallace Sueann Carwell-Sulution1@hotmail.com David Cochrane-thedcx@gmail.com Glenn Jeffrey-glenani@yahoo.com Mark Hammond Jill May Steven Ivory Frankie Ross Khaliph Bey Yausmenda Freeman Ali Bey Richard Paddison Dunlop Manufacturing & Scott Uchida Nat Franklin Colin Chapman Mama Lisa Gary Taylor Del Atkins Friends at: JesseJohnson.com, Myspace.com/JesseJohnsonfunk, Facebook.com/JesseJohnson, Facebook.com/JesseJohnsonLovers Gaspard Family Hines Family Lewis Family Vida Sparks The Avila Brothers Logan Barron Alan Sahakangas Duncan Hines Q-Tip D’Angelo Louis Wells Mike Pendleton Line 6 & Tim Godwin Gibson Guitars & Peter Leinheiser Guitar Center Minarik Guitars & Marc Minarik Egnater Amplifiers Marvin Sperling Michelle Joyner Jezabella Kipp-Messmer (jezabellamusic.com) Te Cheetah Lopez-Taylor (myspace.com/techeetah) Angela Scott Eric’s Guitar Shop, CA JClassic Isaac Porter-Sims Hollywood Guitars - Troy Richardson Produced, Performed & Directed By: Jesse Johnson/Bellavenix Music Performer Credits: Lead Narrative: Nicole Rivera Hines 3 Year Old Narrative: Sadie Johnson Bass: (Jesse) Roland Fantom X8, Drums: Akai MPC 4000 Keyboards: (Jesse) Roland GR-20 Guitar Synth & Fender Roland Ready Stratocaster, Roland Fantom X8, Muse Research Receptor, Native Instruments Komplete 4 & 5 Bundles Recording: Digidesign Protools Mix3 & HD3, API Preamps, Apogee I/O, Apogee Big Ben Clock, Dangerous 2 Bus Summing Mixer and Digidesign ProControl Controller, ADAM S3-A Monitors with Sub 10, Primacoustic Dampers Hand Claps: My Funky Babies!!! All Tour Clothes Designed by Louis Wells ’ve imagined Jesse Johnson trying to make the independently released Verbal Penetration Volume One and Two for a major label. I imagine some A&R exec’s initial glee at being told the title of the double CD set–and then his disgruntlement after learning the song has zilch to do with one getting their rocks off and is a call for society to communicate, openly and succinctly. Then I imagine the exec hearing selections from the collection itself and having a fucking conniption: Where are the cliche references to fast women, men who think with their penises, Benjamins, designer cars and clothes, top-self booze, mind-numbing weed and pimped-out cribs that the labels view as vital to marketing black pop? Where are the joints about shaking that ass, where’s the proverbial hot Guest Rapper and, paramount, where is the track about being up in the all-consuming, almighty Club? Verbal Penetration Volume One and Two just happens to be the raw, funky antithesis of all that. Channeling James Brown, Hendrix, Curtis Mayfield and The Last Poets, during VP Jesse writes, plays and sings in honor of subjects you don’t hear about much in black music these days: self love and cultural pride. VP’s poignant message doesn’t stop Jesse from being, well, Jesse. The double disc’s title track, for example, is quintessential Jesse, a big, earth-moving funk/rock anthem Johnson delivers with all the swagger of a gunslinger. From there it’s “Propaganda,” a low-down, infectious groove about how the media systematically spews doo-doo (and how we’ve fallen for it). The track moves like a panther, driven by a wicked, irresistible guitar hook. Speaking of guitar, Jesse hasn’t played like this on a recording before. During the instrumentals alone–”Merciful,” a prowling, Funkadelic-meets-Santana workout; the meditative “Beautiful Sadie” and “Ali Vs. Frazier,” an uptempo, straight-ahead old school jazz exercise (with Del Atkins on bass)–Jesse shreds as if his life depended on it, blazing with a style, passion and craftsmanship that illustrates why he is one of funk/rock/soul’s most compelling players. In fact, throughout VP, Jesse tears up the fretboard, and every riff fits. Of course, Jesse still knows how to make you dance, as evidenced during “100 Watts Of Funky.” And he doesn’t neglect romance. “Sheila Rae” and “Love Letters,” featuring Jesse’s honey-voiced falsetto, feel like radio-ready R&B love songs from back in the day. However, no matter its lyrical sentiment, the head-bobbing “Get Next To You,” feels like sheer lust. While the dreamy, melodic ballad, “We R So Strong,” speaks to the love of who we are and can be as a people, the sexy, rocking “Slo Burnin’” is an ode Jesse’s love for The Groove itself. It’s clear that in recording VP without major-label “suits” lurking about, Jesse relished doing whatever the hell he pleased. During disc two, one minute he’s enlisting the venerable Sue Ann Carwell to sing the wistful “Please Let me Go” and the next he’s got L.A. radio vet Frankie Ross, during “Meditation 01 Astrology,” narrating an ominous dissertation on how cold-blooded the science community was to demote Pluto from planet status. Now I know why Jesse doesn’t smoke anything–brotherman doesn’t need any help in that area. Still, when Jesse invited me to contribute to Verbal Penetration by saying, “write whatever you want,” I hadn’t heard any of VP’s tracks. I was certain he’d reject my steely treatise on the N-word and general nonchalance of the black American as being too tough. Indeed, Jesse didn’t say much when I emailed him a draft of the essay; he said even less after I’d recorded my words at his home studio. At the time, I didn’t think he’d even written music for the track. But a couple weeks later, when he played me the completed “Slave 2 R Freedom,” I sat stunned. My voice was riding over a funky, tenacious march, the emotion of the subject matter personified by Carwell’s mighty, gospel-tinged ad-libs. After the track finished, Jesse simply smiled. The man imploring the world to engage in meaningful dialogue didn’t say a word. Didn’t have to. The music said it all. — Steven Ivory
  1. V.P. Introduction
  2. Verbal Penetration
  3. Propaganda
  4. U & I R We R Us
  5. 100 Watts Of Funky
  6. Merciful
  7. Don't Throw Yourself Away
  8. Slo Burnin
  9. Sheila Rae
  10. Love Letters
  11. Dream Interlude
  12. Slave 2 R Freedom
  13. We Ain't Going Nowhere Interlude...
  14. We R So Strong
  15. Beautiful Sadie
  16. Prologue
  17. Intro
  18. Get Next To You
  19. Ali Vs Frazier
  20. Redemption For The Soul, Enlightenment For The Earhole...
  21. Please Let Me Go
  22. Meditation 01_ Astrology
  23. You Have A Friend
  24. Reflections
  25. Meditation 02_ Self-Love
  26. Letters From A Soldier (Reprise)...
  27. In The Key Of Nudity
  28. V.P. Credits
  29. Peace Be With You (Reprise)...