Johnny Compton is one of the biggest heroes of the West Virginian music scene and his sphere of influence beyond is without measure. If you ever have a chance to meet Johnny, after his playing knocks you down, his massive heart will pick you up. A great person to know, he has a way of warming those he impacts with a life that is unheard of in today’s music circles.
We had a chance to spend a few moments with Johnny as he shred some memories and things for his fans to expect in 2017 and beyond.
1. What can fans of Johnny Compton expect for the fall of 2017?
More music! I’m looking at a mid to late September release of my solo album-Last Man Standing and Wolves of the Calla have found a new bass player, and are revitalized and writing new material. I also have another, as yet, unnamed project in the works with some heavyweight players that I will be writing and recording as well.
2. We understand you recently laid down tracks for a solo release, with many friends and lots of talent, what are some of your favorite memories?
The recording of the solo album was filled with some amazing moments, but I think my two favorite were watching my hero Jack Griffith lay down his solo to my cover of Robin Trower’s Too Rolling Stoned and recording the title track with my oldest son Jonathan standing beside me playing bass….Two memories that will stick with me forever.
3. How did you go about writing and/or choosing songs for your upcoming album? Did you decide on a name for it?
The songs were one’s that I’ve written for other bands or projects that, for one reason or another, haven’t worked out. They’re all tunes that hold a special place in my heart and I felt they needed to be recorded. When I had gathered them together, I felt like I needed a title track to tie everything together, so I sat down and wrote Last Man Standing and it became the title track.
4. Looking back on your career, what are some of your fondest memories?
Wow….there have been many….Meeting Buddy Guy, signing with my first label years ago…but I think my favorite memories are the ones I make the first week of June for the last 6 years. Playing the opening ceremonies of the Special Olympics. The athletes give me so much joy and love. They fill my heart for the year.
5. What is the best advice you have ever received and what would you share with fellow musicians in today’s music world?
The best advice I ever received was from an old bluesman when I was about 19. He told me that I was a good guitar player and someday, I might be a great one…But I had to remember that nobody was better than me and I wasn’t any better than anyone else.