WILKO JOHNSON Ice On The Motorway lp 1980
Bottle Up And Go / Cairo Blues / Down By The Waterside / Ice On The Motorway / Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window / Leave My Woman Alone / When I'm Gone / All Right / Keep It Out Of Sight / Long Tall Texan / The Whammy / Back In The Night* / She Does It Right*.
*Free single given with the album.
Produced by W. Johnson
W. Johnson: vocals, guitar / R. Strutter: bass, vocals / A. Bines: drums, vocals / M. Gallagher: keyboards.
Wilko Johnson (born John Wilkinson, 12 July 1947, Canvey Island, Essex) is an English guitarist and songwriter, particularly associated with the UK rhythm and blues band Dr. Feelgood in the 1970s.
W. Johnson played in several local groups before moving to the University of Newcastle upon Tyne to study English. After graduating, he travelled overland to India, before returning to Essex to play with the Pigboy Charlie Band, which evolved into Dr. Feelgood: a mainstay of the 1970s pub rock movement.
Wilko J. developed his own style, coupling a choppy guitar style with a novel dress sense (he favoured a black suit and a highly unfashionable, unpopular and unique pudding bowl haircut) and jerky movements.
Wilko J. plays a vintage Fender Telecaster without using a pick, something that enables him to play rhythm guitar and riffs or solos at the same time, resulting in a highly percussive guitar style. Another reason for his unique style is that he is naturally left-handed, but plays guitar right-handed. His style - which allowed him to move around abruptly on stage with the jerky movements of an automaton without the fear of losing his pick - evolved from a failed attempt to copy Mick Green of Johnny Kidd and The Pirates, a guitarist he admired. During mid-song guitar breaks he would frequently wander across the stage and cut in front of the singer (usually playing a harmonica) with the aid of the longest guitar lead in British rock music (precise length unknown) from his amplifier. He maintained this style even after leaving Dr. Feelgood.
His style formed the essential force behind Dr. Feelgood during their initial years, including the band's first four albums, "Down by the Jetty", "Malpractice", "Stupidity" and "Sneakin' Suspicion", all released between 1975 and 1977. Wilko J. had a cult following amongst fans of the four-piece band, helped by some electrifying stage performance during their extensive UK and north European touring of that period. The live album, Stupidity, reached number one in the UK Albums Chart, but although Johnson played on Dr. Feelgood's first 5 single releases, including "Roxette" and "Back in the Night", the only single to chart during his membership of the band was "Sneakin' Suspicion". He left the band in April 1977, following disagreements over the tracks to be included in the "Sneakin' Suspicion" album.
In 1977, he was a founding member of the Solid Senders; with keyboardist John Potter, bassist Steve Lewins, and drummer Alan Platt. They signed to Virgin in 1978 and released the album, "Solid Senders" that year. The Wilko Johnson Band played at the 'Front Row Festival', a three-week even In early 1981, Johnson released his second album, "Ice on the Motorway", and two years later issued the EP "Bottle Up and Go!" with Lew Lewis; several small-scale LPs, mostly for European record labels, followed over the 1980s: 1984's "Pull the Cover", 1985's "Watch Out! (Live In London)", 1987's "Call It What You Want", and 1988's "Barbed Wire Blues".
In 1992 Wilko J. appeared at the Eurockéennes music festival, and the following year at GuilFest.
In 1998, Johnson finally had the opportunity to release another album, "Going Back Home" for Mystic. Johnson began to cut back on his concert appearances in 1999, but still found the wherewithal to cut "Don't Let Your Daddy Know" (Live in Japan 2000) the following year.
The studio album "Red Hot Rocking Blues" was released in 2005.
This contained covers of classics by the likes of Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Sonny Boy Williamson and Leadbelly.
Throughout 2005 and 2006 the band teamed up with The Hamsters and John Otway to take part in the The Mad, the Bad & the Dangerous tour. He played Club Bang Bang at the 100 Club on 6 October 2006. Wilko J. continues to play live throughout the UK, Europe and Japan. In London he performs twice a year at the 100 Club.
He appeared in the film "Oil City Confidential" (2009), where he related his memories of Canvey Island and Dr. Feelgood. Wikipedia
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