PICASSO’S GLAM BAROQUE PSYCHEDELIC SUNSHINE (A collection of 11 way​-​out pop songs)

by Johnny J Blair w/members of The Badlees, Davy Jones (Monkees), & other luminaries.

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MEET JOHNNY J BLAIR, A PICASSO OF POP

Pablo Picasso, the great painter, created work that reached people with images and ideas they could relate to, but he also challenged them with fresh uses of color and shape. Likewise, Johnny J. Blair crafts cogent pop songs, using a palette of diverse influences, painted with an economy of invention.

Daub together old school soul, psychedelia, British Invasion rock, and sunny California pop. Splash it with glam rock and rockabilly. Wash that in a vocalese and melodicism breathed by classical, gospel, jazz, and world music. The finished sonic canvas testifies to the passionate rock’n’roll of Johnny J Blair, “Singer at Large.”

Brian Wilson called Blair “a virtuoso.” Legendary James Brown drummer, Clyde Stubblefield, said Blair is like “a white James Brown” in concert. Goldmine Magazine described Blair’s music as “Pop music with a conscience.”

Picasso’s paintings were grouped according to periods and phases. So it is with Blair’s recordings: From baroque pop, to punk/new wave, to orchestral Americana, to funky gospel, to tango-flamenco flavored rock.

Urban humor, romantic abstraction, and bittersweet spirituality are images in Blair’s lyrical vocabulary, drawn from by The Bible, classic comedy, film noir, and novelists such as Raymond Chandler and Graham Greene. Blair’s strong voice transmits this template of tunes to fans of many genres, all around the world.

Since the mid-80s, Blair has issued acclaimed recordings—from the “new wave concept album” Door in the Water, to the soulful masterwork Fire, to the bare-knuckled acoustic “agitpop” of Treadmarks, to the “Ziggy Stardust meets Pet Sounds" expressionism of Grateful, to the metropolitan mysticism of I Like the Street.

Blair’s songs have been commended by Brit-pop icon Sir Cliff Richard, and Blair’s cover of Velvet Underground’s “Sunday Morning” (included on this compilation) was celebrated by the song’s famed co-writer, the late Lou Reed.

Davy Jones of The Monkees, making a posthumous appearance on this compilation, was another advocate, saying that Blair should be “top of the pops.” “I learned valuable lessons from David," adds Blair, who worked extensively with Jones for 20 years, on stage and in the studio (Blair also played bass for the 2011 Monkees Reunion Tour of the UK and USA).

This compilation was assembled especially for bandcamp.com. The set features representative songs that charted globally, as well as rarities and “fan favorites"--including two (!) Velvet Underground/Lou Reed covers, and, making a bandcamp debut, "Dancin' by The River (Tex-Mex Garage Mix)"–Notes by Gilbert Haywire

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released January 4, 2017

Johnny J Blair "Singer at Large" with members of The Badlees, Davy Jones (Monkees), Bil Bryant, the Felix String Quartet, Bill Matlack, and other luminaries.

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Johnny J Blair "Singer at Large" San Francisco, California

Blair's innovative brand of “pop music with a twist" is a fast-paced mix of old school soul, psychedelia, punk/new wave, classic rock, baroque pop, & world music. Brian Wilson called him "a virtuoso." Goldmine Magazine said he makes “pop music with a conscience.” Spotlight Magazine dubbed him “the Harry Houdini of rock and roll.” For many years he was sideman for Davy Jones and The Monkees. ... more

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Track Name: Johnny J Blair "Singer at Large" - Dumb Angel
DUMB ANGEL Words & Music by Johnny J Blair copyright 1990, 2007 Word2Soul Music BMI

Don't know you well enough to call you buddy
The kids laughed when I called your car a boat
Thanks for the ride to the Bible study
Even though it looked like ya needed a smoke

CHORUS: I saw Elvis crying in the chapel
The dumb angel writes his book
The Carpenter is waiting at the seaside

Used to have a ball in Avis
Waxing nostalgic at 14
Man can sing like birds but the women saved us
From basking in the music of the trees

REPEAT CHORUS TWICE
Track Name: Johnny J Blair w/members of The Badlees - Sunday Morning
Sunday morning
Brings the dawning
It's just a restless feeling by my side
Early dawning
Sunday morning
It's just a wasted year so close behind

CHORUS: Watch out the world's behind you
There's always someone around you who will call
It's nothing at all

Sunday morning
And I am falling
I've got a feeling I don't want to know
Early dawning
Sunday morning
It's on the streets you crossed not so long ago

REPEAT CHORUSES OUT
Track Name: Love That's Here to Stay
LOVE THAT'S HERE TO STAY Words & Music by Johnny J Blair copyright 2011 Word2Soul Music BMI

The world is rough and crazy, and hearts don't get their lift
You hear bad news about the people fallin' for some grift
But love has a way of mending you when you're worn and ripped
And I thank you for coming here and giving me a gift

CHORUS: You build me up from clay
With a smile you send my way
And a love that's here to stay

If I could say a prayer for every lip that was split
If I could write a song for every time I was told to quit
If I could break the news about the love behind my mask
Amazing grace is in your face, all you have to do is ask

REPEAT CHORUS

BRIDGE: I have seen your eyes of green
Looking across an ocean
Your laughter echoes over the waves
Fills my sails and gives me motion
I have seen your eyes of blue
Sunlight dancing iris
Liberating soul ablaze
Love can always choose us

The heart can be so evil, the heart can be cold as ice
But evil cannot stand alone in the blaze of a glorious light
The world is rough and crazy, and hearts don't get their lift
You hear bad news about the people fallin' for some grift
But love has a way of mending you when you're worn and ripped
And I thank you for coming here and giving me a gift

VAMP CHORUS OUT
Track Name: Johnny J Blair "Singer at Large" - The Sleeping Giant (of Love)
THE SLEEPING GIANT (OF LOVE) Words & Music by Johnny J Blair copyright 1991, 2007 Word2Soul Music BMI

Last night there was an awful storm
We were so scared and quite alarmed
Next day we found him quite unharmed
A sleeping giant on the sand
A face so gentle and so grand
What is he doing in our land?
We used to thank the Lord above
We used to dance the songs of love
Have we forgotten how?

CHORUS: Now the giant's sleeping on the beach
A bigger one can be within your reach
Rejoice respond to what can overcome us when
The giant's gonna get us
The giant's gonna wake up
The giant's gonna get us
The giant's gonna wake up soon
Track Name: Johnny J Blair "Singer at Large" - Unresolved (Graham Greene's Script for Laurel & Hardy)
UNRESOLVED Words & Music by Johnny J Blair copyright 1991, 2007 Word2Soul Music BMI

How can I get through
To the time to be one with you

Lazy days and half a chance
Make the straight man sing and dance
Even when the Spirit fills your hall
Many things go unresolved

How did I get into this
It's just what you call another fine mess

Lazy days and half a chance
Make the straight man sing and dance
Promises on carousels
Turn my heart and make it swell
Even when the Spirit fills your hall
Many things go unresolved