Johnny Chimes is a jambalaya of rolling Southern piano, finger-style guitar pickin’, and sweet soul-singing. He has performed thousands of gigs in his long and storied career. He is also a songwriter of considerable merit w/ several albums of his own words and music.
His story begins in Nashville, Tennessee, where songwriters go to hone their craft. Performing in the tiny clubs dotting West End Avenue, Chimes learned how to finger-pick a guitar and deliver a lyric. He toured the South for several years, earning a living as a sideman and learning the country music songbook. While making the rounds of song publishers on the city’s famed Music Row, he had his songs accepted @ both ATV/Sony and Warner Music. He got married, started a family and relocated to Madison, WI.
Once there, he began touring as a solo act at college coffeehouses & concerts across the Midwest, largely handling his own bookings and management. Later, he led an acoustic-electric trio playing music that anticipated “Americana”. He’s the “founding father” of the Natch’l Blues Band—an eclectic jam band that included his then, 17-year old son Mose—and were one of the most popular acts on the Madison music club circuit for nearly a decade.
Chimes continues to perform club dates and at regional blues festivals w/ members of his “tribe”. A locally-owned, New Orleans-themed eatery offered him a “house” gig playing his blues, jazz & boogie-woogie piano and Southern-style guitar. This long-standing residency has earned him a wider recognition across many age groups in both the Capital City and beyond.
At heart, Chimes is a songwriter—seamlessly weaving his original compositions into a set along with his own unmistakable versions of blues & country music standards. He's got the retro cool vibe which not only makes the whiskey taste better, but also makes your troubles seem like one good blues song away from vanishing into the night.