Trash rock royalty meets Broadway baby.....
and musical magic is made.
Together, they create hook filled, heartfelt rock & roll songs
and have a blast learning hundreds of covers
"Jewels & Johnny Nation capture a spirit that is like June Carter Cash fronting a late 60s country/folk/psych band.
Elements of Bakersfield mix with the Sunset Strip creating a warm, harmony-driven, infectious sound"
The rock & roll wise man and the dancing dynamo present a live show that is energetic, engaging, and entertaining.
Continually touring, writing, and recording, they have built a solid catalogue of organic, original songs and a set list that is ever evolving.
Nomadic surfer. Self taught guitar master. Humble visionary.
Growing up in the lost bohemian paradise that was the Snake Pit of lower Topanga Canyon, Johnny Nation first felt the power of rock & roll when his brother brought home Ziggy Stardust on vinyl. Blown away by Mick Ronson's flamboyant style, he picked up a guitar for the first time and began a life long love affair. At the peak of the glory days of the Sunset Strip he was asked to join seminal LA cowpunk band The Joneses as lead guitarist. Voted by LA Weekly as "The Best Live Band in LA," The Joneses played every temple of rock on the Strip and opened for huge acts including Johnny Thunders. A band's band - they inspired Guns & Roses, Poison, LA Guns and countless others - culminating in a major label record deal and the release of their charting album "KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES".
"Johnny is a true believer, his undying faith in the pure beauty and power of rock & roll keeps me going" says Jewels,
"He's my hero, a long haired John Wayne slinging a Les Paul"
Comedienne. Yogini. Go go dancer.
Growing up in New York City, Jewels was a Broadway baby, using her powerful voice and expressive face and body to immediately connect with audiences. Singing and dancing professionally since childhood, she lights up the stage with humor and confidence. Later she began writing honest and funny lyrics that fit perfectly with Johnny's irresistible guitar hooks. "Jewels takes my big ideas and finds exactly the right words for the song" says Johnny,"plus she's like a cross between Mark Bolan and Loretta Lynn on stage"
The J & J sound blends influences from Sun Records to psychedelia,
California country to 70s style folk rock,
add a bit of British blues and some theatrical glam rock flourishes,
and you get a mix that's an infectious good time.
Read a more detailed bio below:
Since forming in 2004 as CITY FRITTER, 2012 brought a big change; Jewels and Johnny decided to retire the band name and perform using their own names. "I'd always been in bands but never had a chance to get my own name out there as a songwriter and artist. I felt like it was time." says Johnny. "And I was lucky enough to marry a guy with a pretty cool rock & roll name" says Jewels "so it was an easy decision to make the change."
As CITY FRITTER, they performed extensively for enthusiastic audiences at nearly every venue in LA for 8 years. Some favorites: The Basement Tavern, The Mint, Canter's Kibitz Room, The House of Blues, Molly Malone's, The Viper Room, and Cinema Bar. They've especially enjoyed hugging the coast and playing shows in the breezy beach communities where their light hearted style is a perfect match for a sunny day. They play regularly at the Santa Monica Farmers Market for crowds of up to 2,000 people.
In the close knit community of Topanga Canyon, Jewels and Johnny are long time local favorites, playing the Topanga Days Country Fair and The Topanga Earth Day Festival and sharing the stage with Ziggy Marley, Canned Heat, Billy Idol, and Maria McKee amongst others. They've hosted open mics, songwriter nights, and countless backyard barbecue jam sessions. Topanga's rich musical history and diverse talent pool provide constant inspiration and support for their music.
When they are off the road, Jewels and Johnny spend a lot of time in Joshua Tree, California developing their off the grid homestead. Pappy & Harriets, The Joshua Tree Music Festival, The Palms in wacky Wonder Valley, Joshua Tree Saloon, The Cosmic American Music Festival (Gramfest), and the legendary Beatnik Lounge have all hosted their magical musical melange. They are proud to be a part of the eclectic music scene of that bohemian enclave as well, returning to the peace and magic of the desert to recharge their creative batteries. Married in Indian Cove by rock & roll goddess, Pamela des Barres, they have a deep spiritual connection to the monument and it's surrounding desert communities.
Besides touring Northern and Southern California extensively, J & J have also toured the east coast including notable tour stops in New York City, Philadelphia, the beautiful Berkshire mountains, and the legendary musical area around Woodstock in upstate New York. They've toured Utah in the winter, playing all over Park City during the Sundance Film Festival for 2 years as part of the Access Film/Music showcase series.
They've spent the last several winters in Baja, California Sur, Mexico; surfing, writing songs and playing shows.
In January 2014 they played the Todos Santos Music Festival produced by Peter Buck of REM.
Wherever they play, audiences respond immediately and positively to the unique sound and stage presence of the duo. High energy vocals meet tasty California-style riffs - a curly haired dynamo gets the crowd moving by dancing up a storm while a cool and handsome rock & roller takes his licks on a collection of vintage, high quality guitars.
Check out the GEAR page for an up to date list of Johnny's equipment.
A Jewels and Johnny Nation show is a good time, a musical treat, and also something of a rock & roll history lesson since they enjoy sharing their encyclopedic knowledge of the origins of the music they play. Like The Grateful Dead before them, Jewels and Johnny pepper their live show with their own interpretations of songs that have inspired them, choosing from a song list of over 200 covers that they have skillfully arranged.
Although Johnny’s background was in rock & roll and Jewels’ was in theatre, soon after meeting and starting to jam, they discovered a mutual curiosity about the history of country music and a real appreciation and deep love of the form. Together they dug deep into traditional, mainstream, outlaw, and cosmic American music - approaching and interpreting it all with new eyes and a fresh perspective. The chemistry between them is apparent onstage and they’re having so much fun together, the good time is infectious…...Their versatile live shows range from intimate, acoustic duo gigs to full on rock & roll blow outs where they are supported by a revolving group of supportive and talented players they have connected with in various cities on tour.
Different rhythm sections and support players keep the sound fresh and evolving.
SPRING 2014 saw the release of "OUTDOOR BOOGIE" an all new original 10 track CD including "When Harrison Hit The Haight" - a psychedelic rocker about our favorite Beatle, and "Skye" a deeply personal song with a beautiful accompanying video, and of course, The title track about Mendocino in the 70s. "Oh, Oh, Mendo……"
In 2010 J&J released "Big City Breakdown" - a return to Johnny's rock & roll roots featuring some grittier, less twangy material like the bluesy rocker "Build Me A Treehouse" and the jangly, Byrds-y "Look Like Now" It was produced with Jim Watts (Gram Rabbit, Emmylou Harris, String Cheese Incident)
Jewels and Johnny received their first big song placement in 2006 - the upbeat 2-stepper "DON'T YOU KNOW" can be heard in the 20th Century Fox feature film "FLICKA" starring Tim McGraw. They've had several other songs placed in independent films and commercials and are actively pursuing other licensing opportunities through Getty Music, the largest, most prestigious online music library around. Their acceptance by Getty represents a major vote of confidence in their material by the music industry.
"Don't You Know" is included on the 2006 CITY FRITTER release "FROM THE OCEAN TO THE DESERT" produced by Eric Corne at the late, great Mad Dog Studio. In addition, CITY FRITTER released 2 earlier EPs both of which sold out their initial runs completely: the 5 track self titled debut "CITY FRITTER" and the 7 track all acoustic "JUST US". Though hard copies have now become collectors items, they are still available for download here on our website or iTunes.
Check the SHOWS page to find out when and where we're playing next,
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Thanks for listening and PEACE!