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 surfer and the drumming 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. Riff master. Rock & roll historian:
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 never put it down again. By age 21 he was touring the country with punk princess, Lydia Lunch. 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 of rock & roll keeps me going" says Jewels,
"He's a low-key rock & roll hero, like John Wayne....but with a Les Paul"
Comedienne. Drummer. 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. She attended the High School Of Performing Arts and got her SAG card working on FAME. She appeared on & off Broadway, in film & TV, and had a highly successful voice over career. Later, she moved to Chicago and studied and performed improvisation at The Second City. She began writing honest and funny poems, soon they became lyrics that blended perfectly with Johnny's irresistible 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, so much fun to watch."
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:
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 at Indian Cove by their rock & roll godmother, Miss Pamela des Barres, they have a deep spiritual connection to the monument and its 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.
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."
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 beautiful collection of vintage, high quality guitars. Check out the GEAR page for an up to date list of Johnny's equipment.
The Nations 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. Jewels' stage banter is off the cuff and right on point, she engages the crowd with wisecracks and stories when the vibe is right. They can also shut up and just play, song, after song, after song......Their versatile live shows range from intimate, acoustic duo gigs to full on rock shows where they are supported by a revolving group of talented players they have connected with in various cities on tour. Different rhythm sections and support players keep the sound fresh and evolving.
"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.
"Don't You Know" is included on the 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!