Recording and touring together from the mid-'90s through mid-2000s, Atlanta's King Johnson presented a heady mix of bayou-based rhythm-and-blues, funk-infused jazz, melodic roots rock and soul-shuffling boogie. The band was founded by guitarist/vocalist Oliver Wood, vocalist/bassist Chris Long and drummer Greg Baba, and later added trombonist Adam Mewherter, saxophonist Marcus Henderson (now with Marshall Tucker Band) and percussionist Chris Uhler. Driven by distinctive rhythms and the blistering horn section, the band counted the late Col. Bruce Hampton, blues master Tinsley Ellis and Zac Brown Band member Coy Bowles among its fiercest fans. King Johnson albums include the 1999 self-titled debut, Cats & Dogs (2000), Luck So Strange (2001), Hot Fish Laundry Mat (2003) and Live '05. Oliver went on to form The Wood Brothers with his brother Chris and several King Johnson tunes, including "Luckiest Man" and "Atlas," are now Wood Brothers standards.
In a "one night only" performance on 12/28 at the Capitol Theatre, King Johnson reunites with Oliver Wood, Chris Long, Greg Baba, Chris Uhler and Marcus Henderson, joined by trombonist Rich Sherrington, for a no-stop-signs night of grooves in the band's old stompin' grounds of Macon, Georgia.
R&B and soul singer Alanna Royale returns to Macon to open the King Johnson show after her knockout set here in September for the King of Soul Festival honoring Otis Redding. Her brand new album, Trouble Is, is earning stellar reviews. Plastic Magazine says, "Her ability to infuse each track with soulful emotion and her distinctive vocal charm is astonishing." Nashville Scene says of the album, produced by The Monophonics' Kelly Finnegan: Alanna Royale pours her heart out, her emotions flowing like molten lava into the deep grooves, creating an emotional mature and musically enthralling slab of 21st century funk."