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Johnny Fox Interview

by "Miss Vickie"
Special ops./STLBLUES.NET
~ Miss Vickie@STLBlues.net ~

The blues community has embraced yet another brother to the fold. That brother is Johnny Fox. Just a few years ago, Johnny came onto the scene and has not looked back. A bass-playing rock and roller since the age of 13, playing in bars around town, Johnny picked up the guitar and discovered a new sound; "front porch" acoustic blues. Johnny Fox is a solo artist, but his friends, and his brother Jim sometimes sit in on his gigs. When Jim sits in, the style of music shifts back to the bluesier side of rock; Stevie Ray Vaughn and the like. Johnny listens to R.L. Burnside and John Lee Hooker.

Now, how can you go wrong with music like that!

Johnny has made his mark, although, he had a bit of a struggle at first getting recognition. He kept at it with his press kits. He knocked on all of the doors. He wasn't selling brushes, he was selling his style of music and his songs. Now you can catch Johnny during the "Happy Hour" time slots. You will hear original songs as well as some covers from the greats, but even then, Johnny puts a different twist to these songs. People really enjoy listening to him play.
Most musicians, if not all, have had ups and downs in their careers. Johnny gets his inspiration from his dad, Larry Fox. A strong family tie will always get you thru the rough patches. Thanks Dad, for all of your support!
Speaking of family, Johnny's wife, Melissa is in on the act, but behind the scenes. It's just like they say, "behind every good man, there's a good woman"! Melissa handles the photography and assists when the two of them are at home producing cd's. Johnny records his own music in his living room. Fellow musicians come over and record, also. This has been going on for about the last five years. Johnny currently has 3 cd's available. A singer-songwriter cd titled "Hot Sauce", and two blues cd's titled "Two Sisters Cocktail" and "Last Call". Now you can imagine how he came up with Last Call, but what inspired him with Two Sisters Cocktail? Well, enquiring minds want to know, so I asked him. "Have you seen the movie "Angle Heart"? There is a blues guy playing in the bar and all he will play for is a two sisters cocktail." Well, there you have it ladies and gentleman. A title can come from just about anywhere!

When playing a solo gig, friends will stop in and join Johnny. Just the other day, right before this interview, Johnny was playing at the Shanti, located in Soulard on the corner of 9th and Allen. He was joined by a musician some of you may know, Jeff Sheehan. Jeff usually plays guitar, great guitar, but today, he was playing a stand-up bass. He had called Johnny to ask to sit-in to try out his bass. What a surprise and what a treat! Jeff and Johnny have known each other for many, many years. They go way back. They've played together before and you could really see that in their performance. A real treat!

Johnny Fox also has his hand in the radio world. He is the host for River City Acoustics on KDHX Community Radio 88.1 FM. The show was originally named, Song Circle of Friends, hosted by Clint Harding on the first saturday morning of the month from 9:00AM to 11:00AM. Johnny was on Clint's show one morning, when he found out Clint was leaving the station. Approximately a year or so ago, Johnny and Melissa took over the show. They received a grant from the Whitaker Foundation and renamed the show "River City Acoustics". They showcase all types of music, not just singer-songwriters. Johnny and Melissa bring in artists and record "live" at the Focal Point Fine Arts Center located in Maplewood, mix the music at home, and then bring it in to the station to play on the air. There is no "cover" at the Focal Point. Johnny only asks that when you come to the show, you bring a canned food item for the Housing and Resource Center. This is a very successful venture and I, for one, really enjoy the show! You can catch River City Acoustics the first Friday of every month at 7:00PM on KDHX Community Radio 88.1 FM. The "live" performances can be seen on the last Saturday of each month.

The Beale on Broadway, 701 S. Broadway, is Johnny's home on Tuesday evenings from 8:00PM to 9:30PM. When you go, let Bud know that you like what he's doing. He has worked very hard to bring us some really great music!

There is a lot of good talent here in this city, but unfortunately, some of that talent does not make it to the stage. Either drugs and / or alcohol will destroy them, and they leave us too soon. Many of the musicians Johnny has known have met this fate. It is this loss that inspires him to reach higher and to be there for his family, especially his son, Ben. Cudos to Ben! This young man, aged 15 years, has been accepted to a college with a full ride, ladies and gentleman! How proud is Mom and Dad and Grandpa! Great work Ben and great work Johnny and Melissa! Larry, keep up the support!

I'd like to thank Johnny Fox for his time and his great music!

For more information about Johnny Fox and his gigs, go to www.johnnyfox.biz.
For more information about River City Acoustics, visit www.KDHX.org or email Johnny at rca@kdhx.org.

To check out what's playing at Beale on Broadway, go to www.bealeonbroadway.com or call 314-621-7880.

Thanks again, Johnny, and Blues on!

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