Chuck Johnson: The Intriguing Story of a Guitarist’s Adventure to Success

To play this episode, please visit it on The Music Makers Podcast!

Chuck Johnson knew since he was a child that he wanted to be a musician. After persistently nagging his father (who played music in a band during rowdy parties) to teach him how to play, he learned his first 3 chords at 6 years old.

Chuck Johnson probably never imagined his early childhood fascination would turn into a successful career as a prominent member of 3 bands and internationally touring with a jazz legend.

From the ins and outs of forming bands over his career to the way he balanced a job with his musical commitments, Chuck spends this episode sharing stories and providing insight into his wide-ranging career– including playing some live music from his most recent album.

About Chuck Johnson:

Originally from Ferrum, a small rural town in southwest Virgina, Charles “Chuck” Johnson is a guitarist and vocalist for the band TK-421 and Najee. He got his first big break in a variety band called Bananas At Large. In addition to his experience with Bananas At Large and TK-421, Chuck performs occasionally with jazz artists Alex Bugnon, Jeff Lorber, Will Downing, Maysa, and others.

Show Highlights:

  • Chuck’s early musical influences, from family jam sessions to big-time artists
  • What motivated Chuck’s father to give him a banjo at 12 years old
  • Who influenced Chuck to veer away from his musical roots of country and bluegrass
  • When and how Chuck decided to improve his vocal cord care
  • How Chuck was recruited to join Bananas At Large
  • What goes through Chuck’s mind during a performance
  • Chuck hypothesizes on why Bananas At Large became such a huge success
  • The events that led to Chuck leaving Bananas At Large and forming TK-421
  • What it was like to perform in music while he was balancing a full-time job
  • Andy and Chuck reminisce about the cross-over in their musical backgrounds
  • How Chuck bypassed auditioning and began playing with Najee
  • Chuck’s tips for learning on the job in brand new situations
  • What it was like for Chuck to play in front of Stevie Wonder
  • Chuck shares his love of music by singing and playing a song from TK-421’s latest album

Links Mentioned in the Show:

Bananas At Large

Bananas At Large performing Led Zeppelin’s “Trampled Under Foot”

TK-421 – Facebook Page