PJ / About This Artist
Artist Details and Stats:
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Label: PJ Records
Management: Vickie Markusic- Bookings Vincent, Markusic & Associates 1832 W. Berteau Avenue, Suite 1, Chicago, IL 60613- Phone 1-773-398-6495, Mosaic Global Performance, LLC.
Sounds Like: Ethan "Ebassman" Farmer
I am a Bassist, writer & entrepreneur from Chicago’s West Side. I began playing bass guitar at the age of 8 years old. My cousin bought a bass guitar and a keyboard for his son to play. He did not take to it and passed it on to me. While practicing with my cousins I realized I could play by ear. This was the beginning of a beautiful thing.
While attending Hugh Manley High School in Chicago, I learned to read music and to go on and sharpen my bass playing skills. In sophomore year I was selected to be a part of Manley’s Jazz band. From there I was selected to be the bass player for The Chicago All-City Jazz Band from 1984 to 1987. During this time I received numerous awards which include “The Outstanding Soloist Award” at the Midwest Jazz Festival and “Outstanding Musician of the Year” from All City Jazz Band of Chicago.
After High school I started playing professionally around the Chicago area and Gospel recording artist Rev. Jessy Dixon approached me and asked me to become the full-time bass player for him and his choir. It was Rev. Dixon, who taught me showmanship and how to be a professional musician. This position provided me with the opportunity to perform with the talents of Andre and Sandra Crouch, Kurt Carr and Abraham Laboriel.
Currently I'm working with my new project “PJ & Soul” and just finished a CD to be release in July 2012. I'm also touring the USA and abroad with other artists. When not touring I’m doing clinics and studio sessions.
My goal is simply to have fun!
Highlights of Pennal’s Career
Hired to be Full-time Bassist for The Largest Church in Chicao, IL- The House of Hope- http://www.houseofhope-chicago.org/
Formed New Gospel Instrumental Band- G.T.S.S ( Gifted, Talented, Skilled & Spirit Filled)
Formed New Blues- Funk Band- The Chicago Tribe
Record the first Instructional video on "Tone & Texture" for Eminence Speakers at Namm Show january/ 2013
Performed at Namm Show 2013 January 24- 27, 2013
Featured as Co Host once a month on The Gospel Community Hour Radio Show 1570am
Hired to be Music Director & Music Consultant for Wheaton Christian Center
Toured with PJ & Soul- www.reverbnation.com/pennalpjjohnson
Toured with Funktion -http://www.funktionmusic.com
Toured & recorded with Sean Chambers
* Playing Bass with Safe Haven
* Performed at Winter Namm show for Eminence, Wyn Guitars, ESP Power Cables & Aguilar amplifier
* Recorded Live CD with Dr. Charles G Hayes & The Warriors
* Recording Cissy Strut with Leo Nocentelli for PJ’s upcoming album
* Hired as House Bassist for Clubbin TV (www.clubbintv.com) with Dwayne Wiggins
* Touring USA with Lubriphonic
* Endorsed Celestial Effects
* Winter Namm Show Bass Bash featuring Pennal Johnson & Friends with Felix Da Kat Pollard
* Toured and recorded with Lubriphonic
* Toured and recorded with Lubriphonic
* Winter Namm Show appearance for Uncontained Sound Cabs and Performed as Bass solo artist at Bass Bash
* Chicago Gospel Fest with Dr Charles G. Hayes and Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer Choir
* Guitar Center Clinic/ Mini Concerts
* Signed endorsement deal with Dean Markley Strings
* Signed endorsement deal Uncontained Sound, and Bullet Cables
* Winter Namm Show 2009 with Lakland Guitars
* Bassist for Father Charles G. Hayes and The Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer Choir known as “The Warriors” recording “Chapter One” (CD released 4/08)
* Music Director for Bishop Simon Gordon & The Triedstone Combine Choirs recording “Fall On Me” (CD released 5/07)
* Bassist for Darius Brooks recording “My Soul” (CD released 4/ 06)
* Performed in the 17th Annual Chicago Gospel Fest.
* Invited to be the Musical Guest at The Full Gospel Baptist Church Conference held in Detroit
* Performed “Lord Help Me to Hold Out,” and “I Didn’t Mean to Fall in Love during the 16th Annual Stellar Awards Announcers Dinner & ASCAP luncheon. Both included on the Spiritual Rhythms Volume 2 compilations CD. (CD released 2/01 – Advance Records)
* Shared Company with Eric Benet while performed during a fundraiser benefiting early childhood development residents
* Toured Delhi, India as a member of the 3-piece jazz band Tyris & Company.
Bass "The Gig Is On" Lubriphonic
Dr. Charles G. Hayes Bishop Simon Gordon Darius Brooks
Chapter One (2008) Fall On Me (2007) My Soul (2006)
Bass Guitar (Bass) Bass, Mixing, Mastering
Felton Offard Calvin Bridges Various Artists
Rise (2004) Praiseology 1 (2003) Spiritual Rhythms, Vol. 2 (2001)
Min. Cedric Ford Jessy Dixon Chicago Community Choir
Featuring Visions: A Choral Ministry (2000) He’s Able Rev. Jessy Dixon Presents (1993)
Bass Bass Bass
Reverend C.L. Fairchild Rev. Timothy Wright Jessy Dixon
Well Worth It (1992) I’m Glad About It (1991) I Know What Prayer Can Do (1991)
“Advertising Artist for Celestial Effects August addition 2012 page 169”
Priemer Guitar Magazine - Premier Guitar Magazine
“Set to bring his own funk-rock sound to stages across the US and abroad is bassist, writer and native Chicagoan Pennal Johnson with his band PJ & Soul. Having played with Manley’s Jazz Band, the Chicago All-City Jazz Band, The Legendary Rev. Jessy Dixon, Dr. Charles G. Hayes & The Warriors, The Beautiful Diva of House Music Kim English and most recently the now defunct blues/rock/funk band Lubriphonic, PJ is set to release his first full length album in September 2012 featuring artist great Leo Nocentelli of the Meters on the remake of Mr. Nocentelli’s own song ‘Cissy Strut’….. PJ is playing side by side with Mr. Nocentelli…….Not even John Mayer can say that about his version of "Cissy Strut"!!! Also notable players on PJ’s soon to be released album are Joel Cummins of Umphrey’s McGee, Wavy Dave of Corn Meal, Ron Haynes, formerly of Liquid Soul and toured with Lenny Kravitz and Sean Chambers, who toured with B.B. King and Hubert Sumlin. PJ & Soul’s concept is simply”
Vickie Markusic - Vincent, Markusic & Associates
“New Yorker Magazine : Night Life — July 31
Lubriphonic was created by the guitarist Giles Corey and the drummer Rick King, who recruited some of Chicago’s best sidemen—guys who had played with the likes of Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, and Koko Taylor. The group features a crackling horn section and a tremendously fluid five-string-bass player (Pennal Johnson), and Corey, who’s also the vocalist and the main songwriter, drives the engine with both funky rhythm playing and blazing leads. Read more here:
61 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg (718-963-3369): ”
Williamsburg - New Yorker Magazine : Night Life
“Whenever I think I'm on top of my game, I listen to what this guy I know PJ can do. OGM, fastest cleanest funk song I've heard in a while. Check out Rhino
Played on the same lineup with this dude at the Double Door, he's the nicest guy in the world and an amazing player to boot.
I met PJ by playing on the same bill as well quite a while ago. Before this band actually. I couldn't agree more with you. He's one of those people that is a shining example of what it should mean to be a "good person." He also just happens to be an amazing bass player as well.
“The other majorly impressive member of the band for me on this night was the bass player, Pennal Johnson. This guy was all up in my earhole with the bass, all night. His style & tone were both fantastically dense and he was mixed particularly heavily to boot. But the best part was that every once in a while he'd drop into a slappa da bass breakdown that would slappa da shit eating grin on my face. I'm a sucker for sick bass lines & rowdy slap style, so I think this guy just became one of my new favorite players.”
Sean Petykowski - Chicago Jam Scene
"61 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg (718-963-3369)—July 31: Lubriphonic was created by the guitarist Giles Corey and the drummer Rick King, who recruited some of Chicago’s best sidemen—guys who had played with the likes of Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, and Koko Taylor. The group features a crackling horn section and a tremendously fluid five-string-bass player (Pennal Johnson), and Corey, who’s also the vocalist and the main songwriter, drives the engine with both funky rhythm playing and blazing leads."
Williamsburg - The New Yorker
"Returning to the music room I was greeted with this funky bass line as Pennal Johnson began to solo. Johnson is a prophet on the bass and carries a heavy jazz approach to the way he plays."
Sean Petykowski - Chicago Jam Scene