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Johnny Shoes / Press

“Johnny Shoes consistently finds a way to explore overworked subject matter in an imaginative way. With topics that other songwriters have worn out, he digs deeper to wring out lost morsels of truth. These shrewd songwriting skills are combined with a penetrating musical sensibility and impeccable technique on guitar and mandolin. His song “Whisper in the Wind” is among the very best ever written about Idaho.”

"Painting a portrait in song of the City of Trees is a daunting task. In Our Town, the new Boise 150 compilation sets out to do exactly that. For the most part, it succeeds admirably..." "...but three tunes on In Our Town are standouts. One is "Whisper in the Wind" by John Pisano, aka Johnny Shoes, who owned Old Boise Guitar Company for more than 20 years. Sung in a well-worn croon, the song meditates gratefully but unromantically on the miners, dancehall girls and others who "left behind the footprints that we walk in..."

"...Johnny Shoes is a man who knows from hard luck. He ran the Old Boise Guitar Company for 26 years before changes in the economy forced him to close it in 2010. He'd played guitar for much of his life, according to a 2009 Boise Weekly article that I came across, but he didn't start writing songs until 2008. I find that awfully surprising, because aside from the Gram Parsons, Bob Dylan and Louvin Brothers songs that he pulled out, I wouldn't have known his wry, warm originals from his wry, warm covers if he hadn't said who wrote what. Of course, it probably helped having a wealth of experience to draw upon when he turned to writing and performing full-time. During a brief break, he graciously spoke to me about his experiences travelling with renowned folksinger Rosalie Sorrels collecting songs and stories for the 1991 book Way Out In Idaho..."

"...Featuring veteran Boise musicians such as frontman Brad Deteau and Johnny “Shoes” Pisano, Poke's album takes its guitar picking and upright bass plucking seriously. But these guys don’t take themselves too seriously. The group’s lighthearted, classic-style country is driven by Deteau’s baritone vocal drone and wink-and-a-smile stories about drinking too much, carting truck-stop babes across the Northwest and picking huckleberries. Western swing drives Poke’s sound, but the band happily trespasses on remote pastures. “Owyhee” is Poke’s “Rawhide.” “Poke-a” is nothing more than an opportunity to bust out an accordion and write a polka song around a play on the band’s name. On “Sam,” Poke successfully channels the Ramones while sounding like the same ol’ country-loving, rockabilly-dabbling gang..."

"...Surfing the Web one day, Pisano came across the Guy Clark songwriting contest to promote Clark's new release, Somedays the Songs Write You. Clark, who has released more than 20 albums and has had songs recorded by singers from Johnny Cash to David Allan Coe, has long been Pisano's favorite songwriter. The 56-year-old saw the contest as a sign. "...With two days before the Sept. 15 deadline, Pisano finished writing "Pieces of Me and You" and submitted it along with seven other songs. He was informed barely a week later, that he had won the grand prize: a trip to Nashville to meet with Clark..."

“Guy Clark Songwriting Contest winner has been selected! The Guy Clark Songwriting Contest officially ended on Tuesday, September 15. We would like to thank all who entered and purchased CDs. Guy's CD is currently #2 on this week's Americana Chart and it comes in at #54 on the top 200 list for FMQB, the radio industry chart. Winner of the Songwriting Contest is Johnny "Shoes" Pisano ”