In music, as in life, there are those who are content to follow the path of normality and certainty, unable to comprehend the intangible pleasures that come with venturing outside their comfort zone. And then there are those who are prepared take a chance, roll the dice, spin the wheel and take whatever comes their way. Johnny Casino is such a man. The rambin’ gamblin’ man, a musical journeyman equally at home in the high octane atmosphere of Motor City garage rock, the fundamental three chord riffage of 50s rock’n’roll, the charismatic soul of Philadelphia or the dusty plains of Californian country. With spiritual guidance courtesy of Chuck Berry, the MC5, Berry Gordy and Gram Parsons, Casino is always looking for new musical challenges, whether it’s a riff to plunder, a melody to celebrate or a moment to capture. Casino’s musical journey began with a high stakes wager. On the back of a flatbed truck, and in front of the winning post of a racecourse in the Australian country town of Mudgee, Casino at the age of 14 played his first show in front of a biker gang by the name of The God Squad . Having survived his initial musical foray Casino spent the 1990s as the guitarist/songwriter for Sydney rock’n’roll outfit Asteroid B-612. Asteroid B-612 battered and pummeled its way into the ears, hearts and minds of the Australian garage rock community. Five studio albums, a splattering of singles and EPs prized by rock’n’roll aficionados around the world. The band’s foray into the United States in 1996 left a trail of destruction (including within the band) In 1998 Casino, at that stage living in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, called on some friends to share in his fraternal rock’n’roll affection, forming Johnny Casino’s Easy Action. Johnny Casino’s Easy Action (including the inimitable Cosmic Commander on vocals and tambourine) toured the east coast of the United States, Australia and Europe, released an Ep and two classic albums, We’ve Forgotten More than You’ll Ever Know and We Paid for Affection, Not the House of Correction . In 2003 with Easy Action in temporary respite and Johnny living back in Sydney he scoured the Australian musical landscape for his next project. Casino chose to shroud his next venture in a cloak of mystery, forming Johnny Casino and the Secrets, with Casino backed by a rotating band of musicians located in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. The players may vary, but the basic philosophy – to invoke and celebrate the intrinsic beauty of rock’n’roll. Johnny Casino and the Secrets released 4 well-loved and highly respected albums in between the years of 2006 and 2013, touring Europe 3 times as well as countless tours of Australia. In 2015 Johnny relocated to Spain to the seaside village of Denia on the Costa Blanca and in 2017 he released the album Time and Time again to rave reviews across Europe, America and Australia, he toured the album throughout Europe and even played some concerts on the East coast of America in that summer. In 2018 the album Trade Winds was released which featured JC´s long time buddy Warren Hall on drums (The Drones/The Volcanics/Datura 4) and Martyn P Casey on Bass (Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds/The Triffids/Grinderman) and Johnny toured Spain and France, the album was recorded in Fremantle Western Australia with a star studded list of locals lending their talents to Johnny´s songs. In 2020 Johnny Released a very different album called ´vibrations, yours and mine´ where you will find him basically alone in the studio recording with just a guitar and a voice, this album is a collection of Johnny´s original songs and some choice covers and it is a very moody and haunting album. In 2021 Johnny released the single ¨twenty twenty¨ recorded while he was stranded in Philadelphia at the beginning of the pandemic, the song was basically written on the recording studio floor and explains the uncertainty, frustrations and paranoia of the situation, the b side of the single is an acoustic take on the classic Bored! Song ´People say¨ and is dedicated to Johnny´s long time friend Dave Thomas who had passed away during this time in Philadelphia. Casino’s quest is simple and honourable – to play music anywhere and everywhere, and to record the songs and ideas that just seem to come keep running through his mind. Wherever there’s a bet to be waged, a risk to be taken and winnings to be made, you’ll find Johnny Casino, a guitar and a whole of lot of rock’n’roll ready to throw on the table.

© Funtastic Dracula Carnival 2021

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