Gordie Johnson is a busy man. The Big Sugar frontman plays bass for Wide Mouth Mason, is a founding member of Texas band Grady and still, he finds time to work as a producer.
Johnson's new project - Sit Down, Servant!! - will bring a steel-guitar flavoured combination of blues, gospel and dub to the Nanaimo Entertainment Centre on Oct. 23.
"When you're doing the thing that you do, I don't particularly notice that I'm overly busy," he said.
When he's not backing up hiphop artists or producing for artists like Joel Plaskett, The Trews, Warren Haynes, Gov't Mule or the Black Crowes, Johnson is likely busy exploring new artistic and creative avenues. In fact, Sit Down, Servant!! formed when Johnson was healing after corrective surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome - a condition that was the result of a lifetime spent playing guitar.
Healthy or not, Johnson could not ignore an invitation to join George Thorogood and the Destroyers on a cross-Canada tour in 2012.
After two days in a recording studio, they had their debut album, I Was Just Trying To Help.
"It's a different musical discipline," he said. "I'm not singing in every song; I'm playing steel guitar, synth pedals, playing songs that aren't on any of our records.
"It's not like I'm just picking up a double-necked guitar and trotting around the stage," he said. Given all the musical endeavours Johnson is involved in, it's no surprise he's toured Canada coast-to-coast many times.
The "well-oiled" musicians that find themselves finishing up a tour on Canada's West Coast are usually quite ripe for a few sessions at the recording studio. "By the time I'm about ready for a break from the studio, it's time to go out on tour," he said. "I never get bored. Never have the chance."
Fans headed to the Nanaimo show can expect a journey of soundscapes for their ears to feast on.
Whereas the group began with more traditional elements of gospel and blues, now the flavours have sown roots in areas like dub and hip-hop.
Suddenly the group will drop into a jazz standard, before journeying through the sounds of Miles Davis, shifting into Dave Brubeck, to The Police and then Hayley Johnson - all in one song.
"We've known each other musically for decades," Johnson said. "We're very agile."
The double billing of Lee Harvey Osmond and Sit Down, Servant!! hits the Nanaimo Entertainment Centre on Oct. 23. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at Arbutus Music, Fascinating Rhythm and Cranky Dog.
Call 250-618-7434 for more information.
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