“You gotta hear this band!”–Peter Holsapple, The dB’s/REM
Independent Music Award winner, F. Alex Johnson’s band, Colorway is an original trio from Northampton, Massachusetts who play rootsy, pop-rock songs infused with inventive, energetic and melodic lead guitar. The band’s second album, The Black Sky Sequined (mastered by engineering legend Bob Ludwig) was called “One of the finest rock albums of 2015” by Ric Albano (Modern Rock Review) and Diffuser’s Chuck Armstrong called the band’s single “Come Back July” “impossibly catchy” when they premiered the video in 2015. Colorway has recently opened sold out shows for Foreigner, The Yardbirds, Delta Deep (feat. members of Def Leppard and Stone Temple Pilots), Ian Hunter and Television’s Richard Lloyd (who called the band “amazing and inspiring“). The trio was also included in this year’s Green River Festival which Rolling Stone named a “must see” music fest.
Though the easy way to describe the style of music is rootsy, pop-rock, don’t be fooled. The band can jam, and are convincing audiences far and wide that it’s possible to extend the boundaries of the traditional four minute song and still have it stuck in your head all day.
Some artists Colorway has performed with:
Foreigner, The Yardbirds, Ian Hunter, Richard Lloyd (of Television), Delta Deep (feat members of Def Leppard and Stone Temple Pilots), Quinn Sullivan, Matt Schofield, Davy Knowles, And The Kids, Aldous Collins Band, Mammal Dap, The Z3 featuring Ed Mann (Frank Zappa), Flux Capacitor and more.
Colorway didn’t start the rock revolution, but its fighting spirit is certainly strong. Band leader F. Alex Johnson stands tall, front and center and sings about why love, loss and the search for contentment isn’t something to scoff at. But his searing guitar work is the real star here, bending, bobbing and and weaving lyrical solos up and down the neck. His extensive experience from recording and performing in the U.S. and around the globe isn’t worn on his sleeve. But you can see it and feel it in the way he does what he loves—what’s he’s done almost all of his life.
The power trio format—guitar, bass and drums—is the perfect vehicle for Colorway’s music. Space is as important as density here, and bassist Matt Clegg and drummer Riley Godleski hold down the proverbial fort with equal parts grace and ferocity. Meanwhile, Johnson powers on, sometimes teetering dangerously close to aural chaos but somehow always coming in for a secure landing.
In short, Colorway, who calls Northampton, Massachusetts home, is a reflection of three very different people’s love of music in all its forms.
Come join the rock revolution and see, hear and feel what Colorway does. They promise it will be one hell of a time.
A little bit longer of a story:
F. Alex Johnson formed Colorway in early 2013 in Northampton, Massachusetts along with bassist Dave Hayes (Superkart/Heather Maloney) and drummer JJ O’Connell (Heather Maloney/MC Frontalot).
The band seamlessly fuses stuck-in-your-head pop songs with ferocious Gilmour/Zappa-influenced guitar playing. Colorway’s self-titled 2013 debut included the song “Live With Me”, which was chosen by WRSI 93.9 (AAA radio) listeners as the #3 song of the year.
Colorway wasted no time releasing their second album, The Black Sky Sequined, which was recorded by Mark Alan Miller and mastered by multiple Grammy award-winning engineering legend Bob Ludwig.
The ten song album features nods to rock and pop luminaries like Tom Petty, Wilco, Richard Thompson, The Black Keys and XTC. But Colorway does so while maintaining a rough edge and original sound that aims to speak to music fans of any generation. Alex’s subject matter touches upon the joys of life, the heartache of loss and the terrifying beauty of a life currently lived clean and sober in a crazy and punch-drunk world.
The first single, “Come Back July” was chosen by the listeners WRSI 93.9 (AAA radio) as one of the top ten songs of the year.
In July of 2015 bassist Matt Clegg and drummer Riley Godleski joined the group replacing Dave and JJ.
View Colorway’s 2015 hot sheet here.
2014 Independent Music Award:
In the spring of 2014 F. Alex Johnson won an Independent Music Award for his contribution to the album Action Moves People–a compilation of spoken word with music accompaniment benefitting Move This World. MTW is a global non-profit that uses creative movement to address and transform conflict and violence in communities. The lead-off track to the album is titled “The Human Race” featuring the words of Karelleyn Brae Wade with original music by Alex who also provides the spoken word. Check out the track here or the whole album here.
Watch Colorway Perform “Everybody Wants Me To Love You” Live At The Parlor Room, Northampton, MA, 12/31/16.
Watch Colorway perform “Explain” at The Calvin Theater, 5/6/16.
Watch Colorway perform “I Don’t Want To Go Home” recorded at Luthier’s Co-op in Easthampton, MA 2/19/16 below See more videos here.
Watch Colorway play “Me and My Baby” live from a recent appearance at Radio Bean in Burlington, VT. See more videos here.
Colorway’s one-sheet for quick facts about the band’s 2013 debut album: