“Bravo! Bravissimo!! Universal material that will appeal to people from all over the world, at any age!” –Patrick Moraz, Yes/The Moody Blues
Alex Johnson is an electric and acoustic guitarist and singer/songwriter from Massachusetts, USA. He has performed on nationally broadcast TV programs such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Ellen, and has been featured on CNN and ABC networks. His talent has allowed him to perform over 250 shows a year in twenty countries over four continents. He has toured Japan several times both as a solo performer and also with the senior singing group The Young at Heart Chorus (and appears in the 2008 Fox Searchlight film “Young at Heart”). He has performed with David Byrne (Talking Heads), Chris Collingwood (Fountains of Wayne) Richard Lloyd (Television) and many, many more.
In the last 30 years Alex has many full-length albums of original music featuring his songs, his singing and his guitar-playing. But his most recent band Colorway released three recordings from 2013-2018 which he is most proud of. Tokyo resident, Mott The Hoople’s keyboardist, Morgan Fisher said “Alex’s guitar playing is exceptional, and the whole vibe is positive and fun–well done!”
Alex was born and raised near Boston, Massachusetts and has played music in the USA since the age of 5. However, in July of 2019 Alex moved with his wife to Kyoto, Japan to continue creating and performing. From the first time he visited Japan he fell in love with the culture, food, language (he is always working on his Japanese) and the people. Moving here full-time he is hoping to perform as much as he can and continue making his art. If you live in (or are visiting) Japan check out his Tour Dates page to see if he’s playing near you.
Listen to an album in progress: all songs written and recorded in Kyoto, Japan!
Info on the band:
Colorway is a guitar heavy, pop rock trio formed and fronted by Independent Music Award winning guitarist, F Alex Johnson (The Young@Heart Chorus/Drunk Stuntmen).
Hailing from Northampton, Mass the trio exudes the progressive, energetic indie rock leanings of the Pioneer Valley (home of And The Kids, The Sun Parade and Sebadoh). Since forming in 2012 Colorway has put out three full length albums of finessed rock and roll (their 2015 release mastered by engineering legend, Bob Ludwig) and keeps a busy touring schedule performing at home, across the US and abroad. The band strive to make every live show an new experience where revelatory moments aren’t sacrificed for the sake of a cookie cutter set devoid of rough edges. Bandleader/vocalist/guitarist F. Alex Johnson gobbles up every inch of real estate on his guitar neck while bassist Matt Clegg and drummer, Riley Godleski hold down the fort with equal parts grace and ferocity.
Colorway has shared stages with Foreigner, The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, The Yardbirds, Delta Deep (feat. members of Def Leppard and Stone Temple Pilots), Ian Hunter, Quinn Sullivan and Television’s Richard Lloyd (who called the group “amazing and inspiring”) and was included in the 2016 Green River Festival alongside Dawes, Los Lobos, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Shakey Graves, Peter Wolf, NRBQ and tons more over three days.
The band’s third album, “These Are The Days” was released in June of 2018 and includes Chris Collingwood (Fountains of Wayne/Look Park) on backup vocals. The album–co-produced by Danny Bernini (Blondie, Martin Sexton, Stryper)–features nine songs about incredible love, loss, heartbreak and joy in this world we’re forced to share.
Colorway performs regularly in NYC, Boston, Burlington, Worcester, Albany, New Haven and at home in Northampton, MA. They tour all across the US on a regular basis and are looking forward to bringing their music all the way across the globe and back in the near future.
Alex has performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno as well as Ellen and tours nationally and internationally all year long, most recently playing a string of shows in Japan and Holland both as a solo artist and with the Young at Heart.
For a .pdf of Colorway’s bio please click here.
Photo above: Julian Parker-Burns
What people are saying about “These Are The Days”, the third full length album by Colorway (out 6/21/18):
“‘These Are the Days’ shows Colorway’s breadth, without stinting on depth […] a rock-solid collection of songs with catchy hooks, taut riffs and hard-won wisdom.” –Eric R Danton, Listen, Dammit (Paste/Pitchfork/Rolling Stone)
“These Are The Days’ will give you hope for humanity.” —Chris Goudreau, The Valley Advocate
“Alex’s guitar playing is exceptional, and the whole vibe is positive and fun–well done!” —Morgan Fisher, Mott the Hoople/Queen
“GREAT guitar throughout these nine, tight, non-overproduced songs. Very fluid and imaginative playing and Alex isn’t afraid to take chances. An excellent album.”
—Tom Guerra, Vintage Guitar Magazine
“Their third album is their strongest yet . . . songs you want to drive to on a summer day . . . songs to put a smile on your face.”–Lauren Daley, Southcoast Today/The Boston Globe
Check out Colorway performing “Everybody Wants Me To Love You” from their album release party below!
Watch Colorway perform “Always Been Summer” live on Mass Appeal on NBC
WWLP’s Danny New chats with Alex about the new album and the release show before they play live in-studio. Skip to 1:40 to go straight to the tune.
Check out a recent performance by Colorway of the song “Want To Be Everywhere” performed at the Hawks and Reed PAC in Greenfield, MA 2/15/18
Colorway at Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center just now. Yesss
Posted by Kara Kharmah on Thursday, February 15, 2018
Watch Colorway perform the new song “Keys To The Kingdom” at The Parlor Room in Northampton from First Night 2018
View Colorway’s 2016 One Sheet Here.
Check out a tune from Colorway’s show at Northampton’s Calvin Theater when they opened for Kenny Wayne Shepherd.
Some backstory . . .
Alex began his musical career at the age of 14, playing in various Portuguese wedding bands in his hometown of Fall River, Mass. After moving two hours west to Northampton in the early 1990s, he co-founded the alt-country sextet, Drunk Stuntmen. The Stuntmen would go on to release five CDs and tour the US and abroad upwards of 200 shows a year. They would also release a series of passenger vans from their possession by various ghastly means: fire, transmission failure, ghosts, etc. It was a long, hard but ultimately rewarding learning experience.
Alex is also the lead guitarist for the senior singing sensations, The Young at Heart Chorus, who were the subject of a 2007 Fox Searchlight documentary Young At Heart. With the chorus Alex made two CDs, performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Ellen Degeneres Show and toured four continents. He still performs with the group regularly.
But it wasn’t until 2007 that Alex got his wake-up call in the form of a DUI. After fifteen plus years of hard living he realized it was time for a change, quit cold turkey, and started journaling in his blog, Fearless By Default.
It was the clarity that ensued that allowed Alex to embrace making original music again. In the winter of 2012 he contacted Dave Hayes and JJ O’Connell and put the band together and booked some studio time with Mark Alan Miller at Sonelab in Easthampton, Mass. In June of 2013, Colorway released their debut self-titled album and began gigging in their region, building a solid fan base.
As new melodies kept waking Alex up at night and grabbing his attention it was time for the band to head back into Sonelab to record its second record, The Black Sky Sequined, the title taken from a poem penned by Alex’s late mother, Judy.
After the final mixes were cut, Alex decided to live out a dream and have them mastered by one of the best in the business, multiple Grammy award-winning engineer Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studio in Portland, Maine. Alex was honored to be able to attend the session and was even happier to hear Mr Ludwig exclaim after hearing the song, “Me and My Baby” for the first time, “That was a great solo . . . there’s lots of great solos on this record.”
The Black Sky Sequined was released 5/5/15 on CD, iTunes (MFiT) and 180 gram vinyl (cut by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman in Hollywood).
In July of 2015 Matt Clegg (bass) and Riley Godleski (drums) joined the group replacing Dave and JJ. Matt and Riley currently play in the Norrhampton-based Afrobeat group, Shokazoba, among others.
Watch Colorway perform “The Cycle” at the Pre-fest Fest in Greenfield, MA
Watch Colorway perform “The Happens To Everyone” live in Raleigh, NC!
Watch Colorway Perform “Everybody Wants Me To Love You” Live At The Parlor Room, Northampton, MA, 12/31/16
Watch Colorway Perform “Telephone” Live At The Calvin Theater, Northampton, MA 5/6/16
Watch Colorway Perform “Explain” At The Calvin Theater, Northampton, MA 5/6/16
“Then it began. Rockets. Stars. Flowers blooming.
The Black Sky Sequined.
Reds, yellows, blues, greens. Silver and gold.
Fireworks and the cheers of spectators.”
~Judith Ann Johnson 5/14/1941-1/11/2007