The Official Johnny Nace
Johnny Nace Live
If you like real honky tonk country music you will love this. Dadís guitar playing and singing is at itís best. With lots of steel guitar and even some glass breaking in the background. The last seven songs are recorded live at Maxines in 1977. They feature, Dadís partner of twenty-five years on the steel guitar, Joe Green. His tone and authenticity toward this music is unbelievable. The way they trade solos and then twin the melody, itís like a country music jam band. I highly recommend it.
      Foreword by Mick Luerhman:
"Over the past couple of months I've had the privilege of spending some time with some old recordings by Dave and Jimmy's dad, Johnny Nace and his band, the Midnighters. What a treat it has been. I want you to get primed for this because itís going to be available to everyone before long. The story? In Februrary Jimmy gave me a CD with 18 songs on it from two different performances by Johnny and asked me to do some cleaning up. All I did was separate the songs into tracks on my computer and tweak the equalization (tonal frequencies) a teeny bit, other than that it's as is and a true joy to hear. If you listen close you may notice a few technical rough spots on a couple of songs because of recording levels in the original tapes, but for the majority of the songs the quality is quite good and really captures the spirit of those old performances. It's Johnny playing and singing live as I remember so well from years back."
      "When I was a teenager I used to sneak out at night and head downtown to the Stein House on East Pine in Warrensburg, sidle up next to the speakers just inside the front door next to the stage and listen to Johnny Nace and the Midnighters. With steel guitar master, Joe Green, the band played the country shuffles, ballads, and rockabilly numbers that kept the dance floor full. Later, after my own band Diamond Jim had gained some measure of success locally and regionally I was lucky enough to get to fill in a few times with Johnny at various clubs when he needed a replacement for an absent band member. That was part of my "schooling" in the music business, learning how to do the traditional country music the right way. Lessons not forgotten. Even later, we formed a renegade band to play rockabilly music and called ourselves the Twangcasters. . The band consisted of Dave Nace, Jimmy Nace, Doug Sparling and myself. We rehearsed in my basement and played a few rambunctious nights back in the 80ís at Bodie's in Warrensburg. When Johnny found out what we were doing he came on board for our live performances, broke out his rockabilly guitar riffs and boy did we have fun. There are some live recordings out there of that group that may surface some time. Also some great photos taken by Bodie."
      "Anyway, back to the CD of Johnnyís music, several of the songs feature Joe Green on steel guitar. Joe was a master of the smooth crying style of steel guitar, similar to Nashville legend, Buddy Emmons. He had a natural ability to make the instrument sing that is truly rare. He could match the best Nashville session players when it came to playing on a bandstand. Big Joe gave me lessons on the steel guitar to get me started, though Iíve never been able to come close to matching his command of the instrument. He was one of the most generous people I've known. He and Johnny were both so supportive of all of us who were trying our hand at making music back then. Both are truly missed. Also on the CD youíll hear how the night used to begin when Dave sings the Jimmy Rogers' tune, California Blues and then introduces his Dad as he comes onto the bandstand while the band plays the old Jimmy Reed blues standard, ďBig Boss Man.Ē
      "So as you can tell by my rambling here, listening to this stuff has been quite a trip down memory lane. And yes, this is kind of a teaser, a chance to let you know that Jimmy and Dave are working on getting this released to all of you soon. I just have to say that if you appreciate traditional American country music being played and sung soulfully, along with some rockabilly twangin guitar mixed in you are going to be in for a treat. I am so pleased that this music will soon be preserved and available to all. Thatís all for now."
  Mick Luehrman (aka, Burt Twangcaster)"
Johnny Nace
Billy Cox, Johnny Nace
Billy Cox, Johnny Nace and Leo
Johnny Nace and Carl Perkins Live
Johnny Nace and Dottie West
Johnny Nace and Dottie West Live
Johnny Nace, Faron Young and Ellen Nace
Johnny Nace and Faron Young Live

    article by Joe Cohen; Night on the Town; Friday, March 1, 1968

    Johnny Nace is a country and western musician who is out there saying something. Even more impressive are the crowds out there listening.

    Nace is fronting a group at the Club Royal, 3732 Main street, billed as Johnny Nace and the Woodchoppers. There are five Woodchoppers with Nace, and the group plays six nights a week. The place was jumping.

    "The trend in country music has changed," Nace said. "It's gotten away from the old stomping and picking music. The basic instruments behind country music are the same as popular-strings, drums, piano and vocal.

    "The fiddle, the old guitar and banjo, were the original sound of country music. They've been replaced by the guitar."

    Nace is backed by an accomplished group of musicians with Bill McCanally on piano; Doug Mastin, steel guitar; Bill Acres, bass, and Chuck Addleman, drums. Nace plays rhythm and does most of the vocal work. Acres and McCanally also do vocals.

    The group has been playing at the club for three months. Before that Nace played at several air bases and private clubs in the area. Nace has a happy restriction on his road work, because he must appear on his daily radio show in Warrensburg, MO.

    "I worked with them all from time to time," Nace said about his present group together. "So we just pieced the group together. Doug Mastin is the only guy who came off the road with me.

    "Country music is geared for a lot more people now. Before it was for the rural listeners. You played primarily for the old cowshed guy.

    "Now, it's becoming more and more modern because of Eddy Arnold, Marty Robbins, Skeeter Davis, Ray Price and the late, great Jim Reeves."

    Nace also ran down the list of popular singers who are changing to country music-Dean Martin and Nancy Sinatra, for examples. He is proud that the country sound is beginning to gain general acceptance.

    "Buck Owens called it music of the country-American music," Nace said. "It's gotten away from the country and western and become American."

    Nace started playing guitar with his family on a farm near Warrensburg. In the spring and summer work was long and hard. During the winter, there was time to relax.

    "In the winter, I would sit around the house and play," Nace said. "My father was a musician and his father before him and his father before him.

    "I first stared to play professionally when I was 15. I played second behind a fiddle all night at square dances."

    Nace got his chance at the big time by a lucky break. In Sedalia, MO., there was a show called "Hillbilly Jamboree" and Nace dropped into the studio one day to listen to the music.

    "I just got to talking to the guys and auditioned," Nace said. "I got the lead guitar job with those boys that night."

    From there things began to fit into place for Nace and his career began to move. Now, in addition to his club work and radio show, Nace also is active in the recording field.

    He has cut several records that have received mild success regionally. "Midnight Train to Georgia" sold about 20,000 records.

    "After expenses and everything, I guess I cleared about $200," Nace said. "I have another record coming out soon-"Sittin' on a Bar Stool" and "A Nice Way to Say You Love Me." I wrote them both. We cut them in Nashville. If the record breaks in any way, I'll have to follow through."

    Nace says country music is a complete story put to music that generally deals with a heartbreak.

    "The darn stuff grows on you," Nace said.

    article by Joe Cohen; Night on the Town; Friday, March 1, 1968

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