Singer Songwriter - guitarist
Born and raised in St. Louis, Jeremiah Johnson is the voice of Mississippi River blues blending with the struggles of everyday life. He began learning guitar at age 6, drawing inspiration from his rich St. Louis blues heritage and legendary guitarists, like Alvin Lee, Eric Clapton and Hank Williams Sr. and Jr. With these influences, Johnson began building his musical foundation.
After relocating to Houston, TX, in 1999, Johnson finished in first place for three consecutive years at the Houston Regional Blues Challenges, sponsored by the Houston Blues Society. Johnson returned to St. Louis in 2009, and merged Texas style with STL blues to create the unique sound you hear today. The 10 years Johnson lived and performed in Texas changed his musical style in ways you can still hear in his music today. In 2011, Johnson was the proud winner of the St. Louis Blues Society IBC Challenge and went on to the semifinals to represent St. Louis in Memphis, TN. One year later, Sirius XM's B.B. King’s Bluesville picked up the Jeremiah Johnson Band, where they can be heard nationwide, and they have been playing his music ever since. You can also hear Jeremiah Johnson on Touch Tunes Jukeboxes in bars/clubs across the US and on radio stations around the world. In September 2014, Johnson filmed his docu-concert, Ride the Blues, directed by Australian Producer/Director Gary Glenn, at the historic Capitol Theater in downtown Burlington, IA. The film is live music video about Johnson’s rise to prominence, featuring intimate interview segments, still photography, guitar solos and stunning vocals. Donations from concert attendees were generously given to the theater and to the National Blues Museum, connecting Johnson’s roles of musician and music advocate. 2014 Johnson records Grind, produced by Devon Allman, features Grammy award winner Yonrico Scott on drums. Grind has been featured on SiriusXM's B.B. King’s Bluesville, and on the international radio show “Confessing the Blues”, broadcasting on 50 stations in 10 countries worldwide. Grind reached the #8 slot on the Billboard Blues Charts the week of November 7th, 2015.
Johnson follows the success of Grind with a self-produced release, Blues Heart Attack, released worldwide on July 22, 2016. This unique record is a blend of Johnson’s entire musical career. “It’s a combination of our earlier works, and then Grind,” he explained. “There’s horns and keyboard reminiscent of Brand Spankn’ Blues, but also some heavy guitar driven tracks. It’s the evolution of everything in a Blues Heart Attack.” Special guest performers include Tom ‘Papa’ Ray on harmonica, and Nathan Hershey on keys. Blues Heart Attack reached #5 on the Billboard Blues Charts following its release in 2016.
After signing a record deal with Ruf Records in March of 2018, Jeremiah immediately went to Texas to record his debut Ruf Records release, Straitjacket, with BMA award winning Mike Zito producing. Straitjacket debuted #1 on iTunes New Blues Releases and #6 on Billboard Blues Album Chart and has been in the top of the Roots Music Report ever since. After a European tour with Mike Zito in the Beginning of 2019 and then followed by a Northeastern USA tour with Zito again, Johnson has truly electrified a whole new audience.
Johnson released, "Heavens to Betsy", his 2nd Ruf Records Release on February 14th 2020! Johnson will be touring with the Ruf Records Blues Caravan 2020 and separately with his band though out 2020. With 70+ dates in Europe, the Legendary Blues Cruise and many top festivals already in the books, 2020 is going to be the year of Jeremiah Johnson.
Benet Schaeffer has become the heart beat of the band since joining Jeremiah Johnson in 2014. Schaeffer has decades of experience and can take the music anywhere Johnson wants it to go, Not just emulating nearly any musical style, Schaeffer dominates the beat. This ability has made Schaeffer one of the most sought after drummers in the Midwestern U.S.. He has toured Internationally and recorded on multiple projects, from Folk to Rock, Funk to Zydeco and lots of good ol' St. Louis Blues.
Schaeffer grew up in the LaClede Town neighborhood of St. Louis, a groundbreaking community that created models for future integrated urban housing. This district produced numerous creative minds and boasts visits from Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton. At age five, he knew he was destined to be a percussionist, thanks to the inspiration of Ringo Starr. He was exposed to an eclectic variety of music, including blues, jazz, soul, classical, Irish, Israeli and African, and of course lots of rock ‘n’ roll.
Schaeffer describes himself as a ‘mostly self-taught’ musician, strongly guided by the artistic soul of his older brother Dominic. He learned mostly by watching and listening to other performers. He was later mentored by the late Billy Gayles, a previous drummer for Ike and Tina Turner, who "Tore (it) Up" everynight!
Benet proudly plays Dixon Cornerstone Drums, supported by Gibraltar Hardware.
Tenor saxophone performer and St. Louis native, Frank Bauer is a powerhouse. Primarily self-taught, Bauer has previously lent his talents to STL groups All Roostered Up and Lucky Old Sons, and had the opportunity to record three albums with iconic St. Louis blues guitarist, Alvin Jett.
Bauer was inspired to pick up the sax and study music for a short period of time in grade school, thanks to his parent's eclectic musical tastes. After taking a break from performing in high school, Bauer rekindled his adoration for the tenor in his early 20's. His first lesson was with Rondo's Blues Deluxe saxophonist, Dennis "Chicago Slim" Lansing. After a few lessons, Bauer perfected his skills on his own by running scales and playing along with the radio.
Bauer began playing sporadically with the JJB based on the recommendation of drummer Benet Schaeffer. The chemistry on stage led to success in the recording studio, where Bauer was a featured performer on the band's 2016 album, Blues Heart Attack. Shortly after the record's release, Johnson invited Bauer to join the JJB full-time. Bauer has since become a power house member of the band.
Tony Anthonis joined the Jeremiah Johnson Band in April 2018. Born and raised in Saint Louis, Missouri, his musical curiosity began at a very early age. Thanks to his family’s love of music, he and his brother Joseph began their musical journey in elementary school. “Putting the band together,” became a lifelong endeavor. Tony took private guitar lessons in from notable St. Louis Jazz musician Chip Katz. In high school, he discovered his love for the bass guitar and live sound reinforcement through his involvement in theater and rock band productions. Tony studied electric bass with St. Louis virtuoso performer and teacher Barry Seigel, and later attended the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri Kansas City. He majored in composition with double bass as his applied instrument. There he met some great mentors and friends such as Danny Carey of Tool, legendary jazz pianist Joe Cartwright, and Kansas City’s guitar hero Freddie Francis.
After his time at the conservatory, Tony spent several years playing professionally and touring the United States. Most notably he played with Saint Louis based band Splash; Trespasser based in Spokane, Washington; and Elura based in Los Angeles. He returned to Saint Louis and enjoyed writing music with original projects such as The Dharma Bums with Benet Schaeffer (now with the JJB!), Jon Rosen, Perry Emgee and David Glauber; The Instigators with Wally Treppler and the late Doug Franks; WitchHammer with Randy Hetlage, Martin Brown, Casey Adams and Thomas Carrington; and Operator 303, a progressive rock trio, with Nick Watson and Kevin Shutt. He met the love of his life, Cheryl, and raised six beautiful children. He does freelance recording and live sound production in his spare time.
Tony feels incredibly blessed to be playing with Ruf Records blues artist, Jeremiah Johnson. The opportunity to play in an original band that is signed to a prominent label with such talented musicians and friends is his dream come true.