Saturday, January 24, 2009

Johnny Schizoid one man band

John Steinhardt (aka Johnny Schizoid), a one-man-band from California was at the Waterhole #1 Bar in Cowley, Wyoming, Thursday, Jan. 22.

Schizoid's stage show employs electric and acoustic guitars, banjo, keyboards, trombone, trumpet, bugles, harmonica, drums and electronic percussion. He sings the songs and plays every instrument himself. He has a bachelor's degree in music and has been a high school music teacher in recent years.

A few songs I remember from his setlist: La Bamba, Freebird, Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001 theme), Rockin' in the USA, along with some originals.

While laying down a guitar groove, Schizoid jams along with an electronic drum loop and other instruments that he played and pre-recorded himself. He then picks up another instrument or begins soloing on a keyboard before leapfrogging to another voice. He plays covers along with some original tunes. His show covers a gamut of musical styles and varies in tone from silly to serious. He also uses several costumes and masks throughout the performance.

I have to say, Schizoid is a talented musician. He has been playing on the road for 30+ years and creates a wall of sound you would expect from three or four musicians. He has painstakingly set up his show to play accurate versions of the songs he covers. I was impressed, and I can't say i'm exactly a typical fan of one-man bands. You don't really expect a one-man operation to respond to shouts of "Freebird" from the audience...

Introducing... Schizoid Johnny

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