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Louis Johnson Archives

Michael Jackson’s “Off the Wall” Gets Deluxe Release with Documentary
New Albums

Michael Jackson’s “Off the Wall” Gets Deluxe Release with Documentary

Michael Jackson’s hit 1979 album Off the Wall has been reissued in a deluxe edition that features not only the album, but also the Spike Lee-directed documentary “Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall.” Off the Wall was a juggernaut, selling 30 million copies worldwide and producing four Top 10 singles, including the Number One singles “Don’t Stop...

Detroit Bass Day Returns for 2015
Events

Detroit Bass Day Returns for 2015

If you hear a rumble coming from the Midwest, don’t worry. It’s just the buildup to Detroit Bass Day on August 8th, 2015. This year’s event will take place at the Detroit Institute of Music Education and promises to be the biggest one yet. Detroit Bass Day 2015 will be hosted by Lola George with special guest speaker Will Austin,...

In Memoriam: Louis Johnson
In Memoriam

In Memoriam: Louis Johnson

Bass legend Louis Johnson, the funk session musician who played on Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”, has passed away of undisclosed causes. He was 60 years old. Nicknamed “Thunder Thumbs,” Johnson was born in Los Angeles in 1955 and learned to play bass alongside his brother George. The duo would work alongside each other with Bobby Womack, the Supremes, and Billy...

The Brothers Johnson: Strawberry Letter 23 (Isolated Bass)
Bass Videos

The Brothers Johnson: Strawberry Letter 23 (Isolated Bass)

Here’s one great and funky bass line, isolated for your listening pleasure. The tune is “Strawberry Letter 23” by The Brothers Johnson. The bassist of course is the legendary Louis Johnson. Rick Suchow, who shared the isolated track, shares some info on this one: “Hear the actual bass track from the Brothers Johnson tune ‘Strawberry Letter 23’, from the original...

Bass Players to Know: Louis Johnson
Bass Players To Know

Bass Players to Know: Louis Johnson

A long, long time ago, when I decided to leave the confines of my basement and embark on weekly private lessons, I was lucky enough to find a teacher who opened my eyes and ears to the playing and players of bass. Yes, we focused on technique and theory. And yes, I was a known procrastinator — notorious for squeezing...

The Brothers Johnson: Stomp!
Bass Videos

The Brothers Johnson: Stomp!

Today, we’re gonna throw it back with the 1980 music video for “Stomp!” by the Brothers Johnson. Bassist Louis Johnson is holding it down with a perfect grooving bass line. Dig it.

Mashup: Louis Johnson / Drumline Jam
Bass Videos

Mashup: Louis Johnson / Drumline Jam

Vulfpeck’s Jack Stratton has a cool project called Sound of Two, where he takes two completely separate musical events and puts them together for a unique jam. Our favorite is a clip of slap master Louis Johnson, from his instructional DVD, mashed up with a clip of the Grambling State Drumline at the 2008 Bayou Classic.

The Brothers Johnson: Ain’t We Funkin’ Now, Live on Soul Train
Bass Videos

The Brothers Johnson: Ain’t We Funkin’ Now, Live on Soul Train

Well, maybe “live” is used loosely here since it’s lip-syncing on Soul Train, but there’s no doubt the Brothers Johnson are funkin’ on this episode, originally aired on August 26, 1978. Slap-bass pioneer Louis Johnson can be seen with an early Music Man StingRay, and gets some time to shine at the 2:46 mark.

Louis Johnson and Bill Dickens Jam
Bass Videos

Louis Johnson and Bill Dickens Jam

Here’s a cool video of funk legend Louis Johnson and 7-string wonder Bill Dickens trading licks at The Stage in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The clip kicks off with a couple minutes of drums by Reggie Bordeaux (and some weird faces), but once the two bassists start lettin’ loose, the good times roll.

Bass Videos

Funkstar650: Brothers Johnson “Celebration” playalong

George Oerlemans (aka Funkstar650), from Holland, used to have a lot of playalongs on YouTube but took them down after the controversy of MarloweDK’s account being suspended. In February, George had a visit from the great Louis Johnson, became a teacher of “Louis Johnson’s Black Dragon Bass Institute” and received Louis’ personal blessing to do playalongs. This is the result:...