Johnny’s songs for grown-up people can invoke a late-night car ride through the
country, a secret spot for secret things, ordinary moments of near-danger, or a
bonfire on the beach with endless possibilities. It can sound like Lou Reed and
Gillian Welch and Jonathan Richman started a garage band and got a gig at the
sock hop. Catch Johnny solo or with the Bells (A rotating cast of ne’er-do-wells).
The Portland Mercury’s Ned Lannamann had this to say about Johnny & the
Bells self-titled album,
“Songwriter Johnny Keener has been making terrific overlooked music in
Portland for a few years now. That level of attention deserves to change...
(Johnny & the Bells) is filled with dashingly handsome songcraft...Keener's in
complete charge of his genially seductive sound. Highlights on Johnny and the
Bells abound, but if the specific melodies of "Inspirational Speaker" and "Louise"
leave you cold, you are probably dead inside.”
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