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New York Bass Works proudly welcomes a New York bass legend and icon to the family
Barry ‘Sun John’ Johnson
I first heard Barry Johnson in the Italian born group, Nova. 1977’s Wings of Love would be the first of two releases that Barry would soar on, before moving on to play with Return To Forever alumni and drum phenom, Lenny White in the group Twennynine. They would record three albums of music steeped in the funk filled R&B climate that was Jamaica NewYork. A scene that was a melting pot of influences, situations and networks, creating a warrior caste of players that are still influencing music as we’ve come to love and understand it today.
In 1981, I would hear Barry once again on musical wunderkind, Bernard Wright’s, first album titled, simply ‘Nard. Bernard is a legend in the NY scene and another one of the Jamaica cats that I just kept hearing about when I was a much younger man.
As a member of Twennynine, Barry was a band mate of keyboard genius, Donald Blackman. Don “Captain Keyboards” Blackman was also featured on the Lenny White album released in 1978, “Streamline”. Truly an accomplished player and singer in his own right, whose deft touch and versatility really caught my ear. Donald Blackman would release his first album “Blackman” in 1982. There again, smack dab in my ear, was Barry Johnson, as a crack member of this funk ensemble on steroids! Members were a young Dennis Chambers, fresh from George Clinton’s P Funk all-stars. Guitarist Eddie Martinez, who would help meld rock and rap on Run DMC’s influential “King of Rock”. Also giving Robert Palmer the cutting edge on Heavy Nova’s “Simply Irresistible” to name a few.
“ Blackman” is a desert island album that I highly recommend to any player interested in hearing what funk and R&B can sound like, when the reigns are loosened and the whole thing is on the verge of coming off the rails. What Barry Johnson does in the bass chair on tracks like “Heart’s Desire”, “Deaf Hookup Connection", “Holding You Loving You”, and others are in my opinion the holy grail of pocket grooving.
Barry’s list of recordings is an impressive one indeed. You can hear him playing or singing with Najee, David Sanborn, Kenny G, Cameo, Ryuichi Sakamoto, to name just a few. Barry has also toured with Nile Rodgers & Chic just to put a finer point on things!
We’re saying all this to say that we are very excited to have Barry onboard with an RS5 in his very capable hands. As a fellow bassist I count Barry Johnson as one of a handful of players that I’ve always revered for their musical prowess and taste. Not to mention, longevity in an ever difficult musical climate. Keep your eye out for an interview of this legendary player coming soon! DB
Bassist for the Tradewinds Band!
Tradewinds is an 11 piece award winning* high energy, versatile band performing throughout the Long Island and Metro NY area for over a decade. Few bands can provide a four piece horn section, five singers with close harmony and music selections to fit any occasion or venue. From Sinatra to Adele, Earth Wind and Fire to Jason Mraz, or Michael Jackson to Bruno Mars, we have it all right here.
Whether we are playing to a vast sea of people at Jones Beach before Jimmy Buffet, a young crowd at a landmark nightclub, or elegant affair for 600 at a corporate event, we are professionals that have worked every and all events.
Questions or want to book the band?
Call Pete Stumme, Musical Director
Dwayne ‘DW’ Wright
Catch DW this summer with the legendary Ms. Jill Scott!
Cheikh Ndoye “Sons Of Africa”
Mark Verdino is a bassist based in New York City. He is fluent on both acoustic bass and fretted and fretless electric bass. He is a sub on the broadway shows Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, School of Rock, Jersey Boys, Book of Mormon, Aladdin, Matilda, On Your Feet, Fun Home, Gigi, Mary Poppins, Spring Awakening, Young Frankenstein, The Pirate Queen and Movin’ Out. Mark held the bass chair for the Jersey Boys 1st National Tour, Jersey Boys 2nd National Tour, and the Spring Awakening 1st national tour. He also subs in the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra and in the band for the Big Apple Circus. He plays in the corporate party/club date band LUXE. He played for 10 years in the acclaimed Dave Matthews Tribute Band Ants Marching, as well as the Billy Joel Tribute Glass Houses. Mark is also the chair of bass instruction at Five Towns College in Dix Hills NY, and he keeps an active private student studio. Mark is endorsed by D’Addario strings, New York Bass Works basses, TecAmp amplifiers and MONO accessories.
Newest family member
Devaughn J. Denegall
Please welcome Mr. Devaughn Denegall to the New York Bass Works family! Devaughn is an up and coming player on the cusp of making his recording debut and we know that great things are ahead for this young gun. We first heard his name when Dw Wright mentioned it during our interview together last year. I knew that if his name was on Dw's lips it was for a pretty good reason. Keep your ears open because Devaughn has arrived!
Featured on Christ Church Worship newly released EP “As We Wait”
Josh took a minute out of his busy schedule to share with us how this epic recording was made. He also discusses some of the gear and techniques he used to lay down the foundation for “As We Wait”
“A little backstory for context….I’ve been serving at my not-so-local church, Christ Church in NJ, since 2011. It’s not-so-local because I live on Long Island and it’s about 130-160 miles round trip depending on which campus I’m serving at. Needless to say, I love it there. I have been blessed to serve along side some wonderful singers and musicians and I have grown exponentially on so many levels from my experience at Christ Church, especially working under the tutelage of the Director of Music, Clay Bogan. Clay is an amazing pianist and producer, working with some of gospel music’s biggest artists and who took the lead for Christ Church’s worship project “As We Wait”.
“As We Wait” includes songs that were birthed and written by some of the singers in the church along with Clay. We did one cover song that we re-arranged but the other tunes are original compositions. We invested some time in pre-production and getting together with the band and singers to feel out the songs. These sessions opened up a great opportunity to collaborate on ideas and try out different things for each song. Clay was gracious enough to give me some freedom to work on some of the production and arrangements with him on this project, which was a great experience. We recorded this project live in our West Campus location in Rockaway, NJ. We wanted to capture the essence of how our services work every week. We didn’t use top recording gear for it. We used the gear we have at the church. We overdubbed lead vocals and background vocals in a studio in NJ but everything else was done live at the church.
I used my NYBW RS5 Jazz for all of the tracks. I ran it direct thru my Noble DI/Preamp and straight to the board. I approached my bass playing in a simplistic way. The vocals and overall arrangements needed to be the “star” of this project so I stayed in my lane with some occasional embellishments to be true to the arrangement and overall feel of the songs.
"Heaven is Here" is a big sounding, rock feel that I felt needed to have some overdrive to cut thru a bit and I used a pick for this song. I rarely play with a pick but I wanted to stretch myself a bit and I went for it. So I rolled off of the front pickup a bit and used my Darkglass Electronics B3K Bass Overdrive pedal to give me a little bit of the grit that I was going for.
“Great Are You Lord” is a cover that we had been doing at the church for a few months. The congregation responded really well to this song and it really became a congregational declaration so we added some gospel elements to it and went for it. Again, I used my NYBW RS5 for this. Both volume knobs wide open along with the tone knob. I boosted the bass and midrange a bit and that was it. A fun 6/8 feel song that keeps you singing all the way thru the end.
“We Come To You” is a bouncy/fun tune. I went with an 1/8th note feel I just tried to articulate them a bit to give it some motion. The Chorus is different in that is gets off of the 1/8th note feel goes into more of modern gospel, line based, feel which is cool. Space is music and it really gives the listener time to feel the groove internally rather than have to hear the groove we’re playing.
“Ready For You/Be Acceptable” is the point where we really slow things down and get into a worship posture. It’s a beautifully written ballad that we didn’t want to complicate musically. I have my bass set with the vol wide open, I rolled off the tone a bit and went flat on the preamp with the exception of the mids where I rolled off a bit on that as well. I wanted to create a very legato/sustained bass feel to let the piano, pads and strings really create the musical texture. This song is a roller coaster ride. Be Acceptable was really a spontaneous moment during one of our rehearsal sessions that we wanted to add to this project. It’s times like this that we cherish at our church. A beautiful moment that helps people really engage in the moment of worship.
“Be King” was actually recorded a couple of years ago and this was done in Mozart Studio, which is now in Little Falls, NJ. It was and is planned for release on a solo project by one of our singers but funny enough there was a change in the song after I had recorded it on my NYBW Standard Jazz bass. I was doing a couple of dates in Guatemala when I got the email that I needed to re-record the part and I accidentally took a Precision bass with me as I rushed out of the house for those dates, so I ended up recording that track from my hotel room, with a P-style bass thru my Noble DI/Preamp into an Apogee One interface that I normally travel with. Again my role was to fill up the sonic space in the low-end department and I think it worked out well.”
Legendary bassist for Michael Brecker, Mike Stern, Steps Ahead, Vital Information and many other legendary artists too numerous to include. If you’re not familiar with Jeff’s playing here’s a little something from YouTube to nibble on!
Every Tuesday at The Five Spot Restaurant & Lounge 459 Myrtle Ave Brooklyn NY 11205
It's a jam session hosted by Ronnie Burrage w Kelvyn Bell, Jay Rodriguez & Jeff Andrews! Every Tuesday 6:30 to 9:00
Every Wednesday at BareBurger 149 Court st. Brooklyn from 6 to 9 PM, Duo with Guitarist Masami Ishikawa