Molly Johnson has earned the reputation as one of Canada’s greatest voices. Evoking the aura of dark, smoky nightclubs of a bygone era, she speaks to an emotional depth that few vocalists in any genre ever reach; it is a voice filled with humour, joy, surprise, sassiness and, of course, love. Johnson has rocked standing-room only audiences in nightclubs and bars from coast-to-coast as a pop artist and seduced the patrons of salons and lounges with her luscious interpretation of jazz and blues standards.
Building on the strength of her first two CD’s (her self-titled 2000 release Molly Johnson and 2003’s Another Day), Johnson reveals herself to be a mature vocalist at the absolute peak of her powers. She is totally in command of her voice, her vocal technique and her emotions as seen with the release of her new album on Universal Music, Messin’ Around. Perhaps what's most impressive is the breadth of influences that run through the new album's twelve tunes. While the title track and Sunday are hip pop tunes, If You Know Love is a coy come on with Molly adopting the persona of a 1920s flapper. Let's Waste Some Time is infused with a hint of bossa nova, Tristes Souveni is French chanson replete with an old world clarinet and accordion arrangement, and Johnson's quirky cover of Prince's little known Tangerine is an ersatz hybrid of pop, funk and jazz that should get most listeners dancing around their living rooms full of unabashed joy and wonder that music can be so invigorating, fun and life affirming. While most of Messin' Around is upbeat, the disc's two most powerful performances, the Johnson-MacKinnon penned Rain and a cover of Bruce Springsteen's Streets of Philadelphia, are harrowing in their emotional impact.
Some may be familiar with Molly’s current summer tourism promotion for the province of Ontario. The TV commercial has been airing across Canada on such stations as The History Channel and The Weather Network. Molly is singing the featured song No Place Like This.
While Johnson continues to lead a stunning career in music, she has also started the Kumbaya Foundation and Festival, which raises awareness and funds for people living with HIV/AIDS. Johnson continues to work with countless other charitable organizations every year and in 2007 she was honoured with becoming an Officer of The Order Of Canada.
After decades of developing her art, Johnson has reached the level of the finest masters of the art of jazz-pop singing. Molly Johnson's time has come. She will be accompanied in Victoria by her long time bassist Mike Downes and pianist/background vocalist Lisa MacDougall.