Johnny V (Vermilye) as a musical artist likes to stay "true to himself". A singer/songwriter with a complex sound that transcends genres, his bluesy, folk, Americana sound has a flavorful twist that keeps an audience's attention. His unique style has been influenced by his love of a wide variety of music from acoustic to bluegrass to R&B to progressive rock.
A dynamic live performer, either solo, with any one of many accomplished musician friends, or with a full band, Johnny V blends a wide variety of cover music and originals to put together a show that is always unique and never disappoints.
With the 'Heart of Gold Band' Johnny and friends pay tribute to Neil Young with both a Crazy Horse vibe or a sultry, soulful acoustic approach.
The start of 2018 brought us the band 'Wildflowers' paying homage to Tom Petty to very positive reviews.
With four standout albums under his belt: "Inside Reality" (2007); "Wood Chips" (2011), "Barns and Bridges" (2015); and "Balance" (2018), the musical journey takes you through a wide variety of styles and stories with each album designed to capture your imagination and keep you belted in for the whole ride.
Johnny has a lot in store for both his faithful followers and ever-growing fan base. He seldom has only one project in flight at any given time, and this year is no different. With both a folk LP and progressive rock concept albums underway in the studio, the creative fuel and stories keep flowing.
Johnny was born in Houston, TX to a home filled with music. His mother sang in the church choir and would play musicals on vinyl. His time was spent listening to whatever sounds he could get from the AM/FM dial.
After moving to the Chicago area when he was around ten years old, John learned to play the guitar, and as a teen attended Crete-Monee High School in the South Suburbs of Chicago.
Influenced at a young age by the likes of Rush, Dylan, The Beatles, Queen, Pink Floyd, Yes, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Dire Straits, Genesis, ELP, and Simon & Garfunkel, Johnny began writing music at the age of 13. He and friend Don Chalmere as "Black Feather Climax" recorded their first album "Everclear" on an old Tascam reel to reel. They had two hundred sleeves for the album produced, but as teens couldn’t scrounge funds together to press the vinyl to fill the sleeves! The music to this day still resides on a reel-to-reel tapes and just recently coverted to CD. They played teenage dances and whenever or wherever else someone would let them plug in.
At 18, his musical experience changed a bit when he joined the country rock band Saddle-Sore for a couple years.
In 1993, the Chicago/NW Indiana band "Takabite" was formed. For nearly 20 years the band rocked the area at festivals and favorite watering holes and shared the stage with the likes of Credence Clearwater Revisited and Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad). In 1998, Takabite released "Food For Thought". In 2001 the Special Limited Edition Multimedia EP “Little Elvis” was released. Even with the original music, Takabite remained known as a cover band and Johnny turned to focus more on creating/writing in the hopes of injecting more personal feelings, variety, and mystery into the live performances.
In 2004, the culmination of more than two years of creativity, talent and dedication of the collections of some Chicago/NW Indiana area's most accomplished and talented musicians gave birth to the band and self-titled album "Medicine Wheel". With the release of "Medicine Wheel" not only did a wonderful musical project come to life, but also Johnny's dream of musical song writing became a reality.
In 2008 Johnny's song writing career catapulted with the release of INSIDE REALITY, an eclectic collection of acoustic, folk, reggae, Latin, rock and yes….even a little jazzy number to boot ("Cool Shoes"). The album is just under 70 minutes long and was engineered and produced by Rick Watson.
His 2011 release WOOD CHIPS breathes life into a new genre of music as Johnny folds his visions and stories onto an album with an ebb and flow that truly paints a visual with lyrics wound around the music. He will be the first to tell you that he is very fortunate to be able to record with musicians that can translate his vision to a reality when the engineer presses the “record” button. This album is greater than 70 minutes and was engineered and produced by Bobby Scumaci.
2015 saw the birth of Johnny's third release BARNS AND BRIDGES, an audio road trip through the beauty and storied past that embodies Americana. With return performances from many of the talented musicians that graced Wood Chips with their arts and again engineered by Bobby Scumaci, the album is the perfect travelling companion for any car ride.
The 2018 release of BALANCE was aptly named as it highlighted the growth and change of a veteran artist. Balance is a meandering trip through a variety of musical styles and topics culminating in its powerfully rich title track, courtesy of Johnny V and his seasoned cast of talented musicians. This album marks a successful first collaberation with Thunderclap Studios and engineer John Carpenter at the helm.
Johnny plays both acoustic and electric guitar, piano, mandolin, and harmonica; and is known to pick up the ukulele. His vocals and sound have been compared to Kris Kristofferson, Shawn Mullins, Mark Knopfler, Greg Allman, Neil Young and yet with an original sound that keeps him true to the music and his songwriting.
Today, you can find Johnny playing venues anywhere from Chicagoland and Northern Indiana to Toledo Ohio, Wisconsin, Northern Minnesota and beyond. No matter where he may be or what type of music you're looking for, you can be guaranteed he will deliver. Whether he's playing acoustic, rockin' the house, or jamming with his very talented friends, his live performances have no boundaries. Johnny's passion, vunerability, and committment to his craft lead him to open his heart and embrace audiences of every size. So, if you’re ready for a night out on the town with a musical surprise, capture a magical moment with Johnny V.
In addition to solo shows, he also performs with:
Heart of Gold Band (Neil Young Tribute featuring Danny Moore, Rocco Labriola, Billy Romer)
Johnny V's Wildflowers (Tom Petty Tribute featuring Janis Wallen, Rich Fobes, Kid Mikey, Dickie Laich, and David Gans)
Johnny V & Friends (Anything goes. Too many to mention)
PB&J (Vinyl rock with Paul Bolger, Bobby Scumaci and Jeff Kissel)
The Killer Bzzz (Originals and beyond featuring Garrett Degnan, Mike Holtz, Rich Fobes, Anthony Massaro)