Schizoid Johnny: I’m Not Who I Think I Am

He plays every genre of music in the new show.

New Albums
Scads of guitars get used…

One-man-band Schizoid Johnny, aka John Steinhardt, has released a double album compilation of original material from his long musical career. The multi-instrumentalist, who just became the music teacher at Judith Gap School, says the album complements his new stage show, which encompasses his 21 albums and 33 years as a performance artist.

Schizoid Johnny plays scads of guitars in the show, which he says is a scaled-down version of past extravaganzas. He’s featuring 13 guitars – electric, acoustic, 6- and 12-strings, and resonator guitar, for that amped-up slide sound; a banjo, harmonica, drums/percussion, synthesizers, and amps. There’s no projection screens or 10-person crew of old.

Johnny’s sinewy voice, with its Bowie/Lennon overtones, weaves through the sonic filament with a sometimes hypnotic effect. He’s technical and cerebral within this wall of sound, and seems to create a galactic orchestra all by himself.

He plays every genre of music in the new show, and the musician says his ability to play and teach every instrument has already inspired his Judith Gap students.

In “Just Lookin’ For Some Peace of Mind,” Johnny sings with a souped-up country-rock nuance that contains whiffs of “Pinball Wizard.” In “Whatever Happened to Eddie Haskell?” he wonders about the Beav’s nemesis. It’s got rockin’ chords and a bit of tuneful whistling.

“My Love” is sweet. It starts with a slow-rock tempo and sparse guitar licks. Vocalizing in his tenor range, Johnny then drops to a deep bass and shyly sings, “Shall I kiss her? Do I dare?”

“Stickeen’s Raga” is an instrumental ode to his departed pooch, and “Fallen Angel” is a country-rock shuffle with kickin’ slide guitar. Many songs seem to evolve as stream-of-consciousness manifestos with elongated and well-played instrumental riffs. This is definitely not run-of-the-mill stuff.

Steinhardt’s credentials include studying music and performance art and education, teaching music, and performing worldwide for the military; he also donates proceeds from his many concerts to worthy local causes wherever he plays.

In the past, Schizoid Johnny has received loads of national airplay on progressive rock and alternative non-commercial stations. In fact, the new album is due to be released to over 100 stations in the country.

Steinhardt debuted the 25-piece CD in Judith Gap in June. All proceeds from the CD sales are going toward purchase of instruments for his students.


– Mariss McTucker