BioA career musician for 35 years and then some, Johnny Chimes is one of the most versatile blues musicians in the Midwest. While he is located in Madison, WI, his pumping left hand might as well reside in Louisiana. With influences ranging from Leon Russell and Mose Allison, to Dr. John and Professor Longhair, he is a jambalaya of boogie-woogie piano, finger-style guitar, and sweet southern soul laced vocals. Disciples of vintage piano know him primarily for his prowess on the ivories. But Chimes is an accomplished songwriter as well, and seamlessly weaves his original compositions into a set along with New Orleans and blues standards. Equally comfortable behind a piano in a smoke filled corner bar as he is on stage in front of thousands, Chimes has the retro cool vibe to make the whiskey taste better, and to make your problems seem like one good blues song away from vanishing into the night. Instantly transporting his audience into the heart of Bourbon Street, Chimes (either as a solo piano act, or with his Natch'l Blues Band) has the ability to kick up a good old fashioned Louisiana get down in just about any situation. His groove is deep and infectious, and guarantees to move the feet to match the beat.
As one of the Madison's best kept secrets, he entertains regularly on weekends at Louisianne's Restaurant in Middleton, WI, and during the week at various clubs and eateries in and around the capital city. Justifiable so, his fingers are raw during Mardi Gras time as he is one of the most in demand artists. Chimes has also shared the stage with Louisiana "luminaries" such as the Radiators, the Iguanas, Bonerama, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and Gino Delafose.
In 2004, Johnny Chimes was invited to perform at the opening night ceremonies for the world renowned Madison Overture Center. ESPN had Chimes as a featured act when the Outdoor Games came to Madison. He has taken the stage at countless blues festivals, including The Hogwild BBQ Fest, University of Wisconsin Blues Festival, and the Fete du Marquette. In conjunction with Louisianne's restaurant, Chimes help raise over $7,500 to aid the musicians of New Orleans, who lost everything in the hurricane Katrina. Author Gary Knowles of Madison Magazine observed, "Johnny Chimes is on his way to becoming a Madison music legend."
Johnny Chimes has released six albums. 2001's "The Blue Hour" showcases his songwriting and remains one of his best. His 2004 original music disc, "Fork in the Road," was reviewed by Rob Thomas of The Wisconsin State Journal, noting undeniable "great storytelling and terrific tunes." 2010 brought the release of his latest album titled "In The Moment," featuring a wide range of original compositions ranging from a Bayou flavored romp down the Mississippi, to a funky New Orleans love plea, to a guitar driven blues number. Chimes also features a number of guest artist on the album, including his son Moses Patrou on drums. Music is the family business.