Johnny Beauford on Why it's Getting Better to Be a Dallas Musician
Whether fronting Bravo, Max! or going solo, local singer/songwriter Johnny Beauford has a lot to say and a very pretty way of saying it. Over the course of six years, this Winspear Opera House bartender has made his way into three different local acts while still finding time to release two fine solo EPs.
Courtesy of Johnny Beauford
Speaking from his home in east Dallas and in anticipation of his CD release show this Saturday at Three Links, Beauford was kind enough to speak with DC9 about his sophomore effort and his opinions about the state of the local scene.
Can you talk a bit about the new solo EP?
Yes, it's my second EP. It has seven songs. The first one had seven songs as well. These are both leading up to a full length solo album that is just about finished. I wanted to get some stuff out there before I finished up the full length. This new EP was recorded over six months at the end of last year. It's pretty much completely solo. I had a little help from friends, but most of it is just me.
Any Bravo, Max! guys on the EP?
Yes, J.J. from Bravo, Max does some percussion work. And he helped on the production work as well. He's pretty much involved with anything I've done.
What's the difference between your solo material and what you've done with Bravo, Max!?
It's the same sort of genre I guess. The solo stuff is more like a mix tape. It's whatever I wanted to do. It was a free writing project for me. I don't feel like I have to have every song have a similar feel. Hopefully, the vocals tie it all together. It's just kind of all over the place in terms of style. This solo thing is freer to go any direction it wants to.
So, you're saying that Bravo, Max fit sort of into the alt-country genre?
Right, I think the solo stuff is more pop than alt-country. Bravo, Max! is more alt-country because that was the idea behind it. We started with a couple songs that were waltzes. I had a lot of finger picking stuff going on that took things in an alt-country direction. With the solo stuff, the hope is that each song is a brief and concise unit. That is the only common ground. For me, each track is a pop song, whatever that means.
You also have other projects such as the Jack Kerowax and Dead Moon Choir. How many irons do you need in the fire?
As many as I can to justify doing this full time. I usually have more time than the rest of the people in the band, so I can go off and help with another project. I am actually playing bass now in Dead Moon Choir. That has been a lot of fun because I don't have to do any vocals except here and there.
Are you from Dallas originally?
I am from Duncanville, just south of Dallas. I've been involved with the Dallas scene since Bravo, Max came together in 2007. I feel like it's been longer than it probably has. I've been writing for four or five years, but I've really been pushing hard since 2010.
Do you have a day job?
At this time I do. I tend bar at the Winspear Opera House. It's a full on black tie, black coat, black shoes experience. It seems pretty fancy, I guess.