“If you work hard enough, you can reach a stage where it seems as though the music is coming from somewhere else and is simply going through you. That’s Johnny. He’s there all the time. This is very, very rare.”
- David Bromberg
Johnny Duke was born in Knoxville, Tennessee and was drawn to the music coming out of the Mississippi Delta at a young age when visiting his father in Scobey, Mississippi. He picked up his first guitar at age 10, inspired by artists such as Jimi Hendrix and Muddy Waters. Soon after, he began to sit in with much older musicians at various clubs and festivals. David Bromberg, a legendary musician, well versed in a multitude of styles, took notice of Johnny's skills and became a mentor figure in Wilmington, Delaware, where Johnny went to high school. In 2006 he moved up to Boston to study Jazz and songwriting at Berklee College of Music, graduating in December of 09. His band at the time, Johnny Duke and the Aces, was invited to open up shows for blues legend B.B. King on a Northeast tour in 2007. In 2010, he moved down to Nashville and began touring as the guitarist and multi-instrumentalist with the Grammy-winning Country artists Little Big Town. He played guitar and other instruments on both platinum selling Little Big Town records Tornado and Painkiller. Much like David Bromberg, Johnny has developed a career of balancing the role of being a sideman and a frontman. Ashley Monroe, a Grammy-winning country singer, joined him for a vocal duet on the track Love Me One More Time from Johnny's debut album Reimagine, released in the spring of 2016. Other artists he has shared the stage with over the years include Vince Gill, B.B. King, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lee Ann Womack, Sheryl Crow, Miranda Lambert, Chris Isaak, Chris Stapleton, Jerry Douglas, and Don Was. Johnny has performed on many late night shows such as Jimmy Fallon, Ellen and Conan. When he is not on the road touring, Johnny works out of his recording studio in East Nashville, Spirit Radio Studio, producing both his own music and music for other artists and bands.