St. Louis Artist Jeremiah Johnson's Latest Hits No. 1 on Billboard's Blues Chart


Jeremiah Johnson's latest has hit the top of the charts. - ANGELA RENEE
  • Jeremiah Johnson's latest has hit the top of the charts.

St. Louis blues artist Jeremiah Johnson is on a roll, with his latest, Heavens to Betsy, reaching the No. 1 spot on Billboard's blues chart this week.

It's the highest album position yet from an artist who is no stranger to the Billboard charts at this point — he's seen his past four releases all reach the top ten. Heavens to Betsy debuted at No. 3 the week of March 21, but rose to the top quickly.

"Holy moly man, I can't believe it, wow. I can't believe it," Johnson says in a video posted to his Facebook page. "Heavens to Betsy is No. 1 on the Billboard blues albums charts today. I'm just shocked, I can't believe it. I gotta thank everybody out there who bought the CD and the albums and the downloads and whatever."

According to the singer/guitarist, the honor took him completely by surprise.

"I just didn't see this coming," he says. "I mean, with all that's going on right now, for you to reach out and get the music, you know, it just means the world to me. I want to thank you very much. I wish I was out playing and could perform and that, but man, you really brought my spirits up. I was getting pretty depressed."

It's a hell of an accomplishment for one of the city's hardest-working artists — and one that celebrates an album that is something of a departure from Johnson's usual output.

As chronicled by the RFT's Homespun music columnist Christian Schaeffer in mid-March, Johnson shifted his sound to a more rock & roll direction for the new album, saying that Heavens to Betsy is "based on the stuff I'd hear on KSHE 95 as a kid."

The album marks Johnson's second for the German blues label Ruf Records — and Johnson admitted upon its release that he wasn't sure how the shift in sound would be received.

"I'm sure the record label would have preferred me to do a straight blues record, but I've been around, and I've got stories to tell," he said at the time.

It's probably safe to say the label is perfectly happy with how things have turned out, all things considered. Congratulations to one of St. Louis' finest!

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