Wade Johnson started his career in the early 50s, performing with a symphony orchestra, ( for events called, the Chicago Rhapsody in Blues ).
As a long time sideman to Little Jimmy Stevens, Wade Johnson has now established his own style, derived from multiple sources of inspiration ( among them Tony Watson’s composing ).
Simple themes and jazz inspired grooves blended with soulful phrasing.
Since 2000 Birdie has made it his mission to just enjoy music, that’s why there are not many albums. The most successful cd was a single, Reflective Notes, that he wrote for fun, to a fashion model, Pauline O’Neil, for use on the catwalk. It actually got on the Billboard Top 40 chart for smooth jazz in 2013.
You can listen to it at Spotify … https://open.spotify.com/track/0JhUwsurNHsbfPq8vunL2c?si=CfMyudqb
From Little Jimmys site : “Birdie was an old timer who actually turned down a tour with Rolling Stones who he had met at 2120 South Michigan Avenue, the famous Chess Studio in 1964. This was the Stones first visit to USA and they demanded to see the Chess studio, and was surprised to find their idol, Muddy Waters painting the roof ( and not recording, it was not a good year for Muddy ). As an old friend of Muddy, Birdie was helping out. Soon a jam took place and the Stones wanted to hire Birdie right there, but he was to pleased at the moment , filling in for Mark Naftalin in Paul Butterfield Bluesband and playing straight blues, that he did not even consider the offer.”