Reviews

Regarding Nedra’s solo performance, the CD Nedra and her debut release Testify 

“It’s not just Nedra’s soulful, powerful voice that make “Nedra” stand out, although those who may have seen her at an Open Mic know that her stripped-down guitar-and-vocals performances can stand on their own. Just as vital as her voice are her selection of musicians, her impeccable production values, and her lyrics that boldly and smartly explore feminism, sexuality, religion, tolerance, and her own life experiences. 

Nedra Johnson is truly a genre-buster, vision-wise and music-wise. I’m going to be so bold as to say that the self-titled “Nedra” is, hands-down, the finest album– queer or otherwise– to come out this season. Her impact is powerful whether she’s on stage armed with just her guitar, or playing with her five-piece band.” 
– Jed Ryan, PM Entertainment Magazine

“Provocatively soulful… 

Like an acoustic incarnation of Big Mama Thorton and Ani DiFranco, in “Michfest Blues,” Johnson sounds like a smiling maverick ready to push the envelope at any cost. Other songs combine funky baselines (think Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground”) and a harmonizing synthesizer in the background leaving behind an early-’90s smooth jazz feel. Johnson has been known to perform the occasional Kurt Cobain cover. She bridges the feel of listening to old blues greats with cutting edge lyrics addressing social issues and what it’s like to love the modern woman.” 
– Jana Katz, Daily Collegian 

“If MeShell Ndegeocello is moving in a more jazz-oriented direction, then Johnson has the talent to pick up where she left off.” 
– Gregg Shapiro, Bay Area Reporter 

“Nedra Johnson previewed songs from her forthcoming self-titled album on Big Mouth Girl Records. The good news is that her renditions on the disc capture the good-natured sexual and social spirit of her live performance and every song is a joy to behold.” 
– Gregg Shapiro, Chicago Free Press 

“Nedra Johnson, blues and soul singer out of the Bronx has a red wine stained red velvet pillow for a voice. She’s set deep; with rough cuts sung well.” 
– Hanifah Walidah, Sucka For Life 

“She is unapologetically queer and graciously thankful to the women’s music scene. Nedra Johnson is my hero. Witty and earnest, the songs on Nedra range from blues, jazz, and gospel to that hard-to-describe genre that is basically music to get it on to….mixed like a perfect martini, crisp and a little naughty.” 
– Kris Scott Marti, AfterEllen.com 

“Her voice evokes the soulful, smoky blues sound of the ’30’s and ’40’s, but with a definite ’90’s attitude. Her music (a blend of blues, funk, jazz, gospel, rock and R & B) is peppered with ’60’s folk angst, but with a definite ’90’s agenda. She has a reputation for being outspoken (the name of her record label: Big Mouth Girl), yet New York’s Village Voice found her “charming”, and described her songwriting as “irrepressibly sexy”. She defies categorization. In short, Nedra Johnson is an original, and she delivers her message loud and clear, with spirit and style.” 
– BackStagePass.org 

“Nedra Johnson is a musical wonder. Her lyrics are often profound, yet highly accessible to anyone who has a heart and faith in the possibilities of love. It is tempting to compare Johnson to other, better-known contemporary artists, but the truth is, there is no comparison that will do. ” 
– Drew Alise Timmens, Lesbianation.com 

“Blues and jazz mix in the stunning music of Nedra Johnson, who’s not above covering Kurt Cobain when the mood suits her. You fall in love with her the moment she tells you her baby has “sanctified booty.”” 
– Alex H., Listen.com 

“Everyone in town these days, from Sapphire to Toshi Reagon to every other dyke you meet, seems to be talking about Nedra Johnson. The local acoustic funk blues (two-time GLAMA-nominated) powerhouse will rock the house…” 
– Lesbo Musts, HX for Her 

“This is one spirit singer who could give Jerry Falwell a heart attack. Birthed in the blues of Bessie Smith, the hymns of Big Maybelle, and the soul of Kurt Cobain, this jazz baby brings a punk energy to the sacred and profane body prayers she growls at the temple of Aphrodite and into the mosh pit of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. Johnson’s musky invocations welcome all who believe in the power of booty to heal the soul. This is conversion music for those in need of sexual healing.” 
– Jim Fouratt, The Advocate 

“Much like Ben Harper and Toshi Reagon, Johnson is a 90’s songwriter whose penchant for integrating funk, rock and R&B into her work never obscures a basic reverence for earlier troubadours, from Ferron to Bob Marley. [Testify is] one of those rare charismatic records that can be enjoyed by Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone, and Holly Near fans equally – quite a feat.” 
– Karen Iris Tucker, NY Blade 

“Serious props are due Johnson for doing a rocking blues cover of Kurt Cobain’sAbout A Girl and starting out her CD with the line “My baby got sanctified booty.” Love is surely gospel for this bass-voiced blues mama.” 
– Michele Kort, The Advocate 

“A voice comparable to any of the great blues women…a maturity and energy that is unique and refreshing…Highly recommended.” 
– Ladyslipper 

“New artist to look out for…” 
– HITS Magazine 

“Charming…irrespressibly sexy” 
– Village Voice 

“Nedra Johnson and her tuba-toting Fat Bottom Girls were one of the biggest highlights [at the 24th Annual Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival], playing a wide range of styles from folk to funk to jazz and R&B in their Saturday night opening set. “
– Margaret Coble, music.com 




with Howard Johnson and GRAVITY… 

“Nedra sang a couple of rollicking raucous blues numbers. A little thing [an original from the CD Testify ] called Working Hard for the Joneses had the crowd on its feet and whooping.” 
– Steve Eddy, Playboy Jazz Festival Review, The Orange County Register 

“Nedra sang a quasi-soft porn blues of her own composition [The World Could Stop Turning] that showed promise for a wider audience in the future.” 
– The Hollywood Reporter 

For sheer musicality, Howard Johnson’s Gravity was, oddly enough the most interesting act of the day. His daughter Nedra displayed a booming blues voice. 
– Richard S. Ginell, Variety.com, Playboy Jazz Festival Review 

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