Johnny V

About Johnny

Johnny V (Vermilye) as a musical artist likes to stay "true to himself".  A singer/songwriter with a complex sound that transcends genres, his bluesy, folk, Americana sound has a flavorful twist that keeps an audience's attention.  His unique style has been influenced by his love of a wide variety of music from acoustic to bluegrass to R&B to progressive rock.

With two standout albums under his belt, "Inside Reality" (2007) and "Wood Chips" (2011), Johnny has a lot in store this year for both his faithful followers and ever-growing fan base.   After two years in the studio, and aided by some of the Chicago area's most talented and accomplished musicians, Johnny's third album "Barns and Bridges" is slated for release in early 2014.

A dynamic live performer either solo, with any one of many accomplished musician friends, or with a full band, Johnny V blends a wide variety of music with originals to put together a show that is always unique and never disappoints.


Johnny was born in Houston, TX to a home filled with music. His mother sang in the church choir and would play all sorts of musicals on vinyl, Johnny recalls. His time was spent listening to whatever sounds he could get from the FM dial.

After moving to the Chicago area when he was around ten years old, John learned to play the guitar, and as a teen attended Crete-Monee High School in the South Suburbs of Chicago.

Influenced at a young age by the likes of Rush, Dylan, The Beatles, Queen, Pink Floyd, Yes, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Dire Straits, Genesis, ELP, and Simon & Garfunkel Johnny began writing music at the age of 13. He and friend Don Chalmere as "Black Feather Climax" recorded their first album "Everclear" on an old Tascam reel to reel. They had five hundred sleeves of the album produced, but as teens couldn’t scrounge funds together to press the vinyl to fill the sleeves! The music to this day still resides on a reel-to-reel tapes and just recently Don has remastered it on CD. They played teenage dances and wherever else someone would let them plug in and play.

At 18, his musical experience changed a bit when he joined the country rock band  Saddle-Sore for a couple years.

In 1993, the Chicago/NW Indiana band "Takabite" was formed.  For nearly 20 years the band rocked the area at festivals and favorite watering holes and shared the stage with the likes of Credence Clearwater Revisited and Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad). In 1998, Takabite released "Food For Thought".  In 2001 the Special Limited Edition Multimedia EP “Little Elvis” was released.  Even with the original music, Takabite remained known as a cover band and Johnny instead turned to focus on creating/writing in the hopes of injecting more personal feelings, variety, and mystery into the live performances.

In 2004, the culmination of more than two years of creativity, trust, talent  and dedication of some Chicago/NW Indiana area's most accomplished and talented musicians gave birth to  the Album and Band  "Medicine Wheel".  With the release of "Medicine Wheel not only did a wonderful musical project come to life, but also helped make Johnny's dream of musical song writing a reality. 

In  2008  Johnny's song writing career catapulted with the release INSIDE REALITY, an eclectic collection of acoustic, folk, reggae, Latin, rock and yes….even a little jazzy number to boot ("Cool Shoes").
The album is just under 70 minutes long and was engineered by Rick Watson.

His 2011 release WOOD CHIPS breathes life into a new genre of music as Johnny folds his visions and stories onto his album. The album has an ebb and flow that truly paints a visual with his lyrics wound around the music.  He will be the first to tell you that he is very fortunate to be able to record with musicians that can translate his vision to a reality when the engineer presses the “record” button. This album is greater than 70 minutes and was engineered by Bobby Scumaci.

Johnny plays both acoustic and electric guitars, piano, mandolin, and harmonica; and is known to pick up the ukulele.  His vocals and sound have been compared to Kris Kristofferson,  Mark Knopfler, Greg Allman, Shawn Mullins, Neil Young and yet with an original sound that keeps him true to the music and his songwriting.

Today, you can find Johnny playing venues anywhere from Chicagoland and Northern Indiana to Toledo Ohio, Northern Minnesota and beyond.  No matter where he may be or what type of music you're looking for, you can be guaranteed he will deliver.    Whether he's playing acoustic,  rockin' the house, or jamming with his very talented friends, his live performances have no boundaries.  You're liable to hear just about anything.  So, if you’re ready for a night out on the town, capture a magical moment with Johnny V.

In addition to solo shows he also performs with:

  • Johnny V & Lil Anthony
  • PB&J  (with Paul Bolger and Bobby Scumaci)
  • Killer Bzzz

Check out Johnny's Website or visit him on Facebook, and Reverbnation for a list of his upcoming events!