You may have heard a song we released two days ago. It’s called “All Dem Have,” and it’s from our 2nd album, …Against the Current, which is currently on its way to the North Pole for duplication. Pretty exciting, eh? Haven’t heard the new track yet? Here…
You may have noticed an unfamiliar instrument in this song, something that one of my friends described as “reminiscent of Italian folk ballads.” Though it is related to the Italian vibrandoneon, what you’re hearing is a melodica, a 20th-century Hohner invention that combines the reed technology of woodwind instruments with a miniature piano keyboard. You may have heard it before in Bob Marley’s “Sun is Shining,” anything by reggae legend Augustus Pablo, or the theme song from Perfect Strangers. It was also featured on “Jah Herb,” from our first album, Gold in Rule.
Our very own John Myers played it for “All Dem Have,” as well as “Things,” another one of my (B. Hold’s) songs from …Against the Current. Myers studied music performance at West Chester University, where he mastered over 83 instruments each semester. Though his primary concentration was the jaw harp, he also got pretty good on the bass guitar, clavichord, trombone, flugelhorn, and fundeh, all of which he played for both of our albums. The blow organ (another name for melodica) is one of his favorite instruments to play, as it reminds him of long nights in the conservatory during his WCU days.
Johnny is married to a woman (believe it or not) named Stacy, and they have a most adorable 2-year-old son named Jonah. True fact (unlike some of the things I’ve written above) – Jonah can already identify reggae music, and when his daddy’s music comes on, he recognizes it right away. Some experts believe that this is due, in part, to an experimental indoctrination process that John and Stacy have developed together; but I think the boy just inherited an ear for reggae.
Until recently, Myers had a head full of long dreadlocks that he had grown for about 7 years or so. While battling the evil Lord Sarlaac Jay in the Daalsbeep quadrant of the Blabalonn Galaxy, a puuh fighter shot a corrosive fluid into Johnny’s hair, leaving the melodica master with no choice but to chop off all of his locks with a high E string. Here are before and after pictures, in no particular order: