Peter C. Johnson was one of the driving forces in the Boston music scene in the late '60s. His singer/songwriter style was a big influence on the young musicians coming through the area, including a relatively unknown Bruce Springsteen. He teamed with Astral Weeks session player John Payne to form the Manic Depressives, a band best known for backing Bonnie Raitt, although they performed with Howlin' Wolf numerous times during this period. The band broke up following a fistfight at a gig, and Johnson disappeared for a few years. When he reemerged, he had completely rethought his approach, this time performing with six mannequins and a fortune in electronic equipment that provided a chorus of voices and music behind what he was playing on-stage. He released a self-titled album on A&M, which was a critical success but never quite caught on with the record-buying public. On top of this, a poor contract left him penniless after his touring expenses caught up with him. He recorded an album with John Cale soon after, but eventually disappeared after trying to rehab his drug problem. In 1998, he joined Bonnie Raitt on-stage at a concert that would inspire him to make music again. Teaming with David Champagne (Treat Her Right) and Asa Brebner (Modern Lovers), he put together the rootsy Bloodshot for a 2001 release. Soul Sherpa appeared three years later.
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