Extended Bio

Johnny was born with music running through his veins. Both of his parents were naturally musical. His mom’s family always loved country music which led her to have a passion for singing, and his dad was a big Chet Atkins fan and picked up the guitar while serving in the Army. From a young age he was involved in the family band, “Bauer Power,” at first just making an appearance as Baby Elvis, but later singing with his mother and sister while his father and brothers played guitar and keyboard. It was in the downtime during festivals and jamborees when he began wanting to sing and write his own music.

He started taking music more seriously in high school, where he went through three different “garage bands” with his friends and began experimenting with guitar. He also had vocal coaching from the same teacher that coached Renee Fleming, the now famous soprano. Perhaps Johnny’s fondest memory, though, was playing with his brothers and father in their 80s rock band “Mentor”. This first foray into professional music is even more important to him now, as his father passed away in 2008.

In his 20s, Johnny began to pursue his career as a professional musician and songwriter more seriously. Those that knew him back then, however, saw the heavy country influence his father had left- evident in the cowboy hat, belt buckle, and cowboy boots he performed in. He was the supporting act for many national country acts, and met artists, such as Keith Urban, that would continue to inspire him today. During this time Johnny also made his first trip to Nashville, Tennessee, which ignited his passion to be in the music business even further. He dove into the music scene there with his typical enthusiasm and won several singing competitions.

After the birth of his two sons, he devoted himself to an intense schedule of solo acoustic performances in Rochester for many years- Some years performing as many as 250 shows in a year. This led him to be highly respected locally by venues, clients, and fellow musicians and expanded his performances to include many private events. Another result of so many solo performances was attaining the expertise in guitar and vocals he had been seeking all along. Songs of all genres were performed with looping effects and harmonies with the skill of an experienced professional. The banter and confident connection with the crowd now came easily, and made Johnny well-known as a musician and entertainer. People know it is Johnny Bauer they are looking for when they want that “full band” sound from just one man.

In recent years, Johnny has begun to be more selective in his ventures after so many years in the business. If you ask him, he will say, “Now I only want to do what I enjoy.” This has led to the incorporation of almost every genre into his repertoire and songwriting. He also performs with several different types of bands to allow for the freedom on electric guitar that just isn’t feasible when playing solo. With one band- “Great Escape” he performs original music, blues, and rock, and another band, “Ignite Audio,” returns to his 80s rock roots with his brother, Danny. His newest project, called “Band of One,” is his most challenging yet, in which he plays 4 instruments at once with a modified guitar and drum kit. This features a whole new flavor of originals that just couldn’t be performed with an acoustic guitar alone.

He is currently working on a new album to follow up his first full length CD released in May 2014. There is, in fact, so much material waiting to be recorded, it’s hard for him to try to keep up. That’s why you will frequently hear never-released songs at a show. And when Johnny tells you “I play some of everything,” just know that he’s not exaggerating!

About Johnny

Get To Know Johnny Bauer
Q: Who are your biggest musical influences?
JB: My father was one of my biggest influences, so I picked up a lot early on from some of his favorites- classic country guitarists like Chet Atkins. I also loved Marty Stuart and Vince Gill. Vince, in particular, I still think is such an awesome songwriter and guitar player. In the 80s, musicians like George Lynch (of Dokken) and KISS really got me into rock music and what you can do with an electric guitar. Growing up I listened to all of the records my older brothers were listening to, so that is where most of my 80s rock influences came from. 

Q: What made you decide to pick up the guitar and get into the music business?
JB: I always wanted to play guitar after watching my dad and older brothers. I also wanted to be able to play the guitar parts I was hearing in my head once I started writing my own music as a teenager. I was a singer, so I would sing the guitar parts and then taught myself how to play them to express what I was thinking. When I was first starting out in the late 80s, it was hard to get qualified musicians to believe in my music, so I set out to be the best guitar player and vocalist I could be. At this time I realized that it was also important to express my music in its simplest form, which led me to perform solo acoustically.

Q: What guitars do you have and which ones mean the most to you?
JB: My Taylor 614 gets used for all of the acoustic shows. I also have many electric guitars- several Fender Telecasters and Stratocasters, a Gibson Les Paul, a Gretsch Electromatic, and a Paul Reed Smith, just to name a few.
I have a Gibson Les Paul Jr. Melody Maker that belonged to my uncle that means a lot to me. Also, I have an old Seagull single cutaway acoustic that was my first real acoustic guitar and I have written so many songs with it (and still do). There is actually a hole worn through the wood from my pick.

Q: What is your favorite song to perform live? (Cover, Original)
JB: Right now ‘Roads That Lie Ahead’ is my favorite original to perform; it’s the single off of my first full album. I really enjoy doing the song “Just Got Paid” by ZZTop as far as covers go because it has a cool groove to it and it’s fun to improvise on the guitar parts.

Q: What song that you have written are you the most proud of?
JB: ‘Need to Know’- It was one of the first songs that I wrote when I started to get away from the country genre. I felt like this song came right from my heart and was not worried about putting a label on it. It definitely has more of a blues influence.

Q: What is your songwriting process? What inspires your lyrics?
JB: Everything and anything influences me to write a song. The melody/guitar line always comes to me first. Then I write the rhythm parts on guitar. I will usually have the main words of the chorus pretty quickly after that, but sometimes the rest of the vocals are humming or not fully formed for awhile. Sitting down and writing the lyrics for the verses until I'm totally satisfied is the hardest part for me.
It’s a little bit typical, but love inspires most of my lyrics. There are so many positive and negative things that you go through with love that there's really no end to the material to work with- and everyone can relate to it.

Q: What venue do you wish you could perform at someday?
JB: The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN has so much history in the music business. I could die happy if I was ever able to perform there. Also the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado is such a beautiful outdoor venue that so many big names have played at.

Q: What would be your ultimate concert lineup?
JB: Country- Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, and Marty Stuart
Rock- Kongos, Foo Fighters, Tonic, Dokken, and Queensryche
Blues- Joe Bonamassa, John Mayer, and BB King
Q: What famous musician dead/alive do you wish you could meet and perform with?
 JB: Elvis and Dave Grohl
Q: Who would be in your ultimate band backing you up?
 JB: George Lynch (of Dokken) on guitar, Brent Mason on guitar, Tony Franklin (of The Firm) on bass, Dave Grohl (of Foo Fighters) on drums, and Jon Lord (of Deep Purple) on keyboard.
Q: What is your dream guitar?
 JB: ’59 Gibson Les Paul
Q: What is something most people wouldn’t know about you?
 JB: I have a black belt in Isshinryu karate.