Evan Johns, American guitarist, Died at 60

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Evan Johns was born on July 12, 1956, in McLean, Virginia and died on March 11, 2017.

He was an American guitarist specializing in a variety of music, including rockabilly.

He started his musical career in the Washington, D.C. area.

Then, Johns met and played with guitarist Danny Gatton, writing three songs (including the title track) for Gatton’s 1978 album, Redneck Jazz.

Following his stint with Gatton, Evan Johns founded his own band, called “the H-Bombs”, which became popular playing regular gigs in the DC area.

They had fans like Jello Biafra, founder of the Dead Kennedys, who in liner notes to an H-Bombs EP, described the H-Bombs’ music as “a little Tex-Mex here, garage power there, all whipped into a witch’s brew of spitfire guitar and Evan’s trademark vocal growl.

This is the real stuff.”

During 1984, he relocated to Austin, Texas, to join the band The LeRoi Brothers.

While in Austin, Johns performed on the 1985 compilation album, Trash, Twang and Thunder by several Austin guitarists who styled themselves as Big Guitars From Texas; the album earned a Grammy Award nomination for rock-instrumental music.

During 1985, Johns re-formed the H-Bombs in Austin and continued as its leader.

Evan and the H-Bombs played together for several years thereafter, becoming known for their eclectic repertoire, summarized by one reviewer as “cajun, rockabilly, punk, surf, blues, country – even spaghetti Western soundtrack music.”

During the mid 1990s, Johns started to suffer alcohol-related and other health problems and stopped playing regularly in 1998.

He died from complications following surgery, in Austin, Texas.

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