"Jonny" is anonymous (i.e. "John Doe"). "Sonic" is sound. Jonny Sonic, the idea, is that voice inside all of us that propels us to say what we need to say, to do what we need to do.
Jonny Sonic (a.k.a. Rick Kowal) has found varied outlets for his musical energies. As a writer, he’s scored tracks for national TV commercials (Bacardi, Chevron, Dr. Pepper, Chase, Starbucks, and more), and his tunes have appeared on MTV’s Real World, Discovery Channel, and VH1. As a performer, he’s played music festivals (Sasquatch and Buskerdoozie w/ Super Geek League, Hempfest) and piles of venues up and down the West Coast and across the Midwest. As an arranger, he’s charted parts for 25-piece horn bands and led performances at EDM festivals (Paradiso). As a remixer/producer, he’s re-imagined tracks (lamb, MoreIzMore, Radiohead, Fading Collection), spun supporting sets at FreakNight Festival, and mashed-up tracks for runway shows during Fashion Week in NYC. This project starts in the studio where Jonny Sonic lays down the foundations for his compositions and sets the stage for his live band.
A staple of all recordings and performances is Jonny’s long-time collaborator, Tacket Brown (drums and percussion). The live band’s backbone is drums, bass, keys, and vocals swelling with up to 8 horns or rocking just two saxophones pushed through pedals like guitars. The high-energy stage show mixes in live electronics and tweaks, spoken-word interludes, killer solos, and features a band as tight as nylons.
For his fourth full-length release, “Octagon Sessions,” Jonny Sonic wrote eleven new tunes, packed up his friends, stripped down the gear, and headed off the grid to a hideaway in the Olympic National Forest. The result is a solar-powered recording of earnest songs with varied vocal styles, arrangement techniques, and production methods. The video for the first single, “Caretaker,” is being released along with the album in January, 2018.