Gordie Johnson's wide reach - Pique
The Big Sugar frontman looks back ahead of his Whistler tour stop
Article by Alyssa Noel
Gordie Johnson hasn't lived in Canada for nearly a decade, but his impact on the music scene here is more apparent than ever.
As the lead singer for Big Sugar, a reggae-tinged blues-rock group that made its name in the early '90s, garnering fans until disbanding in 2003, Johnson would often pluck unknown acts toiling away in obscurity and offer them a profile boost by bringing them along on tour. "My agent (would come) to me and said, 'I have a band, they really need a break. Can we get them on some Big Sugar shows?' If they were any good at all and they were good guys and I could tell they really wanted to do it, I would say, 'They can't have a show, they can have a tour,'" Johnson recalls.
Alumni of his unofficial training program run the gamut from Wide Mouth Mason to Bedouin Soundclash and The Trews, to name just a few.
Johnson has also become a sought-after producer, audio mixer and songwriter, often inviting bands out to his Texas home to work on material. "My manager showed me my songwriting catalog recently and it's like 11,000 songs," he adds.