Photo by Romney Caruso

New Orleans Musician Johnny Angel Has Risen to the Top

16:00 September 03, 2020
By: Abbey Hebert

Johnny Angel is the lead singer of the New Orleans entertainment band The Swingin' Demons, a band that is known for its energetic performances. Click here to listen to the band's covers of popular songs, such as Dean Martin's "That's Amore," Peggy Lee's "I Love Being Here With You," and Hot Lips Page's "Uncle in Harlem."

Johnny Angel and The Swingin' Demons won two of Offbeat Magazine's Best of the Beat Awards, which were created to honor and encourage musicians from Louisiana and New Orleans. In 1998, Johnny Angel was the winner of Offbeat's "Best Overall Performer" award; he was the last recipient before this category was discontinued. That same year, Johnny Angel and The Swingin' Demons won Offbeat's "Best Emerging Cover Band" award as well.

Recently, Johnny Angel and The Swingin' Demons have been gaining popularity and attention. Last year, Johnny's first country/swing album, entitled Ready, Set … Hold On was nominated in numerous Academy of Western Artists (AWA) categories. This year, however, on August 13, Johnny Angel was the recipient of the 24th annual AWA award of "Best Western Swing Vocalist of the Year." The AWA award ceremony was held at the Radisson Fossil Creek hotel in Cowtown, Fort Worth, Texas.

Johnny Angel's album Crawfish and Cowboys is populating country music stations globally. On his YouTube channel, he posted this video of his song "Crawfish and Cowboys" playing through a 60s transistor radio. An article in Biz New Orleans reports that his major musical inspirations are Sons of Pioneers, Merle Haggard, The Louvin Brothers, and more—all artists who were active in the 60s. His usage of vintage items is rooted in his enthusiasm for vintage artists, aesthetics, and sound.

Although he was born and raised in Staten Island, New York, once his music started gaining traction in New Orleans, he packed up and moved South. He has been living, working, and creating in New Orleans for around 20 years now and is currently working on an album, STEP ASIDE, with Michael Harvey, owner of Nola Recording Services. Johnny Angel is becoming more and more popular in country/swing music, while also contributing to the music and culture of New Orleans.

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