It’s not just fall weather. Houston is getting a lot cooler with the return of Honky Tonker Johnny Falstaff. Falstaff returns to his native Texas after moving to Dresden, Germany five years ago, and while he enjoyed his time there, he couldn’t be happier to be back.
He will celebrate his comeback with three very special performances this month starting with his official welcome show at The Continental Club on Saturday 16th October where he will perform with a full troupe and be joined by special guests on stage.
Falstaff will be performing a solo acoustic show at Cowboy Surfers on Sunday, October 24 and his reunion with Honky Tonk Blood Brothers, Jon Evans and Pecos Hank Chima, just in time for Halloween at a special show at Mucky Duck on Wednesday, October 27.
“I just got a lot of friends and opportunities and resources here to get things done that I don’t have there so it’s time to go home and get busy,” says Falstaff.
“It’s time to go home and get busy.”
Prior to the move, Falstaff was a frequent player around town bringing the heat with his brand of honky tonk, boasting not only of his deep sound, but also his penchant for dark, sultry lyrics mixed with Texas humor and his fast, accurate guitar playing.
Falstaff kicked off 2020 with a buzz for the release of his first album in six years, Lost in the city lights, recorded at his studio in Dresden and mixed here in Houston. In the same month he attended the Ameripolitan Awards in Memphis where he was nominated for this year’s Honky Tonk Male Award.
Lost in the city lights It is a strong album with no weak tracks as all are outstanding songs that remind us of the classic country full of longing and regret while giving hope and celebrating good times.
Whether he sings about getting lost in the bright lights and temptations of nightlife as in the title track or gently calling his sweetheart to stir it all up and out in the “stars,” Falstaff sings his songs with honesty and sincerity. You expect him.
Lost in the city lights It was gaining traction and deserving of attention which led Falstaff to make big plans to back his album before the pandemic hit forced him to cool down his heels and wait with the rest of the world.
The COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t the only thing that forced Falstaff to pause in his career, the artist was also diagnosed with cancer after developing swollen lymph nodes that prompted him to seek medical answers for answers.
“I was here at the time and had a scheduled flight back to Germany and there I was going to see my dentist and bring everything away, but unfortunately with the zombie apocalypse my flight was delayed and my lymph node kept swollen,” Falstaff explains.
His dentist referred him to an ear, nose and throat specialist who diagnosed him with cancer. After completing treatment in Germany, Falstaff is now cancer-free in just one year.
“After all of my cancer treatment, and seeing that I’m going to survive, it’s time to go home,” he laughs. “I didn’t really have enough working there to satisfy my drive. I have to keep moving, I have to do something, and after a year of Covid and a year of being sick, it’s driving me crazy not to get up and move and get things done, Falstaff explains.
Throughout his diagnosis, treatment, and recovery, Falstaff has taken to YouTube to explain and document his journey to others who aren’t looking for sympathy, but hoping to help educate others who might be going through the same thing or help someone identify and get symptoms. Treating cancer early.
Falstaff admits that he was naturally concerned not only with his general health, but also to maintain his fortunately still going strong singing voice. When asked if he plans to stay in Houston for a while now, Falstaff said, “Well, I don’t have any plans to go anywhere else, so yeah, this is the time for life to take me elsewhere.”
He feels good about his comeback and has a main goal of “getting healthy trying to get some ass back in my pants,” he says, “I’ve lost a lot of weight and got really skinny so I’m trying to fatten myself up with all that Texas kitchen,” he laughs.
“I wanted to come back and take some time to relax and get back to swinging things, doing a few things around the house and basically relaxing and getting my directions, but people were calling and offering gigs. I just presented the opportunities without really trying to do anything,” he says. Gratefully.
When asked to describe the difference between a solo show and a show he did with the Honky Tonk Blood Brothers Falstaff, he said, “The Johnny Falstaff Show, of course I can do honky-tonk stuff and stuff that puts beans on the table and honky” Tonk Blood is like debauchery and chaos and that kind of side the dark. I wrote some pretty dark stuff and this road is the perfect place to get those things out.”
Johnny Falstaff will perform on Saturday, October 15 at The Continental Club, 3700 Main, 9 p.m., $10-20, Sunday, October 24 at Cowboy Surfer, 827 Frostwood, 7 p.m., $20 and Wednesday, October 27 at McGonigel’s Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk, 7:30 pm, physical seats are sold out, $30 live broadcast