COASTE - Summer 2018

W hen Johnny Jensen was two years old, his parents gifted him a blue Smurf guitar. Now, this wasn’t one of those press a button and it plays an obnoxiously loud tune that drives parents nuts guitar — nope, this baby came to this toddler equipped with four strings and no instructions. So imagine John and Gina Jensen’s surprise when their young son actually began to play a song, or two, or three — tunes he had heard around his house, or at the stage to be found at Jensen’s Twin Palm Cottages and Marina Resort, where Uncle Jimmy and his band, The Troublestarters, would often play on weekend evenings, among locals and guests with Pine Island Sound in the background. Yup. It all started for Johnny Jensen not much after he was walking and talking. And today, at all of 14 years of age (he’ll turn 15 in September), this young man who only learned to read music a few years ago has found his passion — the blues — and is hoping to finish recording his first album of original music by the end of this summer.

Some people have used words like prodigy in describing Johnny’s talent, but his mother is not one of them. “While he’s certainly been given a gift, we know how challenging the music business is.” She pauses, then smiles. “But he can get there.” As for Johnny, getting there is something that he readily admits to wanting. “Yes, I wanna be a rock star,” he laughs when asked.

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