Neon City out NOW!

We’re very excited to finally share our new record with the world.

If you’re reading this during the week of 4/24/12 you can head over here to and stream the entire record.

The record is available in CD and Vinyl LP formats and can be purchased through the Esperanza Plantation Store HERE .

It is also available digitally through iTunes, amazon, etc.

We have a Bandcamp page up as well here.

We highly encourage you to purchase it at your local independent record store. If they don’t have it in stock they can order it for you.

Big thanks to the Golden Bicycles, Chaney and Leah over at Esperanza Plantation Records, the community of Jackson Mississippi, and to all the kind people who have supported us over the years despite our weird band name.

We hope you enjoy Neon City.



New Record Announcement – Neon City – out 4/24/12

Neon City was recorded between April and May of 2011 at the North Midtown Arts Center in Jackson Mississippi. We originally rented out a room as a place to rehearse and leave our gear set up as we prepared for upcoming gigs.  Adjacent to our studio was a large room with hard wood floors normally used as a performance space. It didn’t take long for us to decide that we should start recording in the space and utilize the amazing natural room sounds available to us.

One day our bass player, Matthew Magee (Wooden Finger, Questions in Dialect) brought over most of his recording equipment and a laptop and it began. Not really sure of what kind of record we were making or in some cases what we were doing we just kept going. We picked songs at random from a list of 19. We ended up scraping most of the early stuff we recorded as we learned and experimented. We recorded nearly every track by running mic cables and microphones out into the large room. Most of the reverb on the record is the natural sound of that room.

The time of making this record was coinciding with me packing up and moving from Mississippi back to Oregon. We were forced to move quickly in the recording process. Most of Jason Daniel’s guitar parts were recorded in a few takes. We tracked over half of the drums in a 6-hour session in one day with Dave Hutchison. I spent every free minute I had in the studio working.  It was and amazing time of creativity, frustration, and fatigue.

Half of the songs on the record were written over my last 2 years in Mississippi while playing, rehearsing, and touring with the band. The other half were written in those last months while we recorded.

We recorded right up until my last week in Jackson but the record wasn’t yet done.

I set up a make shift studio in a spare bedroom at my childhood home in Boise Idaho and spent June of 2011 working on the record. I had been given a Fender Rhodes piano the previous summer and stored it in Boise.  I was excited to include its sounds in the record.

In early July I returned to Mississippi and we spent 3 days mixing with Winn McElroy at his Blackwing Studio in Water Valley. Winn took our mixes and made them what you hear on Neon City.  Timothy Stollenwerk in Portland Oregon did the mastering during the winter of 2011.

Nearly a year after we began the record it will be released on April 24th 2012. It’s impossible for me to be an objective listener to Neon City any more but I am proud of our efforts and look forward to sharing it with you.

Thanks for supporting our music,

Johnny Bertram

1/12/2012 (Oregon)


After 6 years in Mississippi, Johnny is heading back to the Pacific Northwest. Please join us in celebrating not only the music of the Golden Bicycles, but the entire Mississippi music and art scene. The show will take place outside at The North Midtown Art Center. Beer and libations will be for sale starting at the ice cold price of $2!

The indoor art gallery will include a music poster show featuring the designs of Justin Shult…z (The Flying Chair) and Johnny Bertram, Limited edition screen prints by Richard Stowe of Lotus Editions, the photography of Matthew Brantley and more.

With special guests Furrows and El Obo this is sure to be a night to remember.

Like the poster for this event? A limited edition 3 color silkscreen print of the design by Johnny Bertram has been printed by Richard Stowe of Lotus Editions and will be available at the show. only 50 will be made available.

4:00 Doors
5:00 El OBo ( Jesse Coppenbarger of Color Revolt)
6:15 Furrows
7:30 Johnny Bertram and The Golden Bicycles

tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door.
If you are interested in advance tickets email Johnny at

A special thanks goes to our sponsors ; Old House Depot , The North Midtown Arts Center, Esperanza Plantation, and The Jackson Free Press


A little bit about the Bands :

El Obo is the solo side-project of Colour Revolt frontman Jesse Coppenbarger, created in 2004 as an outlet for his accumulated material that did not quite fit the “loud rock band” mold of his full time outfit. His El Obo debut, Oxford Basement Collection, is the culmination of five years of sporatic songwriting and recording that occurred in multiple studios with the assistance of numerous friends/musicians (including Steven Bevilaqua of Flight on guitar and Jr. Kimbrough’s son Kinney on drums) who stepped in at various stages of the project to contribute to Jesse’s overall vision.

Skeleton rock.

“The band’s songs are perfect for the intelligent rocker who prefers lyrics with heft and wit.” – Beth Dixon, Jackson Free Press

Johnny Bertram and The Golden Bicycles :
The 1970’s still conjure up a lot of inspiration these days. The indie rock and Americana explosion of the last decade has not been entirely original. There is always someone else to draw from. In the case of Johnny Bertram, it appears as though his roots in Idaho, and his current residency in Mississippi, have had more than just a regional blessing on his own special concoction of modern folk and rockabilly on his debut full length album, Days That Passed, featuring his brilliant backup band The Golden Bicycles.

Johnny Bertram is quite the musician. But, his songwriting should not go unnoticed. These tracks speak of a life that most of us will never know. He speaks of pain and horrific incidents that, for your E-Z chair, you watch on your LCD television hoping the world doesn’t shit on you as bad as it has on others. But he also speaks of hope. He speaks of breath. And he speaks with ease. For Bertram to be able to spread these words with such a brilliant backup band has to make him feel like one a lucky flower child lost in time.

—Ron Trembath (

Secret Stages Festival //Birmingham AL // May 13 & 14 2011

We are excited to be playing the new Secret Stages Festival in Birmingham on May 13th 2011.

Check out the lineup and get your tickets here

from secret stages:

“Every band has to start somewhere. No matter if it’s in a basement room, a woodshed or a storage unit, the art of music has many humble beginnings.

Secret Stages, a new walking music festival in Birmingham, AL, provides a look at what comes next. Bands that are stepping out of the anonymity of the practice space and have begun to generate buzz will be welcomed to Downtown Birmingham for a two‐day music explosion that will provide over 60 bands to eager listeners looking for a glimpse into the next big thing.

During Secret Stages, the streets will be alive with light and color as festival attendees get a look at what’s happening next in the world of music and for downtown Birmingham. Existing bars, restaurants, meeting spaces, art galleries and empty offices, all in walking distance of each other, will be transformed into venues bursting with new sights and sounds.”


We hope to see you on the trail!

August 12th – NMAC (121 Studios) – 8PM – Jackson, MS

(Private Land Video Primere)

August 13th – Maxines- Hot Springs, AR – 9PM

August 14th – Soundpony – Tulsa, OK – 9 PM

August 15th – Kirby’s Beer Store – Wichita, KS – 9PM

August 17th – Looking for a House Show – Denver/Boulder CO

August 19th – Common Ground Cafe (Outdoor) – McCall, ID – 7PM

August 20th – Empyrean – Spokane, WA – 9PM

August 21st – Tony Fest 4 – Port Orchard WA – 3PM
(details )

August 22nd – Chop Suey – Seattle, WA – 9PM w/ Chis Staples and Trespassers William

August 23rd – Ella Street Social Club – Portland, OR – 9PM

August 25th – Neurolux – Boise, ID – 9PM

August 27th – The Rogue Bar – Scottsdale, AZ – 9PM

August 29th – Stubbs BBQ – Austin TX – 9pm w/ Law School

Keep Up with us on tour at:



Johnny Bertram & The Golden Bicycles are making their return trip to the Hippo after a successful first show with The Furrows. Opening for The Golden Bicycles is Tommy Bryan Ledford of the Taylor Grocery Band, the Kudzu Kings and the Dixie Nationals.

The Jackson, MS music scene has gone through an impressive growth stage the last several years and these two acts are prime examples of some of the finest the Capital City has to offer.

Johnny Bertram & The Golden Bicycles:

“Northwest Dreams in Mississippi Reality” – The Pines (April 2010)

“A Boise, Idaho transplant, Johnny Bertram sonically channels the influences of the Pacific Northwest’s musical forebears (think Pedro the Lion, The Decemberists, Built to Spill) in his acoustic-based songwriting. A Mississippi resident for the past five years, his songs are steeped in indie-rock and Americana and filtered through a Deep South lens that generates an interesting perspective and sound.

Bertram follows the success of his 2009 EP Sing Your Song with this debut full-length release, which expands upon the sonic palette of his debut EP with the assistance of his full backing band, The Golden Bicycles. From the trickling acoustic of “Rocky Springs” and lament of “At the Wake”, to the political romp-and-roll of “Private Land”, Bertram cements himself as a powerful member of the new Deep South storytelling regime. This debut sets the stage for a new artist with so much to say.” – Jackson Free Press Article

Tommy Bryan Ledford:

“Tommy Bryan Ledford is a journeyman musician who was born in the Mississippi delta and raised in the piney hills on the Louisiana side, where his childhood was spent in creeks, woods, and baptist church. After spending some formative time in the New Orleans area, he settled in North Mississippi’s Lafayette County, where he was fortunate enough to perform in numerous bands of local fame and regional reknown (including the Sincere Ramblers, the Kudzu Kings and the Taylor Grocery Band). Along the way, he and some friends accidentally created the Governor’s Award winning Thacker Mountain Radio Hour, a statewide southern culture radio program which features musicians, authors and others in front of a live audience and is now in its eleventh season.

Currently, he resides in Fondren, Mississippi, and plays “electric catfish music”, a collision of traditional jug band, bluegrass, country blues, and gospel stylings with his latest outfit, the Dixie Nationals. He is also putting the finishing touches on his first solo record, an original southern gothic assemblage of waylaid love songs, murder ballads, and brush arbor hymns recorded with Dirk Powell at the Cypress House in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana and set for release in 2010.”


Our new record was released on April 27th 2010
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You can listen to some track on our myspace page

Or Purchase hard copies via The Esperanza Plantation E-Store here

It is also available via iTunes, amazon, emusic, and various other digital music stores.


ask your local record store for it, in fact demand it!



“In the 1970s this would have been in instant hit. In 2010…we can only hope there are enough people paying attention to offer this man the support he so obviously deserves.”

–       BABY SUE (MAY 2010 TOP PICK)







Squirrel Food (mixtape)