Hardbody's Jay Armstrong Johnson Performs "Town Goes Boom" in New "Hot Off the Ivories" Music Video

By Michael Gioia
29 May 2013

Jay Armstrong Johnson
Jay Armstrong Johnson

Hands on a Hardbody's Jay Armstrong Johnson performs Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen's "Town Goes Boom" in "Hot Off the Ivories," a new music video series screening on Playbill Video that features the work of contemporary musical theatre songwriters performed by Broadway talent.

Created by rising theatrical songwriter Joey Contreras (All the Kids are Doing It, "Love Me, Love Me Not: The Music of Joey Contreras"), the series strives to present new material in a sleek, intimate format, à la MTV-style music videos.

"We are capturing stories with these songs," Contreras previously told Playbill.com. "I want the heart, the soul, the vulnerability, the nuances of these emotions expressed through each video, and I think we'll be able to catch that magic — especially with the talent we'll be working with!"

"Town Goes Boom," a stand-alone song written by Miller and Tysen — and the third in the series — was inspired by the recent oil boom in North Dakota. Click here to watch "Great, Cool," the first song in the series performed by Newsies' Ben Fankhauser and Spring Awakening's Blake Daniel; and here for "Good Friends," the second in the series performed by Spring Awakening's Phoebe Strole.



"Town Goes Boom," featuring Matt Hinkley on guitar with Miller on piano, was recorded and filmed at Dubway Studios with sound engineer Chris Abell and videographer Micah Joel.

"Hot Off the Ivories" is currently taking submissions from interested writers for future videos. To submit, send a bio and a music sample (YouTube links or MP3 demos) to hotofftheivories@gmail.com.

Songwriting duo Miller (music) and Tysen (lyrics) have written The Burnt Part Boys (2010 Lucille Lortel nomination, Best Musical) and Fugitive Songs (2008 Drama Desk Award nomination, Outstanding Revue), both of which have cast albums available on Yellow Sound Label. Their current projects include the Broadway-bound stage musical adaptation of Tuck Everlasting (book by Claudia Shear), based on Natalie Babbitt's popular 1975 children's novel, among others. They are the recipients of the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Grant, the Richard Rodgers Award and the NEA Grant, among others. For more on the songwriting duo, visit MillerAndTysen.com.

Contreras, who was recently named Broadway Dreams Foundation's first Artist in Residence, is creating his sophomore album "Young Kind of Love." For more information, click here.

Watch "Town Goes Boom":