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Johnson's Crossroad has been described by friends and fans as everything from Appalachian Soul" to "Hillbilly Metal." The band blends blues, roots-rock, folk, bluegrass, and Appalachian Old Time for a sound that The Daily Times’ Steve Wildsmith calls “both mournful and jubilant, breezy and graveyard serious.” He goes on to comment that frontman Paul Johnson’s voice “barely rises above a growl, but he stretches that sound to encompass the experience of a train-hopping hobo and the wisdom of an old man recalling loves lost and wars fought from the porch of a backwoods cabin.” Their 2011 album Mockingbird puts songwriter Paul Johnson in line with names like Guy Clark or Zac Brown and his powerful voice evokes memories of folk stars like Taj Mahal or Burl Ives. The Wilmington Star News describes, “It's gruff and easygoing, like a mix of Tom Waits and Ben Knox Miller of The Low Anthem.“ AmericanaUK exclaims, “With ‘Mockingbird’ Johnson’s Crossroad seem to have just proved themselves to be one of the finest Roots rockers around right now.” The album was voted the #7 Regional albums of 2012 by WNCW! The sincerity of Johnson’s songs and simplicity of his lyrics make you want to pour a brew, put your feet up or head to the hills. Asheville’s Bold Life call the band a “treat to see live” and says that, “Paul Johnson has a knack for creating powerful visuals with straightforward lyrics.” Dobro, mandolin and fiddle back up Johnson’s clean lyrics on some, other times its simple finger picking to a folksong. "I like to keep the words simple," said Paul Johnson. "I try and follow Hank Williams as much as possible, let the words tell the story and the music back it up," Johnson said. His inspiration is simple yet intently focused. "I was born in the mountains of West Virginia, I've always been in the mountains all my life,” said Johnson who now calls Asheville, NC home.
"This is what I've always wanted to do, travel around and pick guitar," said Johnson, who writes the majority of the songs for Johnson's Crossroad. Watching his back is mandolin player Keith Minguez, a strong friendship at the core of the group. "In 1998 I met Paul and I saw John Hartford on my first visit to MerleFest, it was life changing" said Minguez. Then in 2004 he had enough, "I was 30, living in Florida, drinking with my dad's buddies and they all said the same thing, ‘drink scotch and water and never stop chasing your dream.’” He called Paul and in 13 hours was at his door with mandolin in hand. "If Keith wasn't around nothing would get done," laughed Johnson. Friends Corey Lee McQuade (Dobro, banjo, harmonies) and Moses Atwood (keyboard, Dobro, harmonies) sit in on variety of gigs, and often other friends join in support Johnson's constant search for great sound. The band is returning to Blue Ridge Big Sky Music Studio (appropriately topping a peak above Moravian Falls, NC) to record their 3rd album in 2012. Who could resist after the experience they had last time around? It’s where they are comfortable, it’s where everything is comfortable. Making music with friends, fans and family. At the studio, it’s a drive to the county line to get a little cell reception and distraction is not so digital, just where they want to be. JXR is looking for an early 2013 release and will be spending time over the summer and fall getting the next one just right, again working with John Adair as Engineer and Producer. Since their first album Blood in Black and White they’ve won spots at national events like Merlefest, Floyd Fest, Music City Roots and Bristol Rhythm and Roots, with tours to the Northeast and Midwest that continue throughout 2012. Years playing the road to empty rooms have passed. Johnson’s Crossroad travels on with over 150 shows and a world of mountains ahead to climb.