Matt Evan Johnson
Growing up in Albany, Georgia, under the hot southern sun and tranquil southern moon, hiding under the shade of pecan trees draped with Spanish moss, walking along country roads, enjoying the fresh water springs and swamps, attending school, social events, and church, Matt Johnson inherited the spirit of southern life, culture, family, friends, and great southern music!
Matt was born September 1, 1962, to a USMC Officer and his wife. He was born the third child of a family of four children; he has an older sister, older brother, and younger brother. At age 7, Matt’s mother purchased him a trumpet to learn through the public school system. His older brother had taken interest in guitar; and, while his brother was on his paper route, Matt would sneak into his room and learn how to play the guitar. During these years, from elementary school through high school, Matt was learning music on the trumpet and guitar, and was being influenced by popular music, especially southern music, rock, country, rhythm and blues, blues, and gospel. He was living in the middle of a breeding ground of southern musicians. Matt is from the same hometown as the late great Ray Charles, and from the region that produced great southern bands, such as The Allman Brothers Band (GA), Charlie Daniels Band (TN), Lynard Skynard (FL), Marshall Tucker Band (SC), just to name a few, and the more recent, Zac Brown Band (GA). These southern music influences helped Matt develop his skills, voice, tones, ideas, and encouraged him to write his own songs. By the time he finished high school, Matt was a symphonic-trumpet and jazz-guitar player, and a budding southern singer and songwriter.
In 1980, Matt graduated from high school and attended Auburn University, AL. Following his father’s advice, Matt majored in business rather than music. However, his studies didn’t interfere with his music enthusiasm and participation. By his second year in college, he had formed a band and was performing at campus bars and parties. He continued both school and music for the next six years, securing a booking agent, and expanding to other cities. In 1986, he graduated from Auburn University with a B.S. degree in Business and several years of live music experience.
Following college, Matt continued to perform music full-time until opportunities dried-up. His band mates and friends were moving on with their lives, getting jobs, getting married, buying houses, and starting families. Matt decided to follow the business path, put on a business suit, and secured business employment. He followed the business path for the next decade while continuing to perform music part-time. In 2002, his business career came to a cross roads; and, he found himself unemployed. The next several years were a real struggle as he was unable to secure business employment; and, he attempted other career paths, including securing his CDL Class-A license and becoming an OTR truck driver. While OTR truck driving, Matt developed his voice and songwriting skills, and started writing songs from the sounds within his heart and soul. Matt wrote his song “Honky Tonk Tonkin” during this time, as well as many other songs. During this isolated time of OTR truck driving, Matt found his country music voice and sound.
In 2007, Matt left OTR truck driving to pursue his natural country music profession. For the past five years, Matt has been recording his own songs under a major producer, while continuously performing live shows. Matt has established himself as a major musician in Georgia, and is ready to take his music to the national stage as Matt Johnson Trio, coast to coast, border to border.
Musicians (in ReverbNation recordings):
Matt Johnson: singer, songwriter, bass guitar.
Twister Townsend: guitar (tracks 1, 2).
Hank Barbee: guitar (tracks 3, 4, 5).
Jonny Hibbert: saxophone (track 2).
Frank French: drums.
Produced by Frank French and Matt Evan Johnson.
Songs are (c) Copyright Matt Evan Johnson, BMI, All Rights Reserved.