Justin Johnson / Blog

Keep Roots Music Alive!

When we reached out for support for the Smoke & Mirrors Double Album, we got an incredible response and went well over our minimum fundraising goal. Because of that extra support, we were able to take the project well beyond our original concept. Not only were we able to produce the album we dreamed of, but we were able to record it in the most historically significant and inspiring locations in the world, for a Roots Blues album; Sun Studios in Memphis TN, a sharecropper shack in Clarksdale, MS, and the Crossroads of blues legend, in the Mississippi Delta. We were also able to have it mastered by a Grammy Award winning engineer, and launch a world-wide tour to promote and share it with Roots Music enthusiasts around the world! The next step that we are taking to promote Roots Music and Handmade Musical Instruments to the world is to film a 3-Part Instructional Roots Music DVD Series to share techniques for learning and mastering the playing styes that were developed on these instruments by the pioneers of Blues, Folk, Gospel, and Traditional Music genres. The three DVDs will focus on 3-string guitar, the 1-string diddley bow, and Slide Guitar. These three subjects are at the heart of roots music traditions, and our goal with the instructional series is to put these instruments and techniques into a context that will inspire and be accessible to beginners and intermediate musicians alike. We are beyond thrilled to announce that we have again surpassed our initial funding goal for filming and editing this series, and that just like with Smoke & Mirrors, we do have plans for furthering the project's reach, with your additional support. With your support, we will focus on introducing this lesson plan into a formal academic setting for all ages. These are the instruments and musical techniques that were used to developed the vocabulary for American Roots Music Traditions, and that vocabulary will be lost without it being introduced into our educational system. That is the ultimate long-term goal of this project, and it can be done if we all work together! Please take the time to check out our new Kickstarter campaign for this DVD series. We have a completely new list of rewards for backers, which range from limited edition guitars and diddley bows, to packages designed to promote and increase sales for instrument builders, and packages which will allow you to “sponsor” a child to give them a one-string diddley bow, slide, and their first music lesson. You are the backbone of our worldwide efforts to bring this music back to life, and we appreciate your continued support! You can check out all of the details of our new project for the 3-part Instructional DVD Series at this link.. Please share the link with your friends and contacts as well! It takes a village! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/justinandnikki/justin-johnson-instructional-roots-music-dvd-serie

TV & Radio Features, Southern Tour, & More!

Happy February! Hope you're all having a love-and-music-filled Valentines! Since our last email, we wrapped up an amazing 2012, moved full-time into our GypsyVan/Tour Bus, and started off the new year on tour! We're back to NC for a few short weeks, then heading back out on a tour with shows in NC, SC, TN, GA, AL, MS, LA, and FL, with more dates yet to be firmed up and announced, so keep an eye on the calendar! Meanwhile, we've gotten some awesome press lately as well. FOX 8 had Justin and MaduroBob (the incredible luthier who builds the roots instruments that Justin plays) to come into the studio for their Morning News segment. Fox 8 also sent a producer out to film for their "Roy's Folks" series, and they were so impressed that they decided to film for two separate segments! The first segment that aired introduced MaduroBob's CBG builds and took a focus on the woodworking. Check it out HERE. The second segment that aired focused on Justin's playing of the roots instruments, and you can view that one HERE. We think they're both pretty incredible! Justin is also turning heads (or at least ears) in England, and just in time for our upcoming tour through the UK and Europe this fall! You may have caught him on the London airwaves this past Wednesday on The Orpheus Show with Tony Nash. The show was an amazing coverage of guitar mastery, and what an honor it was to be included alongside Duane Eddy, Bob Dylan, Elvis, & Johnny Cash!!! We're absolutely over-the-moon that Ridge Radio will be featuring Justin's music again tomorrow (Friday) from 10am-noon EST on Deep Grooves, and this Saturday from 5-7pm EST on The "Whole of the World" show. Click those links at the given times to stream the shows live. The host is awesome and has impeccable taste in music, so I guarantee you're going to enjoy it. Of course, nothing beats catching a show live, so here ya go: Justin will be performing at Turntable in Jamestown NC this Friday evening. Doors open at 7, the night kicks off with an improv comedy act, and Justin's show begins at 9pm. What's even cooler is that Turntable has a LIVE MUSIC BROADCAST FEED where you can stream the show live as it happens, if you can't make it to the show!! How cool is that?!?? Tired of watching & wanna play? Justin is teaching a 4-string Cigar Box Guitar workshop at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro this Saturday from 11am-1pm. Change your mind and decide you'd rather just sit back, eat some sushi, drink some sake, & listen? Catch the show Saturday night 7-9pm at Carrboro's Akai Hana Japanese restaurant. Don't believe the fun should be restricted to the weekend? Neither do we!! So come on out to Greenville SC's most awesome venue The Handlebar Monday night. Show starts at 8pm! Just a couple of NC shows after that and we're back on the road for that southern tour I mentioned, so please check out the calendar dates below. I'm willing to bet we'll be bringing the show your way soon! One more thing.. There's lots of fun new stuff on the JustinJohnsonLive.com website, including some killer new merch and new tunes for you music lovers and cigar box guitar enthusiasts, so go check it out!! We Love Ya, Valentine!! ~Nikki & Justin