“Country music is not just about pickup trucks,” says Addison Johnson. The lyrical depth of a song matters to Addison, and to that end, his approach is to take every listener of his music on a journey reliving personal life experiences he’s written about along the way.
This Nashville Singer Songwriter has his roots not only in country, but also enjoys spinning yarns with the Americana, Bluegrass flavor as well. His most recent album, Cherokee Blues, debuted at #5 on iTunes’ Country Charts. The Greensboro, NC native enjoys blending genres to revive the sounds, feelings and content associated with industry’s pioneers.
Influences Old and New
Addison says music legends such as George Jones, Lefty Frizzell and Waylon Jennings have greatly inspired his music, but current artists like Alan Jackson and Sturgill Simpson also play a significant roll in the inspiration of his songs and sound.
“My grandparents were really into old country music,” Addison told us. “So I was exposed to George Jones and Merle Haggard, although I’m not really sure where the actual inspiration to play music came from. They gave me a guitar when I was four, and even put me on the karaoke stage at that age,” he recalls.
Addison started writing songs at 16, and even felt passionately interested, but didn’t get serious about pursuing the craft professionally until he was a little older. “I was never naturally gifted with playing the guitar,” he recalled, “but I was so interested in old records and music that it led me to give writing a try, and that’s when I found out what actually came naturally to me.”
Addison has become an experienced performer and songwriter. He has been acknowledged for his ability to develop a hook when writing a song, while focusing on the story-telling emphasis of the genre’s past. By using his ability to set up a song with a back-story, he builds a connection with his audience. It makes each person feel as though he’s speaking to them one-on-one.
Although Addison doesn’t have an exact science for his songwriting, it generally seems to come out right anyway. “It’s always random for me,” he exclaimed. “But the lyrics seem to come to mind before the melody, and I build the song from there. Some of the songs I’m most proud of were born behind the wheel of my truck.”
“I think country music has produced some of the best story tellers of all time over the years,” Addison said. “As a genre, we’ve gotten so focused on the quick hook and a quick buck that every song sounds the same. I still believe Nashville has the most talented song writers anywhere in the world, but they are handcuffed by what’s popular on radio.”
Ready To Get Back
Like all musician’s, the quarantine arrested Addison’s career, but he’s been taking advantage of the extra time. “I have been playing music and touring full time for several years now, and can’t wait to get back on the road. Like most artists, I’ve done some live streams and offered new merch, but I’ve tried to focus on writing and continuing the work on my upcoming record. Aside from that, I have enjoyed having some extra time on the water doing some bass fishing,” he reflected.
Addison says his upcoming album for 2020, Dark Side of the Mountain, his third studio project, “is a better reflection of who I am as an artist, and what fans can expect from me going forward.” The new single, “Rollin’ Stolen,” is set to release this summer.
“I’ve been fortunate to play in many states and venues, making new friends and fans across the world,” Addison observes about his career so far, “but having an opportunity to sit behind the microphone at the Grand Ol’ Opry’s mothership station, 650WSM, where so many legends have sat before, was a humbling and amazing opportunity.”
“Continuing to advance and grow as an artist and a songwriter is most important to me. My goal is to just build on my experiences to bring better and better content with each release.”