Duquette Johnston
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Duquette Johnston

Birmingham, Alabama, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Birmingham, Alabama, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"MOKB Premiere : Duquette Johnston : “Cherry Blossom”"

Birmingham, AL native Duquette Johnston has seen a lot during his time. He was a founding member of such bands as Verbena and Cutgrass and shared the stage with such influential acts as Pavement, Foo Fighters, Bonnie Prince Billy, The Strokes, Jesus Lizard, amony many more. On May 21st, he will be releasing his fourth album, Rabbit Runs A Destiny, via Pipe and Gun / Communicating Vessels.

On this record, we see a departure from the more straightforward, acoustic approach with more emotive uses of drums, strings, and vocal harmonies to create a fuller sound. Much of the credit for this departure can be attributed to Armand Margjeka who was brought to help with production, a first for Johnston. It has paid off, as he has recieved such recent accolades as being selected by NPR as an “Artist to Watch” and Paste Magazine highlighting him as an Alabama artist to keep your eye on. The latest single from the forthcoming LP is “Cherry Blossom.” The track seamlessly bridges the gap between Americana of yesteryear with the more robust musical sounds permeating throughout the modern musical landscape. Find it below. - My Old Kentucky Blog

"NPR: "World Cafe:Next" Artist To Watch"

After a three-year hiatus, Duquette Johnston is back with his upcoming release Rabbit Runs a Destiny. The Alabama artist, known for his fusion of roots music and modern songwriting, was the founder and bass player of the band Verbena and has performed with The Civil Wars, Foo Fighters, The Strokes and Bonnie "Prince" Billy.

Rabbit Runs A Destiny is a departure from Johnston's previous work. Produced by Armand Margjeka, the album features fleshed-out arrangements and contributions from artists he has never played with before — guitarist Kyle Ryan, bassist Adam Popick, string player Eleonore Denig and drummer Evan Hutchings.

Hear two tracks from Rabbit Runs a Destiny on this installment of World Cafe: Next. - NPR

"12 Alabama Bands You Should Listen To Now"

Hometown: Birmingham
Current Albums: Rebel King (2013), Rabbit Runs a Destiny (May 21, 2013)
Johnston’s first full length album, Etowah, released in 2006, was named after the Etowah County Detention Center where he was incarcerated for drug-related charges. While in prison, the former Verbena bass player sobered up and hasn’t looked back. Since that time, he’s released two additional albums. His single “Roll Baby Roll” was included in the Season Five finale of Private Practice. Having shared the stage with artists including The Civil Wars, Foo Fighters and Bonnie “Prince” Billy, he was recently featured on NPR’s World Café. Johnston’s sound on his previous albums is decidedly Americana, while the forthcoming Rabbit Runs a Destiny explores new territory with rich vocal harmonies, luring string arrangements and hearty drums. - Paste


"Etowah" {full-length}
"It SIngs Because It Has A Song" {full-length}
"Rugged and Fancy" {full-length}
"Roll Baby Roll" {7" single}
"Rise Up Children" {7" single}
"Rabbit Runs A Destiny" {full-length}



Its no secret that roots-focused Americana music has come back onto the scene with an acute ferocity. But while others are mining the past for inspiration, trying to connect modern times with those of a slower, rustic and community-based livelihood, Duquette Johnston emerges with this balance already infused in his being and his music, and with his upcoming album Rabbit Runs A Destiny, he shows how expansive and innovative it can be when you embrace home and yet are willing to leave it.

Over his last three records, Johnston explored his relationship with Alabama, where hes been a fixture in the music scene for over twenty years, offering many raw looks at his time coming out of 90s rock and roll (he founded and played bass for Verbena before the band signed to Capitol Records), the costs of fame and the toll it can take on the creative mind. But through the trials, three exquisite records emerged, each building on the others strengths and revealing Johnstons knack at writing songs in his own commanding voice.

One listen through his new album, though, may be a bit unsettling for those familiar with Johnstons older work, because it is such a departure, both lyrically and sonically. With mastermind Armand Margjeka at the producers helm, Rabbit Runs A Destiny runs the gamut, from stripped-down acoustic tracks to enormous crashes of drums, haunting strings and thick vocal harmonies, provided mostly by Isaaca Byrd of Nashville-based band The Bridges and singer/songwriter Natalie Prass.

Part of my deal with doing this record with Armand, Johnston says, was me trusting him as a producer, because this was the first time Ive let anyone else do that for me. That sort of challenge can instill enough fear to limit the potential of a record, but Johnstons unequivocal confidence in Margjekas abilities truly paid off, as the albums ten songs are rich, fully developed and vivid beings, each a look at the intersection of psyche and reverie.

Another aspect of embracing change with Rabbit Runs A Destiny was the decision to only use musicians Johnston had never played with before. While Johnston and Margjeka bore the brunt of the albums instrumentation, guitarist Kyle Ryan (Mindy Smith, Madi Diaz), bassist Adam Popick (Rachael Yamagata, James Farrell), string player Eleonore Denig (Marc Broussard, Katie Herzig) and drummer Evan Hutchings (Brandi Carlile, Sara Watkins) all contributed to the album, fleshing out the arrangements and giving them an intensity further developed by Margjekas adroit production hand.

Rabbit Runs A Destiny is new territory for Duquette Johnston, unveiling a voice thats willing to be both vulnerable and strong. Anchored by sweeping, and often majestic, sonic landscapes, Rabbit shows a musician firmly in control of his craft, but unafraid to grow and dig deeper. These songs mark a new journey for Duquette Johnston, and one thats worth hitching a ride to follow.

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