Justin Johnson

Justin Johnson

BandBluesJazz

From the rhythmic, back-porch simplicity of Mississippi and Piedmont Blues, to the smoky electric cries of Chicago Blues, Justin Johnson’s performances pay homage to a range of diverse Blues traditions, while exploring new and exciting applications for the genre.

Biography

Multi-instrumentalist and award-winning slide blues guitarist Justin Johnson has become widely known for his captivating solo performances, using a loop station to accompany himself, and a varied cast of guitars to craft the exact combination of tones he wants, often layering up to six guitars in a single song. Justin has also made a name for himself with his unique style with the cigar box guitar, offering frequent festival performances and workshops.

Offering diverse original music impressively spanning the spectrum from blues, rock, surf, gypsy jazz, world, and funk, to upscale jazz, Justin is a uniquely versatile performer, with extensive experience on large venue and festival stages, while his subtlety and tasteful arrangements make him a favorite for intimate upscale venues as well.

With a style firmly rooted in Blues tradition, but not afraid to break new ground, Justin's unique sound is the direct result of his passion for combining and advancing widely varying musical forms. From the rhythmic, back-porch simplicity of Mississippi and Piedmont Blues, to the smoky electric cries of Chicago Blues, Justin’s performances pay homage to a range of diverse Blues traditions, while exploring new and exciting applications for the genre.

Justin takes an unorthodox approach, blending techniques, tones, rhythms, & harmonies from multiple styles and finding the soulful common ground that they share, often sliding unexpexctedly from roots blues into the exotic tones and rhythms of gypsy jazz with Spanish, Romanian, and European flavor. The result is a sound unlike any other~ sincere and soulful explorations, waxing between playful romps across the strings, hauntingly pensive dreamscapes, and gritty, driving Blues.

1st Place Winner of both Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival's Guitar Competition in Fall of 2011 and the 2006 “SlideStock” International Slide Guitar competition, Justin Johnson's seamless proficiency with the slide allows him to take minimalist single-note lines of players like Muddy Waters and Lightnin’ Hopkins, and juxtapose them with the harmonic and technical complexity of players like Robert Johnson and Sonny Landreth. Justin takes these Blues Slide Guitar traditions and entwines them with hints of Classic Country Pedal Steel Guitar, Bluegrass Dobro, Hawaiian Guitar, and Sitar.

Justin has opened for many well-known acts such as The Allman Brothers, Victor Wooten, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Jeff Coffin, Widespread Panic, Matisyahu, Tim Reynolds, and Chris Thomas King among others, and has performed many duo performances with former Squirrel Nut Zipper frontman Tom Maxwell. Justin also performed as Myrtle Beach House of Blues house band throughout the summer of 2008. His proficiency with slide and blues guitar has also earned him endorsements by both Hwy 55 Cigar Box Guitars and Maduro Bob Cigar Box Guitars.