Samantha Twigg Johnson

Samantha Twigg Johnson

BandFolkAcoustic

Peggy Lee meets PJ Harvey, flamenco-style. Dark, fierce vocals. Cascades of rhythmic strumming and subtle fingerwork on classical guitars. 'It's music that courses outward, settles into cracks, then draws back in and curls up beside your ear.'

Biography

After gaining her sea legs on Chicago’s vibrant open mic scene, Samantha began performing professionally in 2002. She was a regular feature at Chicago’s Red Line Tap and Uncommon Ground, as well as performing regionally and internationally. She now lives in Oxford, England, where she is frequently seen on Thursday nights at the Catweazle Club.

From white-collar mediocrity and its transcendence to canine aesthetics, the topics Samantha tackles sometimes surprise. More surprising, perhaps, is the ease with which the playful and the somber sit side by side. Her voice combines the tight articulation and sultry delivery of a Peggy Lee, with the raw darkness of a PJ Harvey. Her guitar playing bears the marks of her flamenco and classical training: cascades of rhythmic strumming alternate with filigrees of precise and subtle fingerwork. Put together, they create a distinctive sound that has captivated audiences in Europe, Asia and North America.

Lyrics

No Love Songs Tonight

Written By: Samantha Twigg Johnson

Blessed are those who only know their footsteps

Blessed are those who only know the wire

I didn’t know that looking down beneath me

Would reveal a terrain as distant as the sky

So let’s sit quiet

There’ll be no love songs tonight

Only sighs of deference

To that dark light

That on this and every night

May remind you and I of the space and the time

Whose blossoms open wide

Let us recall the dreams that came before this

Let us recall the visions yet to come

Silence is not the absence of creation

Silently seeds imposing trees become

So let’s sit quiet

There’ll be no love songs tonight

Only sighs of deference

To that dark light

That on this and every night

May remind you and I of the space and the time

Whose blossoms open wide

Kissing Satellites

Written By: Samantha Twigg Johnson

Your quiet voice from the living room

Soars through the night

Kissing satellites

You’re in my ear

I’m so glad you’re here

You sound crystal clear

Tell me something

Anything

The neighbors moved

The dogwoods bloomed

There’s not much new

Goodbye, my love

I miss you

Years ago my great-grandmother spent twenty days sailing for America

Now a single word circumscribes the world

We’re so far and yet so close and yet so far and yet

You’re in my ear

I’m so glad you’re here

You sound crystal clear

Tell me something

Anything

The neighbors moved

The dogwoods bloomed

There’s not much new

Goodbye, my love

I miss you

I can see you now talking on the phone

Where I used to kiss you goodnight

Each night

Now you’re in my ear

You sound crystal clear

I’m so glad to hear your voice

We had the piano tuned

We’ve repainted your room

There’s not much new

But oh….

Sister Tessem

Written By: Samantha Twigg Johnson

f she doubts she knows how to get over it

Or at least to maintain a smiling face

I don’t doubt she’s devout—she’s immaculate

When she speaks of her Father’s holy grace

History points strait towards redemption

The compass takes the place of dice

When Sister Tessem testifies

For a while I’ve denied a certain hunger

A desire to know my cosmic place

There’s relief in her sure, reverent wonder

The certain youth of sweet Sister Tessem’s face

History points strait towards redemption

The compass takes the place of dice

When Sister Tessem testifies

Come all ye faithful and join in a song about

Kingdom come and victories to be won

The gates of Zion beckon all who would come

My whirring mind and pining heart

Find peace in sacred choir parts

But harmonies coat statements that ring hollow

In my heathen ears

Sister Tessem, thank you so

For all of the blessings you seek to bestow

And before I go promise that you’ll let me know

If you ever have any questions of your own

Discography

Preview. EP. Self-released. 2002.

Organ of Habit. LP. Red Rabbit Records. 2007.

Listen to more tracks on www.myspace.com/samanthatwiggjohnson

Set List

No Love Songs Tonight
Water
Three Million Questions
Low Moan
Thanks for Asking
Greatness Can Wait
Sister Tessem
Red from Grey
Zsa Zsa and Malevich
In Focus
Charlotte Ochanine
Get Going
For You, Dear
Break

I don't usually do covers.
My favourite setup is playing 40 minute sets.