Cincy invented hustle .jpg

shady Pines 

Vol. One

Available now on itunes and amazon Music


nicholas Johnson



Cincinnati, Ohio: Where the south meets the Midwest. It’s also the best way to describe the music of Kentucky-born Singer/Songwriter Nicholas Johnson; Southern roots meets Midwest rust belt rock. His EP Shady Pines Vol. 1 puts all of that on display by crafting heartbreakingly genuine songs that bring to mind songwriters such as Ryan Adams, Jason Isbell, or Jeff Tweedy.


Shady Pines Vol. 1 EP is the first release of the double EP project that has Johnson teaming up with acclaimed Producer and Engineer Patrick Himes (Ryan Adams, Rubyhorse, Lilly Hiatt) with the goal in mind to craft a recording that matched the intensity of his live shows. The result is a fiery brand of roots and rock that manages to sound both achingly familiar and fiercely original.

“A beautiful, energetic mixture of fuzz and twang from one of the next great voices in Americana music” -

“Extraordinary” - Don Thrasher, Dayton Daily News

“Must listen…such an energetic sound!” - Radio 6023, Milan

SHADY PINES VOL.1 Available Now on iTunes and Amazon Music







MAR 9 Rock ‘n Roll Club (Amnesty International Event)

Milan, Italy


DEC 10 Pogue Mahones (SOLO) Milan, Italy

NOV 23 Railroad Brewing Company Seregno, Italy

NOV 10 ROCK TOWN Cordenons, Italy

OCT 27 Pogue Mahones - 25th Anniversary Party (w/Bock and the Sailors, Andrea Rock, others)

Milan, Italy

OCT 06 Ca’ San Barto Boscalto, Italy

OCT 05 Shallo Milan, Italy

SEP 28 All’ 1e35 Circa* Cantu, Italy

JUL 24 The Meadowlark Denver, CO

JUL 18 The Belmar Binghamton, NY

JUL 13 Magenta Summer Festival  Magenta, Italy

JUL 07 Fabbrica Del Vapore Milan, Italy

JUN 12 Ghe Pensi Mi Milan, Italy

MAY 12 Arnolds Cincinnati, OH

MAY 10 Southgate House Revival Newport, KY

MAR 04 GhePensi Milan, Italy

MAR 03 Rock n' Roll Club -Amnesty International Event- with ANDEAD and others
Milan, Italy

FEB 09 Tambourine Seregno, Italy

FEB 08 Ostello Bello Punk - Goes Acoustic Benefit Show
Milan, Italy

FEB 07 Vinoria  Chiavari, Italy


NOV 17 Railroad Brewing Company ** Seregno, Italy

NOV 15 Vitoria ** Chiavari, Italy

OCT 26 Club Deco' Milan, Italy

SEP 30 3 Falls Festival Hampshire, TN

SEP 28 Star City Brewery Miamisburg, OH

SEP 27 Tumbleweed Connection Dayton, OH

SEP 26 MOTR Pub Cincinnati, OH

SEP 21 Ostello Bello (Lake Como) Como, Italy

SEP 20 Palo Alto Cafe Milan, Italy

** Supporting Tim Vantol

* Supporting Erika Wennerstrom (Heartless Bastards)


News & Updates


new video out this friday!

Finally! We’re so excited to announce the premiere for the video “The Night is Ours” (feat. Andrea Rock) will be this Friday!!! We’ll post it right here and on the socials (FB, IG, Twitter).


First italian date announced

Very proud to announce that on March 9th we will once again participate in the “Rock for Amnesty” event with many other very awesome bands. Once again, it’s being held at Rock ‘n Roll Club in Milan. All proceeds on the night will go to Amnesty International.



Happy New Year guys! There’s a TON of stuff coming up very soon. The new album, “This is Home” due out this winter, more tour dates, and more cool stuff right around the corner. Stay tuned.



For the holidays we have a $20 (or euro) special that includes 2 signed CDs (Upstate and Shady Pines Vol. 1) and a tour T-shirt. If you would like one please inquire at Limited quantities and sizes available. Orders to the US do not include shipping.



Nick is teaming up with Italian singer-songwriter and Virgin Radio personality, Andrea Rock for a split album titled, “This is Home”. More details coming soon.


Just announced: new dates Supporting Erika Wennerstrom (Heartless Bastards)


New fall/winter dates and Big news coming soon! stay tuned!




Check Our Interview with radio 6023


New article from cincy music


Just Announced: Cincy Homecoming Show at Southgate House Revival



Nicholas on Radio we Italia April 18th

Join us on Radio We on Wednesday 4/18/18 at 8 AM EST (14:00 - 15:00 Italy) where Nicholas will be performing some songs from SHADY PINES VOL 1 on "Undercover Live". 




NEW 2018 DATES for italy ANNOUNCED!

New solo and full band shows announced including co-headline dates with VIRGIN RADIO ITALIA's ANDREA ROCK. MORE TO COME...STAY TUNED!



Check out our feature in the dayton daily news!




New November dates added in support for dutch singer-songwriter tim vantol! 





SHADY PINES VOL 1 will be available for download and streaming on iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify on September 18th!






















Nicholas Johnson - Shady Pines vol 1 COVER 3000x3000_300dpi.jpg

Shady Pines Vol 1

by Nicholas Johnson






As an independent musician and an expat living abroad in Europe, I’m perpetually finding myself in the middle of a story. There’s always a new, unique experience, interesting person, or a cultural anecdote to share. So in the interest of preserving these experiences and presenting the world through a different cultural lens, I’ve decided to write about them. This is my space to share that part of my life: my crazy adventures on tour, interviews with fascinating and super-talented people, random stories, or just general music stuff.

Entry 1: “reasons and rewards”

Music is the most important gift I’ve been given. I’m not talking about talent. I simply mean the gift of music as an outlet; the ability to participate in the experience of sound and be transported. For me, it’s been my form of expression when I couldn’t speak. It’s served as a place to store my love, my fears and doubts, my rage and frustrations, or to explore my untethered thoughts - a release. It’s been my hideaway when the world was darkest and my escape from a tumultuous upbringing. It’s where I go when I’m at my happiest and what I’ve clung to when I’ve landed at the absolute bottom. 

Music is a community. It’s my tribe.  It’s where I’ve found my closest friends and kindred spirits. It’s without borders and language barriers; just a wave of energy passed from one human to the other. It’s where you can hand someone a ticket, pass through an entrance and forget everything else in the world for an evening.

My journey in music began at Edmonson County Middle School in sixth grade band class with a sorry-assed attempt to play trumpet. The first obstacle was that I had to rent one, much to my family’s chagrin. We were nowhere near wealthy. In fact, we were quite the opposite. In addition, we lived about an hour away from any music store. But the main objection was money. It was tight and you better believe my parents let me know about it; one more monthly expense. Thankfully for them, I fucking sucked at trumpet. It didn’t last one week.


“Play a low note,” Mr. Ulm, my band director, requested.

“BAAAAAA”. The trumpet blared uncontrollably.

“Play high”

“BAAAAAAA”. Identical to the first one.

“Play medium”

“BAAAAAAA”. Precisely like the other two.

“Go play percussion”, he said pointing to the back.


It turned out I wasn’t the next Louie Armstrong. So I handed over my trumpet and went to the back of the room with the big, booming bass drums and snare drums that stood nearly as tall as me. And that was my home for the next seven years. Playing in the rhythm section of concert bands, marching bands, and pep bands (drums sets, snares, tympanis, quads, xylophones, triangles, tambourines, etc.) consumed my young life and most formative years.  And though I hated both middle and high school (and I mean absolutely fucking hated it), I loved band. It taught me structure and how to make myself better every day. It also taught me humility and how to work in harmony with others and be part of the whole. I’m lucky to have discovered these things as a young man and carry them forward through the rest of my life. 

That’s partly why I forsook common sense and decided to do this for a career. It’s not for fame and damn sure not for fortune. I just love it…even when I hate it. And for those reading who may be contemplating this path…you better fucking love it. It’s filled with long nights of driving for a gig that pays maybe $25 and a bottle of beer and days filled with writing hundreds of emails and hustling to find the next opportunity to do it again. It’s a dark and noisy bar full of strangers looking up from their drunken conversations just long enough for me to give them a little piece of myself. That’s the reward sometimes; a smile and a nodding head. Every now and then, music is just an unspoken, gentle exchange of understanding and enough gas money to get to the next show. And that’s enough. That and maybe a shitty part-time job.



For booking and press inquiries please contact: