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 in the spirit of songwriting heroes like Tom Petty, Jason Isbell, or Jeff Tweedy.
His latest project, "This is Home" (Ammonia Records, 2019) is a high-spirited collaboration between Nicholas and Italian singer-songwriter and Virgin Radio personality, Andrea Rock. The split-album serves as a love letter to Johnson's adopted home of Milan, Italy and also a celebration of the winding roads and friendships that led him across the pond. The sound combines Johnson's Americana-based influences with Rock's background of traditional folk and lingering notes of punk peppered throughout.
His previous project release, Shady Pines Vol. 1 EP is the first release of the double EP project that had 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” - Cincymusic.com
“Extraordinary” - Don Thrasher, Dayton Daily News
“Must listen…such an energetic sound!” - Radio 6023 (Italy)
THIS IS HOME
SHADY PINES VOL.1
Available on all digital formats
SEP 28 Politeatro (HUMAN IN PROGRESS BENEFIT SHOW)
AUG 22 Bellagio in Blues Fest Bellagio, Italy
JUL 26 The Belmar Binghamton, NY
JUL 24 TBA Denver, CO
JUL 21 MOTR Pub Cincinnati, OH
JUL 20 South Park Tavern Dayton, OH
JUL 20 OMEGA Records - In Store Show Dayton, OH
JUL 17 WYSO: Kaleidoscope Show Yellow Springs, OH
JUN 29 The Peacock Milan, Italy
JUN 22 Lungo La Strada Festival Landriana, Italy
JUN 7 Chemona Milan, Italy
JUN 6 Rock N’ Roll Club + Rho, Italy
MAY 26 Spaghetti Unplugged Milan, Italy
MAY 19 Ti Aspetto Sul Tetto Milan, Italy
MAY 18 Pogue Mahones Milan, Italy
MAY 16 Maiali Con le Ali Verraze, Italy
MAY 9 Loft + Trieste, Italy
MAY 8 Freakout Club + Bologna, Italy
MAY 7 Vinoria + Chiavari, Italy
MAR 17 Spirit De Milan (with Bock and the Sailors)
MAR 17 St. Pattys Day at Pogue’s Milan, Italy
MAR 16 Jameson Whiskey St. Patrick’s Night - Piu Superstudio
MAR 9 Rock N’ Roll Club (AMNESTY IN ROCK - BENEFIT SHOW FOR AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL)
MAR 8 Pogue Mahones (ALBUM RELEASE SHOW)
FEB 22 The Rabbit * Milan, Italy
* SOLO/ACOUSTIC SHOW
+ Supporting Tim Vantol
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)
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
FEB 09 Tambourine Seregno, Italy
FEB 08 Ostello Bello Punk - Goes Acoustic Benefit Show
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
CRUEL DESIGN PREMIERES TODAY!!!
New US shows added For Ohio and New York!
Cruel Design video out june 12!
Shooting new video in varazze for “Cruel Design”
We’re shooting a video in beautiful Liguria at Varraze! We are also going to shoot the show at Maiali Con le Ali. Come join us on May 16 and lets have some fun.
side project “lucky” debuts in itunes top 100
“Lucky” is a song and side project with acclaimed Italian DJs WATT & JACK and ZAMA Music and debuted at #57 in the Electronic music genre.
Airplay in the UK!
“The Night is Ours” will be played on Across the Great Divide on SINE FM in the UK..along with Drive By Truckers, Iron and Wine, Calexico, Crooked Weather, and others. Tune in online or turn the dial if your in the UK!
New Shows announced!
Solo…full band…and more! Including a run of shows with our friend and amazing songwriter Tim Vantol! Check out the schedule above!
This is Home out now!
Available on all digital formats… CHECK IT OUT!!
RELEASE SHOW DETAILS ANNOUNCED!
Come join us at Pogue Mahones Milano on Friday March 8 at 9 PM. We’re going to have a short acoustic set followed by a listening party/meet and greet. We’ll have plenty of merch and copies of the new album on hand. Come join us on this very special occasion!
“THE NIGHT IS OURS” - “RECOMMENDED LISTENING” BY ROCKET GARAGE MAGAZINE
“THE NIGHT IS OURS” FEATURED IN ROCK REBEL MAGAZINE
this is home release date: march 8!
“THE NIGHT IS OURS” VIDEO OUT NOW!!
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.
NEW YEAR, NEW ALBUM, NEW SHOWS
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Limited quantities and sizes available. Orders to the US do not include shipping.
NEW PROJECT ALERT!
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 RELEASE DATE SEPTEMBER 18
SHADY PINES VOL 1 will be available for download and streaming on iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify on September 18th!
KEEP UP WITH YOUR BOY: @NICHOLASJOHNSONMUSIC
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.
“BAAAAAAA”. Identical to the first one.
“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.
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