Singer/songwriter, David Everett Johnson weaves homespun lyrics and melodies that reveal vivid personal narratives about his journey. His recordings feature skillful arrangements, vibrant instrumental layers, and harmonies and rhythms that showcase his deep roots in not only country, but blues, bluegrass, and rock n’ roll. While David’s rich baritone voice hearkens back to influences like Johnny Cash, Randy Travis, and George Strait, he approaches the Country genre with an outside-the-box mentality, creating music that is both traditionally minded yet also innovative and uniquely his. His passion for storytelling and the guitar shines on stage. An open, honest and energetic performer, he uses his music to express his personal perspectives on joy, sorrow, love, and heartbreak.
Johnson’s debut, self-produced album, Black Mountain, is a collection born from his desire to make an album that celebrates country’s roots while reflecting on his own journey to Nashville. In his words,
“The title track of this record is based on the life of my great-grandfather, Thomas Everett Johnson. He rode horseback over the Appalachian Mountains from Washington County, Virginia, to Harlan County, Kentucky to find work as a coal miner and carve out a better future for his family. The character in the song looks up at Black Mountain (the highest peak in the state of Kentucky) and sees it as a symbol of despair and failed dreams. Coming to Nashville and seeing the current state of the music industry and country music in general, it would be easy to have that same feeling of despair and hopelessness. I want this album to represent hope, that by being myself and making the kind of music I want to make, I can find success. This success may not be in “a fortune or a name” but I hope that this album will in some way bring people joy, even if that means something as simple as being songs you can dance or drink a beer to.”
Black Mountain also includes the talents of many incredible studio musicians, most notably, Mike Johnson, two-time ACM Steel Guitar Player of the Year, and Mike Cleveland, who has won the IBMA Fiddle Player of the Year nine times and was recently nominated for a Grammy for best bluegrass album.
Born and raised in Kentucky and the eldest of nine children, he was immersed in music from a young age especially by his mother, a gifted singer and pianist herself. His childhood home was always full of a mixture of bluegrass, classic country, rock n’ roll, and the work of singer-songwriters like Billy Joel, Jim Croce, and Paul Simon. He got his first guitar at 13 and immersed himself in it. It wasn’t until he listened to Johnny Cash’s Live at Folsom Prison, however, that he became captivated by the power of songwriting and storytelling and their ability to convey a clear view into the window of human emotion and experience, particularly in country music. Cash inspired him to be an artist and it was within this straightforward yet poetic sound that he discovered his own voice as a singer and songwriter.
Now based in Nashville and ever focused on his artistic evolution, he is constantly co-writing with other Nashville artists and songwriters. In February 2018 he signed with an independent label, Break the Cycle Entertainment. Outside of his own work as an artist, David works as an in-demand freelance guitarist, playing in the studio and on the road for a number of acts including Bryan Frazier, Cody Joe Hodges, and Jordan Hobson. He is also in the process of co-producing his first outside production: up-and-coming country artist, Katie Ray’s debut EP. David has released two singles: “Colorblind” and “Somewhere” and his first album, Black Mountain was released on July 21, 2018.