Wolf Navarro Custom Guitars, Anaheim, CA, NAMM 2016

Wolf Navarro Custom Guitars, Anaheim, CA, NAMM 2016

Huge shout out to Wolf Navarro, who graciously got me into NAMM this year. If

surprise performance and yuck it up, Ultracase, Anaheim, NAMM 2016

Got to play and share music with these two extraordinary koa instruments, made 1929, Sam Kamaka, Hawaii

you can, next year and you’re into music in some way, shape, or form—GO TO NAMM. Mind blowing and inspiring in every way. I had but one day, not enough to see, do, hear, meet, and play all that there is to experience.

Next year!

Pics and fun below.

 

Tonight, I’m back in San Luis Obispo where I headline Songwriter’s at Play Monday evening soiree at Bang the Drum Brewery.

 

Stephen Sukop builds beautiful basses

Stephen Sukop builds beautiful basses

Josephine doing her best Buffy Saite-Marie

My best Buffy Saite-Marie

 

 

Howdy!

A quick check in — Winter Warm It Up is underway!

Tuesday evening was a blast with Rob (Robbie!) Kimball on his KCBX radio show, Pickin’ Up The Tempo–click it, and link to his show. You can listen live every Tuesday, 8 to 10pm, and you can link and listen to the archive of our show. Yeah, it was fun—Rob knows decades of music, musicians, instruments, who played what on which studio recording. Encyclopedic. Check it out!

Josephine & Rob Kimball, KCBX, 90.1, San Luis Obispo, Pickin' Up The Tempo

Josephine & Rob Kimball, KCBX, 90.1, San Luis Obispo, Pickin’ Up The Tempo

 

And, the Times Press Recorder picked up the story—click the pic of Rob and me to read what they have to say—super kind!

Being a focused, professional singer-songwriter has its very lonesome moments. Rehearsing, writing new material, emailing venues, composing press releases (sent out 28 for Winter Warm It Up), flyer design, phone calls, more rehearsing, social media, social media, social media, hours driving to/from performances, more writing, more emailing, more rehearsing—did I mention social media? I do nearly all of this all by myself. In fact, the Winter Warm It Up flyer is an excellent example: I used an iPhone selfie; designed flyer; booked all gigs; sent hard-copies to all venues, made follow up calls to ensure flyers received (Mercury retrograde until Jan 25). Yeah, I did all of that. And more! Because this is what I want. I do. Beneath the bell jar of constant diligence, though, I’m prone to losing sight of the bigger picture, that ultimately I do this lonesome work so I can share my love of and gift for singing/music, which is a lovely, happy,

droids do it digitally

because fun

golden, shining social thing with lots of wonderful people. I do this so I can connect, so that that maybe a little of how I sing my joy, love, pain, frustration will resonate, challenge, inspire, and make you think. I’m not complaining, just being real. And I know I’m not alone, other songwriters have expressed similar feelings. Basically, you have to love this to do this. And I do. Love it Please know, your words, likes, cheers, photos, links, and emojis do help buoy my faith, help bolster the fortitude necessary to keep on–Sing, baby, sing! Thank you, thank you so much!!!

And check out my gig schedule website www.josephinejohnsonsings.com

Love

Hey!

I’m getting ready for the tour.

And SoCal sunshine.

It’s still there, right, sunshine?

Here’s a quick vid – enjoy!

(stay dry)

 

 

 

 oh Angel City * keep my shifting focus true * art words music you

oh Angel City * keep my shifting focus true * art words music you

I have to share this because Hollyweird happens:

 

Like today, after farmers market when a fellow creative put me in check, a chiding encouragement delivered with body-shaking force to show-me-the-life-of-the-mind.

 

A young man originally from Georgia writing in Hollywood, socially-media-ed and strategic. We have our phones and use them to look at each other’s work and projects, a peek into where we’ve been as reference for where we’re going. Where we want to be.

 

Where we will be.

 

“Sing something right now,” he casually dared.

 

Of course. Amazing Grace—my song. A mantra. Everyday.

I sang. Delivered. The people sitting next to, across from us smiled, the guy

selecting focus * shapes how you feel about the * things within your view

selecting focus * shapes how you feel about the * things within your view

behind the counter smiled. A shared moment of unexpected cheer and authenticity. It was nice.

 

The light coming through the large open windows shifted with the passing clouds. The young man stood up slim and serious and grabbed my shoulder, pulling me to my feet.

 

“What are you doing? When the grace of God shines on you, you must use it. Be relentless. Everyday you sing—sing covers, sing originals and post them on YouTube. You have a YouTube, use it! Be relentless. Live relentless. RELENTLESS. Listen to me, Monday you are relentless and you shine and you don’t give up. Shine on, angel sister!”

 

His gripped my shoulder firmly once more before raising an eyebrow and sitting. The fervor of our conversation reached the people beside us, drawing us all together. And it was good.

 

perspective depends * on where you choose to focus * choice is up to you

perspective depends * on where you choose to focus * choice is up to you

Here’s the thing: I had just been having—five minutes prior?—a conversation with a friend encouraging him to use video and YouTube and social media to promote his band (Free Rain) and new CD. When this young man stood up and shook my shoulder, it was like all that encouragement, advice and ideas I’m constantly spouting were double-slammed back at me. Listen, we’re telling YOU: follow your own damn advice and do those things! LISTEN!

 

Fuck. Be relentless, lady.

 

RELENTLESS.

Do not give up.

Do what you say.

 

Not too long after, I had to excuse myself. Because I got sick, really, like ate-something-funky-at-the farmers-market ick. Puked. Not good. And I had to bail on dinner plans with Kyle and Iku. I went home. Got sick again. And slept until now when I am compelled to re-commit to relentless.

 

But do you see how we’re connected here? It’s like when you recognize another beating white heart against the flames and the urgency you feel to reach across the inferno to help keep each other’s space. You get it?

 

Also check out Barton Fink.

 

Hey! Kosuke and I get to do the House of Blues again—the Parish Room. Tickets are just $15.  I can get them to you, or we can e-ticket. Holla. I’ll hook you up!

 

 

 

Yup, we'll be there again---this time the Parish Room ;)

Yup, we’ll be there again—this time the Parish Room 😉

stars that rock

 

Josephine Johnson returns to Humboldt County for an evening of music, art, and poetry at the Arcata Playhouse, Saturday, February 21, 2015.

 

Piet Dalmolen (guitar), Dan Davis (bass), and Jay Forbes (drums) join her to create a smooth sonic force to be reckoned with.

 

Featuring:

 

Therese Keslin

poet, wordsmith, the night’s MC

 

Electro Saloon

acid coutry, gloomgrass duo

(Colin Begell, Alanna Jane Powell)

 

Matt Beard

surfer, painter, all ‘round rad guy

live paints during the performance

 

Doors open at 7:30

 

Show starts 8:00

 

Tickets available Wildberries, Peoples Records, and The Works

$12 pre-show

$15 at the door

 

A portion of the proceeds from the evening goes to support Food for People, Humboldt’s primary food bank. Just before Christmas 2014 a big rig bound for Eureka was destroyed in a fiery crash south of Benbow. Thankfully, the driver sustained only minor injuries, but the entire shipment of food was destroyed. Concert-goers are asked to bring a canned food item. Artist Matt Beard will auction his creation to the highest bidder at the end of the night. Mr. Beard is graciously donating half the final bid to Food for People.

 

 

Bring a can of food.

 

And get ready to rock

Gabe Pressure designs, Matt Beard Art:

because we can. rock. like stars

because we can. rock. like stars

by Josephine Johnson

What a month.

crossing the desert

me & the droids

What a year.

What a life.

It’s that time. Because less light. Because reflection. Because gratitude. Because introspection. Because warm hugs. Because friends. Because family. Because the light begins to return. Because holidaze. And I will do my best not to make this one of those cringe-worthy year in review posts tinged with melancholia. Or braggadocio. Mostly, I’m really thankful for all the people I’ve met on the journey this year and thankful for friends and family who keep on with me. Because spirits. Because guidance. Because all this love we have to share. Share it!

Let’s kick this off with a track the guys and I worked on just before Christmas. I’m a sucker for the obscure, weird, uncool and off the beaten path. Pink Floyd’s “On the Turning Away” is one of those underdog songs, well-written with an uplifting, egalitarian message. Piet and Jay liked the track, too, so we hit it, tracked it, and then Piet mixed and made it radio-ready—all in a few short hours. I think the recording captures the friendly, easy ethos typical of our interactions—we don’t get to see each other much these days, and when we do, our company is golden. I think that feeling comes through.

The Guys: sound art cool like that * yo no matter the idea * always got my back

 

Hope you like it:

I’m blessed and lucky to get to write, sing, and perform music with a lot of great folks that I love.

I do. Love. I am.

Lucky. Not only have I gotten to work with some of Humboldt’s finest and kindest musicians (Piet, Dan & Jay!), but also this year I’ve gotten to meet a whole new crew of awesome, talented, and keen players. Like Kosuke Yoshitome.  We played some super fun spots—El Cid, House of Blues, Viper Room, concerts for our housemates, house parties and anywhere we could find/create an audience. I’m grateful for his friendship and encouragement, and I am in awe of his talent and generosity.

Kosuke: dang such a bass boss * all treble clef and four strings * he gets the funk out

Here’s a recording from our May 2014 performance at the El Cid in Los Angeles:

Another highlight of the year was meeting Juli Crockett and the Evangenitals. The Evangenitals. EVANGENITALS! C’mon, try saying “Evangenitals” out loud without smiling. Go on…TRY it! See? Chortles and grins—you can’t without cracking a smile. And the Evangenitals are a win, too, because, well, they already love YOU. They do. And they loved me so much right away  that in February, I got to be part of their video for Turbulent Flow, a song from their 2014 release “Moby Dick“.  A really great crew of people. Juli, Michael, and I are collaborating to record a few songs for my next album project along with Humboldt’s Piet, Jay, and Dan. More on that in the new year. 🙂 Ready for some rad-ness from the Evan (ha ha!) genitals, Evangenitals— shout out to Sofia Garza-Barba who directed. Oh, I’m the pink-tentacled anemone.

Juli Crockett-Feldman:  renaissance lady * million dollar double fists * dang how you slay me

Enjoy!

I can’t forget Modesto and all the good folks I’ve met there this year— music and art, some of the most generous folks in the universe live in that sleepy agricultural town. Here’s an adventure I won’t forget, that 102 degree July afternoon when Anthony Edwards convinced me to ride bikes with him. And it was a beautiful day of searing blue skies riding along almond groves and irrigation canals. But *dang* that sun was oppressive, full on summer heat so heavy you could feel

droids do it digitally

really, we’re getting down

it in your ears, behind your eyes. Melting. Challenging your ability to breathe, pedal, and think. So I put my head down and gave up thinking. Pedal on! Yeah, it was hot….but we made it. A true bonding experience. 🙂 Or more recently when Steve Nelson and I showed up at Cafe Deva to cheer for Modesto’s most beloved singer-songwriter, Patty Davis Castillo. Patty does this arrangement of Amazing Grace that makes me look up and catch my breath every time, a beautiful way to begin Sunday morning. Thank you, my Modesto family, for taking me in and letting me be one of you. Many thanks to Aaron Rowan for booking me at several of his acoustic events this year!

Here’s this great pic from the Anthony’s annual benefit concert at the State theater in Modesto. The people on this stage are wonderful humans, so humbled to be among their friends. I love these folks!!!

Modesto: almonds cattle trains * singing whispers in the rain * comfort finds me there

Anthony Edward's annual fundraiser

Modesto “Bringing Them Home” Fundraiser

 

Well, for goodness sakes, it’s been a lovely year, and I’m so thankful for the love, good people, and great spirits that have managed to find me. I don’t know how to tie this all up in an elegantly incisive way, so I won’t. Just know that I’m aware of all the love and good thoughts you all send my way. I can feel them and I’m grateful for all the encouragement and support. Thank you! We’re really gonna send it in the new year—you ready? I am!!! Let’s do this.

 

by Josephine Johnson

Howdy. Here are two bright bits of news 🙂 Thursday (tomorrow) I’m kicking off  SHINE, an evening of storytelling at the Westside Santa Monica YWCA. Doors open at 7p. $10 suggested donation. The theme is finding bravery, which, if you’ve been following the Josephine saga, is more than apropos. I’ll be sharing my best and most uplifting tunes along with a story or two from 7:30 to 8p.

And then on Friday, November 21, Stormy Phoenix at KCSS 91.9 is featuring my CD Let It All Out from 4 to to 6p. KCSS is the alternative music voice of CSU Stanislaus. You can stream it and listen live here. (Thank you, Stormy, you are kind and rockin’.)

Ok, this is a quickie. Love and good things to you. ~Jos

 

shine moxie, shine

finding bravery Thursday, November 20, 7:30, pm

Heya! I know, you’re hankerin’ to get those creative juices flowing, maybe a little writing, some instrument playing… you’re getting into the idea of …the ukulele. You really, really want to wow your friends with Somewhere Over the Rainbow but you need a little help, inspiration? Well, check this out, I teach music and I’d sure love to teach YOU 🙂 What, you’re not so into the ukulele and wanna learn some guitar instead? OK, we can do that. Or, maybe you want to transform that shoebox of lyric-littered scrap paper into a song or two?  Yeah, I can help push and pull words together—let’s get started on this and finish a song, or two, or three or four.

What are you (we) waiting for? Let’s get creative and learn!

Right now, I’m doing an introductory special—a free  half hour lesson to get an idea, a feel, for some of the things you’ll learn. We can meet at your home, local park, or other public place. My regular rates are $30 for half hour lesson and $45 for a full hour. An LA bargain, to be sure. Get in touch—email me at josephine.jhnsn@gmail.com. Josephine on Facebook. Josephine songwriting with the kids on YOUTUBE.

Let’s do this!

I will teach you ukulele

For reals, I can teach you, your children, your grandma–perhaps even your pouch–how to play ukulele 🙂

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