One of the world’s leading ambassadors for the homegrown music movement, Nashville-based Roots Blues and Americana recording artist Justin Johnson has been hailed by Guitar World as a “must-see act” and dubbed “The Wizard” for his command of a variety of stringed instruments. Lauded as an “American Master” by John Carter Cash, Johnson has had his “funk” praised by Bootsy Collins, and his musical approach described as “timeless” by North Mississippi Allstar frontman Luther Dickinson. This musical visionary has been recognized as Slidestock International Slide Guitar Champion. Always innovating and following his own sound while taking inspiration from the past, Johnson blurs the lines between the traditional and the cutting edge, taking current day music back to its roots and keeping the blues alive.
Earning endorsements from guitar builders around the world, Johnson has founded "Roots Music School" in Nashville, Tennessee, and under this umbrella, he has released an instructional series currently consisting of DVDs and a book on roots music tradition, technique, and theory—partnering with educators across the country to develop roots music curriculum for schools. Johnson has toured the world as a performing musician throughout mainland Australia and Tasmania, Europe, the United Kingdom, and coast to coast in North America. His original song "Midnight at the Crossroads", from his Smoke & Mirrors double album, was licensed to Florentine Films for Ken Burns' PBS documentary film Jackie Robinson. "Grinnin in Your Face", also from Smoke & Mirrors, is featured on NPR’s Back Porch Music's "Best of Back Porch Music, Volume 18: Old Enough to Know Better" 2015 compilation album.
“There is such an international love and affinity for American Roots Music,” states Johnson. “Everywhere I’ve gone, from Paris to Tasmania, I’ve found that the local cultures are enthusiastically bonded by a deep appreciation for roots music . . . . By roots music, I’m referring to the early musical roots that have led to the genres we know today—the distilled, pure, organic, wellsprings that generally only survive through early recordings, and through family and social traditions that have passed them down over generations. It’s a very powerful and eye-opening experience to see first-hand how music can bridge the gap between people from opposite sides of the world, with different languages, upbringings, political views, and religious beliefs. The human language of music transcends all of that.”