Author Archives: rootsmusicschool

Have you been GOOD this year?

He knows if you’ve been bad or good so be good for goodness sake!

ONLY HOURS LEFT to get $500 OFF the KNOB CREEK or TANK 224 Whiskey Barrel Guitar! 

I WANT $500 Off!

We’ve also got LIMITED EDITION “B-Side Gold” Shovel Guitars available through the Kickstarter for the new album. Justin Johnson is hand-building & autographing each of these guitars and this SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION gets GOLD HARDWARE, This Limited Edition is only available through the Kickstarter and there are currently ONLY 8 LEFT!
These guitars will ship out this weekend, so they make perfect Christmas Presents! 
Justin can also write a custom message on the back, along with his autograph, if you want a personalized gift!

CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT!

Check out the new "B-Side Gold" LIMITED EDITION Shovel Guitar with GOLD HARDWARE!

Check out the new “B-Side Gold” LIMITED EDITION Shovel Guitar with GOLD HARDWARE!

We’re offering a very Limited Edition run of “B-Side Gold Edition” Shovel Guitars with GOLD HARDWARE, for the first time ever, and only available through the Kickstarter fundraiser for Justin Johnson’s new album “B-Side Gold”!

Order through Kickstarter to get this Limited Edition Shovel Guitar
•AND get it in time for Christmas! 
•AND get a motherload of Bonus Swag! 
You’ll also get:  
•Justin Johnson’s “Slide for 3-String Guitar” Instructional DVD
•a Justin Johnson Signature Guitar Slide
•a Limited Edition B-Side Gold Tote Bag
•an Autographed CD of the new “B-Side Gold” album
•a Digital Download of the new “B-Side Gold” album
•a Digital Download of the new Bonus Full-Length album “The Bootleg Series: Volume 1”
•PLUS a few other surprises!

TIME IS RUNNING OUT on our Biggest Savings of the Year!

ONLY 5 DAYS LEFT to get in on our Biggest Savings of the Year!

The ‘B-SIDE GOLD’ album is officially GreenLit! It’s happening!  ..but our Special Offers are NOT OVER YET!! There are still Awesome Rewards, Guitars, & Early Bird Discounts available for PreOrders! These Early Bird Savings available through the Kickstarter will never be offered again after the Kickstarter ends a few days from now.. So Get in on It Now and let’s make some music!

The Rewards available range from simply preordering the new album (Ordering now helps us make it happen and gives you the chance to get the album at a lower price, receive insider footage from the tracking sessions along the way, & pick up BONUS PERKS for placing an early order!), to One-of-a-Kind Signature Guitars, & Wild Experience Opportunities to come aboard as Associate or Executive Producer, that are available only through this Kickstarter. 

There are still a Limited Number of Early Bird Offers on preordering a Download of the “B-Side Gold” Album, which gives you $5 off of the Download AND a FREE Full-Length Bonus Album “The Bootleg Series: Volume 1” valued at $15 (so Spend $15 & Save $20!)

We’re offering Limited Edition “B-SIDE GOLD EDITION” 3-STRING FRETLESS JUSTIN JOHNSON SIGNATURE SHOVEL GUITARS through this Kickstarter only.  Again, ordering through Kickstarter means that not only will you get the Limited “B-Side Gold” Edition Shovel Guitar, but you will also get the motherload of Swag and Bonuses included with this offer, that are only available through the Kickstarter.

There are only 2 Whiskey Barrel Guitars left at $500 OFF! They’re both reward options through our Kickstarter, so when you order here, you SAVE $500 AND get FREE UPGRADE TO EXPRESS INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING, so that you’ll have it in time for Christmas! These are Autographed Limited Edition Guitars w/Signed Certificate of Authenticity, at a HEFTY discount over regular price, and offered here with a serious dose of BONUS SWAG, so if you’ve been eyeing one, now’s the time! 

“The White Rabbit” scored a guitar through our Kickstarter & came by to pick it up in person! Yep, that’s an option! There are only 2 guitars left & only 5 days left to get in on it! CLICK HERE to pick up one of the 2 we have left & get the $500 off while you can! All Guitars, Shovel Guitars, Cigar Box Guitars, & Diddley Bows ship on December 15, with FREE UPGRADE to Express Shipping worldwide, so you’ll have it in time for Christmas!

PLUS YOU GET A Bonus Album with every Preorder! 

We’ve finalized the Song List for “The Bootleg Series: Vol. 1” that will be included as a BONUS Full Length Album Download with EVERY Preorder of the new “B-SIDE GOLD” album! .. so you save money by preordering, and also get rewarded with 2x the music! 

The Bootleg Series: Vol. 1 
• CRANKIN’ IT UP 
• PORCH SWING SLIDIN’ 
• TENNESSEE HILL COUNTRY BLUES 
• WHISKEY BARREL BLUES 
• HARD TIME KILLING FLOOR 
• WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN 
• THE PARTING GLASS 
• ROCKABILLY BLUES 
• ROMP IN THE SWAMP 
• SUNSET BLUES

Biggest Savings of the Year on Signature Shovel Guitars, Whiskey Barrel Guitars, & One-String Diddley Bows!

Happy Holi-daze everybody! If you have been following us here at Roots Music School, then you know that I (Justin Johnson) have been working hard to fundraise for my upcoming album, B-Side Gold. It’s getting down to the wire, but luckily, we are offering some killer deals on my Signature Shovel Guitars, Whiskey Barrel Guitars, and One-String Diddley Bows. If you have a guitarist or Roots Music Lover on your Christmas List, then check out the deals on my Kickstarter Campaign. You can make your loved one happy on Christmas Morning, and help us fund our album, so we can keep bringing you fresh music in 2020!
There are also Early Bird Savings available through the Kickstarter that will never be offered again after the Kickstarter ends a few days from now.. So Get in on It Now and let’s make some music!

All guitars purchased through my Kickstarter Campaign will ship out before Christmas, so you can make sure your stockings are stuffed!

Select from the Available Whiskey Barrel Guitar Models!
Save Big on Justin Johnson Signature Shovel Guitar!

If you want to take advantage of these killer discounts CLICK HERE, and help start someone’s journey with Roots Music!

Click Here to Check out the Kickstarter!

Justin Johnson Releasing "Bootleg Series Vol. 1" – Live and Unreleased Recordings

PreOrder “B-SIDE GOLD” & get
“The Bootleg Series: Vol 1” FREE!
CLICK HERE

We’ve finalized the Song List and the Artwork for “The Bootleg Series: Vol. 1” that will be included as a BONUS Full-Length Album Download with EVERY Preorder of the new “B-SIDE GOLD” album!  
The Bootleg Series” is a compilation of Remastered Live & Unreleased Justin Johnson Solo Guitar performances from the archives! Order the new “B-SIDE GOLD” album through Kickstarter & get the full “Bootleg Series: Vol. 1” as a FREE BONUS .. along with other groovy perks & surprises! 

Click Here to Order:

Here’s the Song List!
THE BOOTLEG SERIES: Vol. 1
• CRANKIN’ IT UP
• PORCH SWING SLIDIN’
• TENNESSEE HILL COUNTRY BLUES
• WHISKEY BARREL BLUES
• HARD TIME KILLING FLOOR 
• WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN
• THE PARTING GLASS
• ROCKABILLY BLUES
• ROMP IN THE SWAMP
• SUNSET BLUES

CRANKIN’ IT UP
PORCH SWING SLIDIN’
TENNESSEE HILL COUNTRY BLUES
WHISKEY BARREL BLUES
WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN
THE PARTING GLASS
ROCKABILLY BLUES
ROMP IN THE SWAMP
HARD TIME KILLING FLOOR
SUNSET BLUES

HIGH VOLTAGE ROCKABILLY! “All I Can Do Is Cry” from Justin Johnson’s Upcoming “B-Side Gold” Album

Crank up the speakers & spread the word! …you’ve been asking for it.. here it is!… the first completed track from my upcoming album, “B-Side Gold.”

CLICK HERE TO PRE-ORDER THIS ALBUM

Preorder the album through my Kickstarter Campaign (http://kck.st/34aNtjh) and you can also get earlybird pricing on the album or download, free bonus album download, huge discounts on whiskey barrel guitars, special edition 3-string shovel guitars, & other killer rewards and bonus perks for preordering, that are only available through the crowdfunding campaign.

This track is a cover of an old Wayne Walker tune called “All I Can Do Is Cry.” It features Spike Nicer on vocals, Derrek Phillips (Hank Williams Jr., Charlie Hunter) on drums, Mark Winchester (Brian Setzer Orchestra) on the slap bass, and me (Justin Johnson) on guitars.

“All I Can Do Is Cry” has always been one of my favorite old Rockabilly tunes, and I’ve been dying to cover it for a while. I really wanted this arrangement to hit hard, while keeping an authentic Rockabilly backbone. Derrek’s drums really fatten the rock vibe up, while Mark’s Slap bass pounds out more of a traditional Rockabilly slap bass tone. Spike Nicer also nailed the vintage rockabilly flavor on the vocals… with the help of a little tape echo to give it that early Sun Studio soul.

The guitar is much more wild, and the addition of the Wah Wah pedal is something that you never really hear in Rockabilly, but I’ve always loved blending that “Hendrix” vibe with the early Rock & Roll flavor. …I figured, those early electric guitar pickers would have used the Wah if it had been available at the time!

Please help support the creation of this album by pre-ordering your copy today. Here is the link to pre-order: http://kck.st/34aNtjh

GET YOUR COPY OF B-SIDE GOLD HERE!: http://kck.st/34aNtjh

NEW ALBUM by JUSTIN JOHNSON – “B-Side Gold” Rock and Roll Album by Justin Johnson

For the past year, I’ve been in the studio writing, arranging, producing, and recording tracks for an album that defines what I love about rock & roll and the electric guitar.. and I have never been so excited to share the music that’s forming in the studio right now! This new album will be titled ‘B-Side Gold,’ & is inspired by the Rock & Roll B-Sides and Deep Cuts that made me fall in love with electric guitar to begin with.  

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE NEW ALBUM

So many of my favorite songs were the B-Sides on records… the songs that weren’t designed and produced to be glossy “hits.” These were the songs that took chances and broke conventional pop song templates; putting more attention on the art of musical creation, and less attention on conforming to a musical “product” in a specific “genre” for a specific “market.” 

We’re recording the album at the legendary Cash Cabin Studio.  Cash Cabin was Johnny Cash’s own personal studio, where he recorded his American Recordings with producer Rick Rubin.  The Cabin & Studio is now owned by Johnny Cash & June Carter’s only son, Music Producer John Carter Cash.  We are also bringing aboard a host of wildly talented musicians, including Derek Phillips on drums (you may recognize him as the drummer for Hank Williams Jr.), Mark Winchester on bass (you may know him as bassist for Brian Setzer, always ready to bring down the house with that Rockabilly slap bass!), the indomitable Spike Nicer on vocals, and of course myself, Justin Johnson bringing my signature guitar stylings, along with GRAMMY Award Winning Engineer/Producer Chuck Turner .. and many more surprises to be announced along the way!  As a Kickstarter Supporter, you will receive updates and behind-the-scenes video peeks into the album as it’s being created, that no one else will have access to! 

Want to be part of making this album happen? 

If so, THANK YOU!  You can help make this album a reality by reading through the list of Rewards on my Kickstarter page, and selecting a reward level that appeals to you. Basically.. you buy something cool from us.. or even a preorder of the new album.. and the money you spend goes directly into recording, producing, pressing, and marketing the ‘B-Side Gold’ album!  You will be a huge part of making this album happen! 

Funding this album through Kickstarter allows the music to flow directly from me (the artist) to you (the listener) in the most pure way possible. Plus, there are rewards available through this Kickstarter that I normally wouldn’t offer outside of an album fundraiser, and Bonus Rewards added on to every level, to give you more for your money at every level! One-of-a-Kind Rewards & Free Bonus Additions!  It’s our way of saying “Thanks for Making it Happen!”  

We’ve already completed about half of the tracking for ‘B-Side Gold‘ but we need your support to bring this album across the finish line! 

Swampy Rhythm Guitar Tone Walkthrough

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look into the recording of my finger-style guitar arrangement of Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say.” Watch the above video to check out the rig, settings, guitar, and techniques I use to perform this track.

TUNING: D-G-C-F-A-D
I chose to tune down a whole step for this performance, both because the lower tuning gives more body and low-end fatness to the tone, but also because the stings get looser, and the slackness in the strings help accentuate that swampy vibe. Try tuning down any time you want to add some “swamp” to your tone.

I strung this guitar up with a “standard set” of my Justin Johnson Signature Guitar Strings, which are designed to give you better pitch control, and a smooth touch, even when you are tuning down into lower open tunings. Check them out here.

GEAR:
•GUITAR: “Bad Ass Customs” Hollow-body Bowling Alley Lane Guitar
•CABLES: Mogami Guitar and Mic Cables
•AMP: Fender Blackface Princeton Reissue
•STRINGS: Justin Johnson Signature “Standard Set” Guitar Strings
•ACOUSTIC PANELS: ProSoCoustic Gobo Panels

If you have song requests or gear questions, let me know in the comments. Please click the “Follow” button on this page to get more Roots Music Lessons.

Keep Rockin’
Justin Johnson

Justin Johnson Interview with Now Hear This Entertainment

My interview with Now Hear This Entertainment is now available to stream: Click Here to Listen

This was an especially fun interview for me because it was one of those times when the interviewer’s questions make you think deeper into a subject than you had expected, and you surprise yourself with the answers. We talked touring, recording, and pursuing a professional music career as an independent artist. Hope you enjoy it!

Here’s the link to listen: http://now-hear-this.net/content/nhte-287-justin-johnson

Dialing in Blues Fingerpicking Guitar Tone

I love a screaming guitar solo as much as anyone, but some of my favorite music to listen to is that greasy, slow, electric fingerpicking blues guitar. Lightning Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, and R.L. Burnside are some of my favorites in that style.

I’ve gotten several requests to cover the song “Hard Time Killing Floor Blues,” by Skip James. It’s a perfect slow blues song to perform as a solo 6-string arrangement, since it has such a killer vocal melody and baseline.

For this recording, I chose to pick on my vintage Harmony Monterey guitar. It’s got a clean and punchy acoustic tone, which I mic’ed with a WA-47 Tube mic from Warm Audio. I also plugged the guitar into a Fender Princeton Blackface (re-issue) with the vibrato intensity cranked to 11. The old Hershey bar pickup in the Harmony is in neck position, which also contributes to the warm, full-bodied electric tone. Watch the video above, for the complete details on the gear and settings I used.

If you want to check out more of my rig-rundowns, and get a behind-the-scenes look into my recordings and videos, Subscribe to my new channel “Live form the Guitar Loft” HERE. If you have song requests or gear questions, let me know in the comments there. That channel is devoted to answering questions and requests. 

Make sure you click the “FOLLOW” button to the right of this, to get more of my articles. …and of course, check out my music, downloads, lessons, and signature guitars at www.JustinJohnsonStore.com

Keep Rockin’,
Justin Johnson