Derek Johnson is an up and coming country music artist, an Army veteran, a graduate of the University of Alabama and a guy who remains true to his roots – writing songs about his life experiences – and he spoke with WEIS Radio morning show host Jerry Baker in a telephone interview on Tuesday morning, discussing among other things, his first concert experience:
Johnson is currently touring behind his new self-titled album, which features the song “Real Cool Kinda Hot”, now available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and Amazon Music.
To hear more of Johnson’s WEIS Radio interview, simply click the link provided:
BIO TAKEN FROM THE OFFICIAL DEREK JOHNSON WEBSITE
The smooth and mellow, cool and country vocals are what make him the new sound of country. Reminiscent of Southern back roads, Saturday night anthems, and down home friends and family. If a blended sound of George Strait and Mark Chesnutt is your craving, then Derek Johnson is the voice that can soothe your country appetite. Born in the deep south on the Bay in the Port City of Mobile, Alabama; his love of country music becomes his trademark when you hear him weave his tales from the days of old Hank to Shenandoah to dreaming of being the one “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes” that George Jones’ sang about and poured his heart and soul into. He’s been influenced by all the great country heroes and wants to keep the family tradition alive and well. Standing at 6’ 5” in a pair of well broken in boots…he says “no wonder I’m no ‘Stranger to the Rain’ – I get it before y’all do!”
Derek grew up in what he calls “T-Shirt Pocket Size” town’s (Saraland and Excel)…four way stop, caution light, old men playing dominoes in the hardware store hiding from their wives! – Songs that bring a smile, chills, and warmth to the soul. The grandson and son of cotton and soybean farmers, good ole southern people…his roots are the definition of the songs he sings. His first major influence who began his love of guitar and all things country was his Grandfather, who kept company with nothin’ but the best: Hank Williams, Sr. Both were boarding mates and worked side by side at the Alabama Shipyard, in Mobile, Alabama, before Hank’s sudden rise to fame. His stories of the ‘days of old’ and love of guitar are the soul inspiration to chasing his dream and his love for the tradition of country music.
A proud graduate of the University of Alabama who majored in Business Management (Roll Tide!), moved to Nashville for his first stay in late 2007. During this time, he worked with several legendary producers and songwriters. His first big breakthrough came by working for Dave Gibson of the 1994 ACM Award winning Gibson/Miller Band; Dave penned number one hits such as: “Ships That Don’t Come In” by Joe Diffie and “Jukebox in My Mind” by Alabama and several more; also to Mike McGuire (of the legendary Shenandoah band)…who cut his first song “Tidal Wave” as a songwriter.
After spending a few years in Nashville…he felt a calling to support and defend his country. He joined the United States Army, serving one stint, as a 14S Air and Missile Defense crew member. He served with the elite unit, the 1/11 Armored Calvary Regiment Blackhorse, only to have suffered an accident that would cut his military career short. While being away, he would carve his songwriting skills which led him straight back to Music City USA. He is a wounded warrior but continues working alongside other veterans and wounded warriors with the Veteran Suicide Awareness marches (silkies!), raising awareness for his fellow brothers and sisters in arms. He hopes to join upcoming USO Tours since it is his goal and passion to give back to our servicemen and women. Hooah!
It was during his first stop in Nashville that he met hit songwriter/producer Phil O’Donnell; better known as Philbilly by his peers. Phil has written three #1 singles for Blake Shelton (“Doin What She Likes”), George Strait (“Give It All We Got Tonight”), and Montgomery Gentry (“Back When I Knew It All”) and also produced Craig Morgan’s six-week #1, “That’s What I Love About Sunday,” which was the most played country song of 2005. Best advice he’s ever received: Roger Murrah; “If you don’t have what it takes, there’s nothing I can do to give it to you. If you have what it takes, there’s nothing I can do to stop you from getting it.”
Derek proudly presents his new album, one that’s filled with songs about his life: from church, to farm, to military, to finding his dream girl If there’s one word to describe this piece of artwork it’s simple: Integrity! Derek’s songs will make you feel like you have found what you’ve been searching for – pure country at its finest!