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  • Writer's pictureMary Ann

Interview with Dallas, TX Musician and Foodie, Sam Johnston

You were born and raised in the big city of Dallas, Texas. What was life like growing up?

I grew up in such a tight knit community in Dallas and with a really close family that was always supportive in whatever I wanted to do. I actually was an athlete at first when I was a kid, and eventually had to quit from a back injury which sucked at the time but in the end, led me to picking up the guitar. So I can’t be too bummed about it because it ended up helping discover my passion!

You are releasing your debut single "The River" on March 30th. What prompted you to release this song?

This song is so immensely special to me. The song reflects a time in my life where I felt lost, where I needed redemption; and was redeemed in my newfound faith in God while spending time by the Ouachita River (at my favorite place in the world Camp Ozark) in Arkansas when I was 19, and it changed my life. I couldn’t think of a better song to release as my first single as an artist.

How did your hometown influence your music?

Growing up in Texas definitely had an influence on my music! Texan legends like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Freddie King and new guys like Gary Clark Jr. and Leon Bridges definitely spoke to me from the minute I heard their records. I’ve always felt the blues like that. Almost feels like a second language.

What was your first job?

I worked at a small snow cone and hot dog restaurant called SnoDawgs when I was 16, it’s actually how I got the money to buy my first guitar!

Let’s talk Texas food for a minute.

Tortillas—corn or flour?

Flour any day

Chicken Fried Steak or BBQ?

BBQ no question

What are some of your favorite restaurants?

Ah, there are so many great places in both Dallas and Nashville that I love. Dallas has got Nate’s Seafood (best crawfish on earth), Ten50 BBQ, Bubba’s Chicken, I could go for hours. Nothing beats Hattie B’s in Nashville, big fan of Otaku Ramen as well

If you could join any past or current music group which would you want to join?

Easily would be, The Grateful Dead. My dad raised me on that music and I always loved it. There’s something about the culture and the environment at their shows that’s absolutely intoxicating.

Finally, if you could be sponsored by one food/drink brand who would it be and why?

Lagunitas Brewery, hands down my favorite beer in the world. Definitely enjoyed the company of a couple Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’s when I was writing the record.

"My name is Sam Johnston. I am a singer/guitar player born and raised in Dallas, Texas. Music is literally everything to me. I was originally an athlete and thought it was my passion; until I broke my back in a football game and quit sports for good. I was completely lost until I discovered singing. It became my obsession. The guitar and songwriting came afterward. For the rest of my time in Dallas, I was either in school or in my room practicing the guitar and trying to write songs. It wasn’t until I got to Nashville where I truly discovered my sound. I started listening to a much larger variety and music. People like John Mayer, Gary Clark Jr, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Jimi Hendrix, and even D’Angelo really captivated me. The lyrics, the guitar playing, the big booming sound. Seeing how these artists moved me really inspired me to play that same role in other people’s lives. Music saved me, and my main goal is to one day save others with my own music as a recording artist." - SJ

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