Will Johnson’s new album “El Capitan” is out today via Bandcamp. Keeled Scales is accepting preorders for the vinyl release, which will ship this fall.
There’s a light blue vinyl version limited to 300 copies and a classic black vinyl version. Recorded in three days in June with Britton Beisenherz at Ramble Creek Recording Studio, the album is Will on acoustic guitar with contributions from Britton, Thor Harris, and Lindsey Verrill of Little Mazarn.
“These things started years ago at a friends dining room table in Oregon. They built up on desert drives, in hotel bathrooms, in casino bars, and on trail runs. They mortared together into something sensible (to me) over time. Some songs are quite old, and some are pandemic-new. It feels like we’re at the mercy of nature now more than ever, and the quiet of this time seemed right enough to make this record. I took a hundred dollar Stella guitar to my friend, Britton’s. We spent 3 days, distanced, building, avoiding old habits, drinking Tecates, and moving steadily. Our friends Thor and Lindsey contributed beautifully, from afar. There’s tape hiss and imperfections, and expected joy in the act of making something new. Thanks, WJ”
(LP cover photo by Will, studio photo by Abigail Enright)
Dress up/’fess up: Nineteen weeks and six days since I’ve worn a shirt with buttons on it, but here goes for this one. A few songs from all over the place, traversing the years.
1. I, The Kite
2. Almost Let You In
3. Re-run Pills
4. Feel Too Young To Die
5. Bricks To Block The Raid (unreleased)
Virtual tip jar is here:
Thanks to any and all that tuned in and/or left something before, and thanks for the kind words. Those are things always appreciated but not expected. At this point it simply feels good to have some sort of conduit to keep the songs rolling, and the callouses from disappearing. Something to harvest, and something to work over.
With love and respect, in strength and solidarity. -Will J.
Frank and His Sisters: S/T
Kid Sundance and Dudley Perkins: The Godfather
Elyse Weinberg: Elyse
Abul Mogard: Above All Dreams
Thanks so much to all who’ve checked out these small sets of music, and additionally to those who’ve left something in the tip jar and written kind notes via the PayPal transmissions over the weeks. We managed to raise a little over five hundred bucks for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Know Your Rights Camp with the last one.
I’ve been drawing scattershot from all over the catalog so far, trying to get to some requests from within the comments section of set #1. I aim to keep with that, but given that we’re in this for the long haul, I’ll open the floor to votes:
Would you rather see these sets kept at random? Or would you rather see each one focus on a particular Centro/SSG/solo/collaborative release? I’ll keep a pencil in hand. As far as I can tell, either scenario presents a decent chance to re-work or finally learn some songs I’ve written over the years.
For now, here’s set #4:
1. Little Raider
2. D. Boon-Free (a ninth grade crime)
3. Famished Raven
4. Vultures Await
5. Ocean/Sea (unreleased)
A new solo LP is done, titled El Capitan. It’s a minimalist thing, written in hotel bathrooms, bars, cars, and at friend’s kitchen tables, tracked by Britton Beisenherz at Ramble Creek Recording a few weeks ago. Britton, Lindsey Verrill and Thor Harris contributed beautifully, at points from afar, thanks to modern tech. Timeline for release is still to be worked out. But what is time anymore?
As always, with love and respect, in strength and in solidarity. -Will J.
Bessie Jones: Get In Union
Apollo Brown: Sincerely, Detroit
Brigid Mae Power: Head Above The Water
Pure Hell: Noise Addiction
Thank you to all that tuned in, offered requests, comments, or left a tip for the first mini-set. And a belated thank you to Nicholas Sandoval at Shure microphones for sending over this Motiv MV88. As is the case with most trades and endeavors, many of us musicians are working on the fly, figuring it out as we go. Having this mic in the chain is a big help these days.
Here’s set # 2:
1. Devil On The Interstate Line
2. Patience For The Ride
3. Twenty Cycles To The Ground
4. Smelling Medicinal
5. Goodbye, Absecon
I’m planning to document these mini-sets here and there, when time allows. Small batches to be watched on folks’ own time. For the time being I’ll try to keep to a format of four previously released songs, and one unreleased song, perhaps from the next solo LP that will be tracked in June.
Checking In: Will Johnson Homeschools His Kids
Song whisperer and his wife Jessie Johnson also blast some Madvillain
Some songwriters produce literature. Novels, novellas, short stories – short films and even feature-length movies – compress into a few verses, bridge, chorus, melody. Will Johnson remains just such a writer as quantified by his solo work or in conjunction with Centro-matic, South San Gabriel, Monsters of Folk, Overseas, Marie/Lepanto, and more.
Hello friends, we’re sorry to report that the spring tour won’t be happening as planned. We’ll post news as soon as we have it. Thanks and stay safe.
04.30 : Dallas TX @ Kessler Theater 05.01 : Houston TX @ Heights Theater 05.02 : Austin TX @ Antone’s 05.02 : Marfa TX @ Living Room Show 05.05 : Tucson AZ @ 191 Toole 05.06 : Phoenix AZ @ Living Room Show 05.07 : Los Angeles CA @ Teragram Ballroom 05.08 : San Francisco CA @ The Independent 05.10 : Portland OR @ Doug Fir Lounge 05.11 : Tacoma WA @ Living Room Show 05.12 : Vancouver BC @ Wise Hall 05.13 : Seattle WA @ Neptune Theatre 05.15 : Salt Lake City UT @ State Room 05.16 : Denver CO @ Bluebird Theatre 05.17 : Colorado Springs CO @ Lulu’s Downstairs
New tour with Bob Mould starts this week.
Two living room shows (Will J. only) have been added in.
1/17 : Fall River MA / Narrows Center For The Arts
1/18 : Portsmouth NH / 3S ArtSpace
1/19 : Montpelier VT / Living Room Show (Will J. only)
1/21 : Holyoke MA / Gateway City Arts
1/22 : Norfolk CT / Infinity Hall
1/23 : Providence RI / Living Room Show (Will J. only)
1/24 : Fairfield CT / The Warehouse at FTC
1/25 : South Orange NJ / South Orange PAC
1/26 : Bethlehem PA / ArtQuest Center at SteelStacks
1/28 : Wilmington DE / The Queen
1/31 : Port Washington NY / Landmark On Main Street
2/1 : Tarrytown NY / Tarrytown Music Hall
We’re very excited to share the video for “Cornelius” from the album Wire Mountain. It was shot, directed, and edited by Jordan Moser at Ramble Creek studios and features all of the talented folks involved with the song’s recording… Britton Beisenherz, Jon Dee Graham, Thor Harris, and Lindsey Verrill.
TOUR DATES Will has a ton of tour dates coming up. Come out and say hello.
“Wire Mountain” album release show
12.07 Austin, TX @ Cactus Cafe
with Bob Mould:
01.17 : Fall River MA @ Narrows Center for the Arts
01.18 : Portsmouth NH @ 3S Artspace
01.21 : Holyoke MA @ Gateway City Arts
01.22 : Norfolk CT @ Infinity Norfolk
01.24 : Fairfield CT @ The Warehouse
01.25 : South Orange NJ @ SOPAC
01.26 : Bethlehem PA @ ArtsQuest
01.28 : Wilmington DE @ The Queen
01.31 : Port Washington NY @ Landmark on Main
02.01 : Tarrytown NY @ Tarrytown Music Hall
with John Moreland:
04.30 : Dallas TX @ Kessler Theater
05.01 : Houston TX @ Heights Theater
05.02 : Austin TX @ Antone’s
05.05 : Tucson AZ @ 191 Toole
05.07 : Los Angeles CA @ Teragram Ballroom
05.08 : San Francisco CA @ The Independent
05.10 : Portland OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
05.12 : Vancouver BC @ Wise Hall
05.13 : Seattle WA @ Neptune Theatre
05.15 : Salt Lake City UT @ State Room
05.16 : Denver CO @ Bluebird Theatre
05.17 : Colorado Springs CO @ Lulu’s Downstairs