For over a decade, Dean Johnson's rustic tenor and simply strummed acoustic guitar have been perking up ears around the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Johnson has gradually built a devoted fan base - strictly through live performances and word of mouth - singing existential cowboy waltzes, ballads about wishing one could find a way out of heaven, honest confessionals, and other heartbreakers from a unique perspective.
The phrase "hidden gem" would seem appropriate here, but it's a misnomer when talking about Dean Johnson. He shines bright, in plain sight, and it was only a matter of time before people stopped to take a look. Dean's gentle and passionate approach to songwriting has inspired many, and his work provides the listener the opportunity to believe once more that a song can be more than the sum of its parts. If you catch even a phrase of his melodies or the sobering tone of his voice, it waltzes its way into your heart like a letter written, signed, sealed, and delivered just for you.
His debut album 'Nothing for Me, Please' (Mama Bird Recording Co.) was recorded at Mashed Potato Records in New Orleans with the help of Sam Gelband and Charlie Meyer, Dean's bandmates in The Sons of Rainier; as well as Mashed Potato regulars Sam Doores (The Deslondes), Duff Thompson and Steph Green. The record is a hazy, relaxed daydream - anthems for those who know the sweetness and coldness of quiet moments, the power and the pain of love. Whether you've been waiting patiently these many for Dean to release these songs, or you're just now coming across his work for the first time, the name Dean Johnson, much like his songs, won't soon leave your mind.