Maybe it was destiny, maybe it was coincidence, but when Noel Johnson came across an old Fender acoustic in a back alley in his home town of Calgary at the age of 16, his fate was sealed. Years later, Johnson has honed his playing and song writing chops without completely smoothing over the rough edges. The singer-songwriter’s folk rock is loose, rhythmic, rustic and catchy as hell.
Recently Noel moved to Toronto and released his second full length album (The Remedy) with the help of fans and friends through an Indiegogo campaign where he raised over $10,000. Recording the album at The Chalet, a beautiful studio off in the woods, two hours north of Toronto. “The serenity and isolation allowed my creativity fly and brought a new dimension of experimentation in my melodies and allowed more reflection within the lyrics”, says Noel. With the release of The Remedy in May 2013, Noel followed it up with a tour back out west as well as an acoustic tour through the Maritimes where he performed at Halifax Urban Folk Fest 2013. With a new EP on the horizon for late 2014 Noel has been busy writing and exploring a more alt/country sound.
After Noel released his first EP “A Familiar Change” in February 2009 he quickly recorded his first full length album “Spirit of the Day” in Nashville with the winnings he received from two radio contests. Noel teamed up with fellow Calgary musician Michael Bernard Fitzgerald and producer Josh Gwillam on this project. “Spirit of the Day” was released in late 2009.
Since then he has performed at the Epcor Centre of the Performing Art’s three times, was included on a compilation disc that sold 40,000 copies nationwide, performed at numerous festivals including Canadian Music Week in Toronto and opened for 2011 Juno nominee Hannah Georgas.
His love of song writing is also complimented by his passion for performing. With his high energy and engaging live show, he will surely leave everyone with a tune in their head, a smile on their face and glad he found that old Fender.
Photo by: Ryan Nolan