A Short Chat with Joe Johnson

Our buddy Bobby Joe at Monotone Productions brought Mississippi songman Joe Johnson through Taos a couple weeks ago. We caught up with Joe for a few minutes between sets to talk about music, gear-theft, and Quantum Leap.

LiveTaos: So! Who are you?

Joe Johnson: I’m Joe Johnson from south Mississippi originally, a little town called Picayune. But now I’m in and around Colorado Springs.

LT: So what brings you to Taos?joe johnson 2

JJ: Bobby G.

LT: Bobby G! So you’ve been here before?

JJ: Yeah, oh yeah. This is my third trip to play in Taos, I love coming to New Mexico in general. I love the food and the people here.

LT: Have you been here in the winter?

JJ: Nope.

LT: It’s cold, huh?

JJ: It is cold! A lot colder than in the summer.

LT: For sure. So tell us a little about your music, and your tour — how’s it all going?

JJ: Well, my trip wasn’t real good this time… I had bad luck, with my gear getting stolen in Colorado Springs, so this is the only part of my tour that has happened.

LT: That’s terrible! But we’re glad you made it here.

JJ: Yeah. So I’m here tonight, and I’m playing a show at Magnetic Music tomorrow.

LT: Nice! How do you feel about vinyl?

joe johnsonJJ: Uh… great, of course. I was raised on vinyl. Vinyl music is majorly influential for me. I mean, there’s something to the experience of sittin down, takin out a piece of music, settin it up, actually listening to it, digesting the music. Reading the notes, and really just digesting it. Both my granddads were radio disc jockeys, and I had just thousands and thousands of records at my disposal.

LT: Alright. So, say you’re at a party, and someone you’ve never met asks you what kind of music you play. And you can tell they want a real answer, they’re really in it for the long haul. What do you say?

JJ: To somebody who’s in it for the long haul, I say I am a folk-country musician. And I’ll tell you what that means to me – a folk-country musician sings lyrics from the heart, honestly. You know, to me, a good country-folk song makes you feel at home. At least, it makes me feel at home. People that are in it for the short haul, I just say it’s “American music.”

LT: Do you have a favorite book?

JJ: Actually, right now on this trip, I’m reading Kurt Vonnegut’s God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, and it’s great.

LT: Nice one. Ok – how about, sci-fi or fantasy?

JJ: Sci-fi.joe johnson 3

LT: Hands-down, no hesitation for sci-fi! Favorite sci-fi television?

JJ: Well, I’d be tempted to say X-Files, but I’m gonna go Quantum Leap.

LT: Twist! Can you say why? In ten words or less?

JJ: Ziggy.

LT: Can’t argue with that. What do you hope to do tomorrow here in Taos?

JJ: I hope to sell a dozen albums; find a really great album to take home with me; and I hope to catch the sunrise. And lots of stars tonight.