JACOB JOHNSON LIVE! At The REAR WINDOW
Rear Window Listening Room is excited to welcome Jacob Johnson to our stage for the first time! Part virtuoso and part storyteller, you might say that Jacob Johnson does with a guitar what Gene Kelly did with dance. Although his songwriting has won awards and his guitar-playing has put him on stage with Tommy Emmanuel and Phil Keaggy, his ability as an entertainer is what has won fans throughout the southeast. He refers to himself as "a ham that just wants to be on stage" but he’s much more than that. Jacob is an amazingly talented guitarist and songwriter which, combined with a bit of a personality, makes for a wildly impressive stage performance.
To watch Jacob Johnson play guitar is to watch someone do what he was born to do. Johnson glides up and down the fretboard with total confidence in a way that reminds one of Leo Kottke, barely looking at the instrument as he weaves delicate, dazzling melody lines with the occasional percussive thump on the strings. His sense of melody is a strong as his virtuosic playing, and his songwriting reveals a modestly bemused look at the world.
Johnson began playing when he was 10 years old, thanks primarily to his grandmother. “She played with pickup bands back in the ’40s,” he says. “When country acts would tour, they would just book a band in whatever city they were playing in. So she played with Ernest Tubb and Hank Snow and a lot of people like that. She taught me the first three or four chords I ever learned and said, ‘Jacob, if all you ever learn on the guitar is these three or four chords, you will always be able to pick up a guitar and play songs for people.’”
After that initial introduction, Johnson says he progressed quickly through his teen years. “There was a period of a couple of years where I went from zero to 60. I started out listening to Johnny Cash and then got into the old rockabilly like Carl Perkins and Gene Vincent, then it was the blues and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Clapton, and Hendrix. I guess by the time I was 18 or 19 I’d started getting into Phil Keaggy and Michael Hedges, who I consider the Jimi Hendrix of the acoustic guitar.
“He was one of the first players who got into two-handed tapping, alternate tuning, that kind of stuff. At a certain point I decided to focus on the acoustic guitar because there was just something about it. It seemed like this was the instrument that was going to give me my voice; that would allow me to develop my singing and songwriting in a way that my electric playing didn’t.”
Since dropping out of college in 2007, Jacob has traveled the country in (so far) six mini-vans, honing his craft, and making friends and fans along the way. Most of these were friendly now-forgotten faces that offered a warm meal and a couch to sleep on, but some were able to offer more. Such was the case with Grammy-nominated Australian guitar legend Tommy Emmanuel. Emmanuel put Jacob, as his opening act, on such notable stages as The Birchmere in Virginia, The State Theater in Maine, and The Newberry Opera House in South Carolina.
The songs and performances that developed in those touring years became the basis for Jacob’s most recent album, “One-Take Jake”. “One-Take Jake” features 11 of Jacob’s most requested songs recorded live in-studio with no-overdubs. The songs range from his own award-winning “The Ferryboat Waltz”, to his unique take on the Disney classic “Chim-Chim Cheree” by the Sherman Brothers. Few mistakes slip through the raw, understated production, but they underscore an important truth. While his talent may seem otherworldly, it’s not magic. It’s real, which is even better.
"Jacob rocks!" -Tommy Emmanuel
"The audience was really into your show! …You are a remarkable performer." - Phil Keaggy
"Jacob’s album “One-Take Jake” is filled with crystalline, pyrotechnical guitar playing but he has infused his performance with personality.It runs right down his arms into his fingers, onto the strings -- missing not a grain of warmth and meticulous guitar-spirit. The guitar is not just an instrument in the hands of Jacob Johnson – it’s his soul-mate." - No Depression
"Johnson sounds like Norman Rockwell paintings and the open road. He is a virtuoso, expressing a working comprehension of dozens of techniques and styles. He has blended and blurred the lines of genres to craft a sound he calls 'Neo-Acoustic Folk/Funk'." - The Florence Morning News (Florence, SC)
"Jacob is a great performer who has a way with words that will cause even the most curmudgeonly person to grin. The world needs more talent like this." - Mossip Music Blog
“He's all over the place. Influenced by technical masters like Pat Metheny and fellow southerner Kaki King, he has developed an approach that requires tight coordination of both hands as he slaps and taps the neck of his instrument."- The Gazette (Rockville, MD) www.jacobjohnsontunes.com
Rear Window Listening Room is an UPSTAIRS venue. There is a lift chair for those requiring assistance Doors open and dinner is served at 7pm. The show begins at 8pm. Menu to be announced Dinner and Show Tickets $30, Show Only Tickets $15 Rear Window Listening Room is a BYOB establishment. Rear Window is a non-smoking facility