Fredericksburg Songwriters' Showcase Louis "Cowboy"  Johnson

louis "cowboy" johnson

"I've done a lot of livin', been down some rough roads, and I figure I have a few more yet to go. But I'm also blessed beyond my wildest dreams. And that's something I don't take for granted."

"Almost preternaturally attuned to Newbury's songs, Johnson brings more depth and sincerity to them than most singer-songwriters can bring to their own." John Conquest - 3rd Coast Music review of "A Grain of Sand", a Mickey Newbury tribute by Cowboy Johnson.

The name "Cowboy" has been tattooed on his chest for 35 years now, from his days of rodeo bull riding in the Black Hills of South Dakota, where he spent the 70's working the mines, playing music and living hard. It was there that a disgruntled neighbor, whose mailbox he had shot full of holes one drunken afternoon, declared to the community, "We gotta do something about that damn cowboy! The name stuck, but has also misrepresented him musically as he is not only a singer of country music. His voice also lends itself naturally and beautifully to R&B. Look for his new CD of originals, released under his given name, Louis Johnson, in late 2009 or early 2010.

Like many of the great singers, he grew up singing gospel music in the church, "I grew up singing gospel music in Northern California and listening to old country (it was New Country then). I spent a lot of time listening to R&B and jazz as a kid and world wide ethnic music that I picked up on a big old short wave radio. You know the kind that gets Russia and The BBC and Spain etc. The radio had lots of bandwidths so I would travel the world listening to music. I think that's why I still do an eclectic mix of material in each set I perform. If the song touches my heart then I'll sing it. On any given night you'll hear me play anything from Mickey Newbury (check out my "Grain of Sand" CD on MoonHouse Records) to Hank Williams Sr., Jimmy Cliff to Hank Snow, Johnny Adams to Johnny Cash, Butch Hancock to John Hiatt to Leonard Cohen, to Johnny Mercer to Lightnin' Hopkins. I do some originals as well but I know thousands of great tunes, from The Old Rugged Cross to Willin' and somebody needs to keep them alive and being heard."

The first five songs on this page are demos of some of his originals: "Someday", "Standing at the Crossroads", "Old Friend", "Life on the Bayou", and "Outskirts of Hell". They'll be included in the CD that will be out in late 2009 or early 2010.

The rest of the songs on this page are written by Mickey Newbury and are included in his tribute CD to him, "A Grain of Sand". 

Page put together (with info & pics from Bob Gramann ) by Ernest Ackermann.
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