From the moment Toronto roots rock band Johnson Crook played together, they knew they not only had harmony in their voices, but a deep personal connection that made the idea of forming a group a foregone conclusion. What the quartet shares is a love of pure, honest music stemming from their small-town backgrounds. Drawing inspiration from groups like the Eagles and the Avett Brothers, each member of Johnson Crook contributes equally, injecting their unique personalities into the overall sound. That special chemistry is heard on their self-titled debut EP, which is set for release this Friday (May 5). Out via Coalition Records, the EP will be followed by a full-length album later in 2017. Both encapsulate a whirlwind initial two years of live gigs and recording sessions that began almost immediately after that first encounter. Get an advance listen of the EP today exclusively at Canadian Musician.
The four songs on the EP showcase the energy and variety that you could expect from the band’s live show. From the anthemic, harmony rich first single, Minnedosa, to the bluesy rock-and-roll groove of Canada To Heartbreak, Johnson Crook offers up a Canadiana sentiment with a country swagger.
The self-titled EP was produced by Bill Bell (Justin Nozuka, Tom Cochrane) and recorded at Metalworks Studios. “We really took our time to get this right,” singer and guitar player, Noel Johnson, mentions. “Bill did an amazing job capturing what we do live in a recording setting, which was number one for us”. Bill Bell also introduced the band to his good friend and bandmate, Tom Cochrane. After a late-night jam session, Tom took a particular liking to one of Johnson Crook’s songs, Mr. Nobody, and agreed to be a guest vocalist on the track for the band’s EP. “We are so grateful to have Canadian rock legend Tom Cochrane on our debut EP,” says Noel. “This EP is perfect for any Canadian road trip, and to have Tom join us on a song is icing on the cake! I mean, who hasn’t taken a road trip with Life is a Highway as the soundtrack?”