New mp3 – Album Sampler

November 2nd, 2009 |

One of my readers emailed me today to remind me that I have a website and it’s starting to smell a bit musty.

I’ve been extremely busy recording for the past few months and for whatever reason have failed to give any sort of updates on what’s been going on. So I put together a small sampler of some of the things I’ve been recording.

On this mp3 the first clip you’ll hear is the sax trio from the bridge of “The Temptress”.

The second clip is the piano part (played by Jeff Lehman), guitar part, and Melotron part to “Wait Child Wait”.

The third clip is the Wurlitzer piano and the horn section to the chorus of “Written for You”.

The last clip is some of the strings (with the drums and everything else turned way down) to “The Groom and the Bride”.

Click here to download the mp3.

I hope you like it.

Sweet Hour of Prayer – New mp3 available

September 18th, 2009 |

Since I became one of the song leaders at our church I have learned many phenomenal old hymns that I had never heard before. One that really blows me away is “Sweet Hour of Prayer.” An absolutely beautiful hymn in every way.

I decided on the way home from work today that I wanted to record my own rendition of this classic tune. From the first time I heard it I thought it would sound great played in an old, lamenting folk style so that’s how I approached it on this recording.

I hope you like it.

Download the mp3 here.

Here is a wonderful, traditional version by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Stunning.

Smudge

September 12th, 2009 |

The newest addition to the Johnson family is reportedly a cat but we think it might be some sort of rat or possibly a miniature Wookiee. His/her (sex determinitaion coming soon) name is Smudge.

Smudge is a farm cat/rat/Wookiee that had basically been abandoned by its mother. Apparently she was also unable to determine its species. So we (Angel) decided that we would take it in and do our part to save its life. Then possibly someday return it to its planet of origin.

Presenting Smudge.

Piano Peace

September 6th, 2009 |

Recently Riley and I have been doing some rather interesting experiments with MIDI programming. I have been teaching him to create music using only a visual method. I open up one of my virtual pianos and then let him draw the notes on a MIDI grid. He’s tried things such as drawing a smiley face on the grid and then we play it back to see what a smiley face sounds like. We’ve also spelled out our names and then played them back. It’s been pretty fun. Some of the results were interesting and some were just a complete mess.

One of the short pieces we “wrote” sounded really cool so I decided to develop it into something a bit more coherent. I’ve spent a couple of hours on it the past day or so and it think it came out really nice. Check it out.

Piano Peace

Lenore 1995 – 2009

September 1st, 2009 |

Yesterday was a rough day. I had to take our cat Lenore to be put to sleep. She had gotten extremely sick over the past week and her liver shut down so she was turning yellow. She had stopped eating and couldn’t hardly walk at all.

Lenore was Angel’s and my first pet as a couple. She was probably the only cat I ever liked. She was kind of the perfect cat. Which means she was more like a dog than a cat.

It wasn’t the first time one of my pets has had to be put down but it was the first time that I actually had to take it to be done. Angel was really torn up about the whole thing so she didn’t go with me to the vet. It was so strange walking in with a great cat and then walking out ten minutes later with a dead one.

I brought her home and buried her right behind the fence. The three of us stood over her grave while I said a prayer thanking God for allowing us to have her for so long. Then we cried a lot.

I miss her.

The Day in Arkansas

August 24th, 2009 |

Last Saturday we did a down-and-back trip to Arkansas for me to play in the Satisrocktion music festival. The festival was in Mountain Home Arkansas right near Norfork Lake. Good grief that area was beautiful. Wowie zowie!

We had a great time. My cousin Marc was the organizer for the whole thing and he really did a great job. I usually only get to see Marc once or twice a year so it was nice to hang out for a bit and catch up.

My performance was serviceable at best. I hadn’t played a live show in a few years so I was a bit on the rusty side but Angel said I sounded great so I’ll take her word for it, even though she says that every time I play whether I actually sound great or not.

Angel took a bunch of really nice pictures throughout the day. The best ones were taken out the car window at 65 mph. Some were taken out the passenger window and some were taken out the driver’s side window while leaning over me and blocking my view of the road.

Here are the pictures that were taken from the moving car.

Obviously the next two were not taken from a moving car.

Here’s one from the performance.

This last one was taken that night after we got home. Now that Riley has a loft bed Lilly doesn’t get to sleep with him any more, at least until she learns to climb a ladder. So we let her and Riley fall asleep in our room until Angel and I were ready for bed. Angel came upstairs to check on them and here’s what she found.

Nanotron

August 21st, 2009 |

There is a song on my upcoming record called “Wait Child Wait” that desperately needs a Mellotron part in the chorus. The Mellotron is the keyboard heard in the intro to Strawberry Fields Forever and as luck would have it I don’t own one. Not only do I not own one I also don’t have anything that sounds even remotely similar in my collection of hundreds of keyboard patches.

Last night I went searching around the net to see if I could find anything affordable that might come at least close to emulating the Mellotron sound. After much searching through keyboard libraries that cost at least $150 I came across a Mellotron plug-in called Nanotron. And get this, it’s free.

After seeing that it was being offered for free I figured it would probably sound about as bad as all the other free libraries I’ve tried over the years. I was wrong. Very wrong. It sounds phenomenal. I can’t believe it.

I went and grabbed a MIDI version of Strawberry Fields and ran it through this thing and was left giggling with excitement.

Here’s a short mp3 of the intro played through the Nanotron.

I’m Not Dead Yet

August 18th, 2009 |

I keep telling myself I need to get back to blogging. Then myself always reminds myself that video games are a much more entertaining way to spend myself’s time.

My little gaming addiction has reared its ugly head over the past few months and it has (as it always does) gotten a wee bit out of control lately. With that said, if any of you happen to play Quake Live my in-game name is “DrewJohnson” (I’m so creative) so look me up and I’ll be happy to apply a rocket to your face.

Here’s a quick rundown of what I should have been blogging about over the past month.

– Riley took swimming lessons. He still doesn’t know how to swim.

– We’re remodeling our bathroom. That means everyone in the house is angry all the time.

– We bought one of these for Riley off of Craigslist for a tiny fraction of what they cost new.

– The money for recording the album is all gone. Nothing is finished.

– I wrote and arranged horn parts to two songs for Javier Mendoza‘s upcoming album.

– This Saturday I’ll be playing my first live show in probably three years. It’s the Satisrocktion festival in Arkansas.

That’s it for now. The basball game is about the start. I’m really going to try and get back to blogging regularly. Sorry for my lack of discipline.

Riley is Seven

July 16th, 2009 |

Yesterday was Riley’s seventh birthday. I can’t believe he’s made it this long.

My mom took us all to The Muny to see Godspell last night. It was really good. It had a rather messed up view of the biblical stories it was portraying but other than that it was rather entertaining.

Here’s a picture my mom took of Riley right outside The Muny.

Worship Leader

July 12th, 2009 |

Last Sunday was a pretty big milestone in my life. I was asked to be one of two worship leader’s at our church and last Sunday was my maiden voyage. Of course I was very excited to move into this position. Last Sunday and today both went pretty smooth so I’m very thankful for that.

Today after the service one of the boys in our church who I believe is about eight years old came up to me and handed me a picture he had drawn of me on the back of the bulletin. It’s awesome.