This Saturday night, Mount Airy native Rachael Johnson will be coming home from the bright lights of Nashville, Tenn., to perform in a one-night only show at the Old North State Winery at 8 p.m.
Since graduating from Mount Airy High School in 2005, Johnson headed off to Nashville to make her way in the country music industry.
Three years in Tennessee has found Johnson as an in-demand solo artist. She now plays 20 to 25 shows a month in Nashville, surrounding cities and states, while sharing the stage with country stars like Jo Dee Messina, Josh Thompson, Little Texas, Dave Gibson, Chris Young, Craig Campbell and Trent Tomlinson, to name a few.
After completing her bachelor’s in criminal justice, she found her way to Nashville. She landed a day job to help pay the bills and hit the local hot spots to figure out what to do next. She said she was fortunate enough to meet, soon-to-be-signed, singer/songwriter Craig Campbell and became a regular sit-in at his show at The Stage on Broadway.
She began meeting other artists and musicians and was able to put together a band and had shows of her own. Within a year, Johnson was able to quit her day job and let music pay the bills. She was playing 20 to 25 gigs a month in Nashville and surrounding cities and traveling to venues in Alabama and opened for Craig Campbell on one of her many trips to North Carolina.
Johnson said her writing and love for music were influenced by a range of artists from Merle Haggard to the Beatles.
While Johnson has played several shows locally at B52s with her band, this will be her first local performance in which she will be performing alone. She said the concert will be quite intimate and she is looking forward to returning to Mount Airy.
“I do a lot of original music, anything from new country like Miranda Lambert to Adele and Lady Gaga, but I also do some of the classics like the Eagles and the Beatles and traditional country music. I try to mix it up so that everybody in the crowd can enjoy themselves,” said Johnson. “It’s going to be a great show. I think it showcases the vocals a little more and it gives the fans that have been coming to my shows a little more intimate show. This will just be me, one on one acoustics.”
Johnson and her band are the house band at the Wild Horse Saloon in Nashville.
Ben Webb, one of the owners of the Old North State Winery, said he is looking forward to having more musical acts at the winery — at least once a month. He said the winery opens at 11 a.m. on Saturday and the deli will be open during the concert with a special bar menu. The newly opened Main Street room will be open that night as well.
“We are looking forward to having her come perform. We are branching out to have more musical acts,” said Webb.
Johnson will autograph a show poster designed by Corey Frizzell to be given to the winner of an auction for the poster at the show. Johnson said Frizzell has been named the artist to the stars for his artistic collaboration with some of country music, bluegrass and country gospel music’s biggest names including George Jones, Randy Travis, Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, Mark Newton, Carl Jackson, Mark Chesnutt, Gene Watson and Joe Nichols.
The cover for the show is $10.
For more information on Rachael Johnson or Old North State Winery & Brewery, visit www.oldnorthstatewinery.com/, www.rachaeljohnson.com, www.facebook.com/rachaeljohnsonmusic, www.reverbnation.com/rachaeljohnson or www.twitter.com/rachaelselene.
Reach Mondee Tilley at email@example.com or at 719-1930.