First of all, HUGE thanks to all of you who have ordered your copy of my new album, Into the Hollows! Seriously - thank you! I'm so pleased by the support.
Now for the slightly not so great news - I need to postpone the official release to Monday March 6th - we had a technical glitch that will be resolved by then - so you will received your digital album codes MONDAY rather than tomorrow, but it'll be worth the wait!
After three years of work, I'm finally releasing my very first solo album: Into the Hollows. It is now available for pre-order - if you order the physical CD, you will also receive a copy of the digital album as well. I'll be shipping these out as soon as they arrive (March 3 or thereabouts).
I had some amazing friends guest on this including Dave Ervin, Chris Buckley, Jaycie Skidmore, Cara Wildman, Kathryn Powell, Amanda Carlson, Matthew Cook, Scooter Muse, Martin McCall, Wolf Loescher, and Chad Johnson (my husband) who played some guitar and also did the final mixes and mastering of the album.
I am immensely proud of the work we all did on this album and so honored to share it with all of you. All of these are songs that spoke to me and tell a compelling story. My hope is that you enjoy listening to this music as much as we enjoyed making it. And thank you in advance for your support! I have the best group of friends and fans anyone could ask for.
Happy New Year, y'all! 2022 is just a breath away, and I don't know about you, but I am MORE than ready for what this next year promises to bring. I've got lots of news to announce and also some to tease.
First the announcements:
The Selkie Girls
Check out my SHOWS page to see as I add new dates. The Selkie Girls are going back on tour this spring down south (yay!) We've got several dates booked and are continuing to add more each week. If you've missed The Selkie Girls, meet me in Texas and I promise you'll get a chance to see us - whether it's at North Texas Irish Festival (NTIF) or Sherman Celtic Festival, or if a more intimate, artistic show is your jam, we've got some of those including at Mesquite Arts Center. Keep watching the Shows tab for updates. I've missed my band like crazy, and we are determined to make this a very special spring.
Alli Johnson Music Studio
My studio continues to grow and thrive. I have literally the best students and am so honored to be the teacher to each and every one of them. I'm currently teaching Scottish and Irish songs, general voice, guitar, and ukulele. Thanks to all who have supported my studio and chosen me as their instructor. Keep me in mind if you're in the market for a music teacher, or know someone who is - I'm still accepting new students. Check out my LESSONS tab for more info.
Along with my very good friend, Matthew Cook and for our beloved Traditional Irish Music Education Society, I will be hosting a series of workshops with some of the best Irish, Scottish, and Celtic Folk singers in the world. Visit the TIMES site for more info on these quarterly workshops - all totally free and available to anyone with an internet connection. It's not every day you get to chat and ask these folks questions about their music and process. Full schedule announced soon.
And finally, a bit of a tease.
For the last two years, I've worked with Dave Ervin, lead guitarist for The Selkie Girls, on an ambitious musical project, originally under The Known World Project. That initial group of songs became something more, and especially after we moved here to Wisconsin, it became clear that the next step in my personal musical career was to release my first solo album. Solo is quite the relative term, as I've had the pleasure to work with some of my favorite folks on this, from Dave on guitar, Scooter Muse on banjo, fiddlers Chris Buckley and Kathryn Powell, Cara Wildman on bodhran, Martin McCall on drums, Chad Johnson on guitar, Jaycie Skidmore on vocals and flutes, and even Amanda Carlson on vocals up here in Wisconsin. And now, another wonderful musician, Wolf Loescher, is working on some drum tracks for the final couple of songs. At heart, I'm a collaborator, so being able to work with all of these talented individuals has been such a treat for me. I really cannot wait to share this collection of songs with you all, and my goal is to have the final album released in late spring. So I'll give you two little goodies till then.
First - the name of the album. Into the Hollows.
Second, a little lyric video I made of one of the tracks. This one's Annabel Lee - based on the Edgar Allen Poe poem. If you know me, I love haunting imagery, tragic love, and tragedy in general.
As Tom Waits said, "I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things."
Cara Dillon is one of my favorite contemporary folk singers. I decided to cover her song, Hill of the Thieves, as part of my evolving solo project.
This song was recorded over the past year with Dave Ervin, one of my favorite people to make music with. We asked our friend, Chris Buckley, great fiddle and viola player of The Here & Now to work with us on this.
We threw him the task of creating an original reel in the instrumental sections of the song. And in an impossible key. And he was of course up to the task.
I love this song because for me, it's all about reconnecting with your roots, honoring your history and the journey and sacrifice of those who came before, embracing both the dark and the light, and emerging stronger for it. I created this video as a love letter to both the song and to the gorgeous landscape of Ireland.
St. Paddy's and Festival season looks a little different this year. But as it can, the show does go on. We recorded a very cool set at The Post in Fort Worth that will be streamed for North Texas Irish Festival. Then we have some outdoor and socially-distanced shows coming up afteward. Details below. Looking forward to being back on stage and performing!
2021 NORTH TEXAS IRISH FESTIVAL (NTIF), Dallas, Texas, March 5-7 NTIF.org
LEGACY HALL, Plano, Texas, March 13, 2021, 1:30pm - 3:30pm www.legacyfoodhall.com
COPPELL ART CENTER, Coppell, Texas, March 13, 2021, 8:00pm - 9:30pm www.coppellartscenter.org
LEGACY HALL, Plano, Texas, March 17, 2021, 7:00pm - 9:00pm www.legacyfoodhall.com TEXAS SCOTTISH FESTIVAL AND HIGHLAND GAMES, DECATOR, TEXAS, APRIL 30 - MAY 2, 2021 WWW.TEXASSCOTS.COM
The Known World Project is a collaboration of musicians from all over the world. Organized by myself and Dave Ervin, the goal of the project is to create music even in this time of physical social isolation. "Alli and I started this project as a way to keep our sanity and have fun recording songs, all while living in the social distancing lock down of the 2020 pandemic." In the midst of uncertain times, music can be a stronghold, an anchor, both for the makers and the listeners. We hope to continue this online project and share some music with the world. Stay tuned for future events, shows, recordings and the like.
Sonder the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own
We chose this concept to describe our current project. While we are living in era of self-isolation due to the pandemic, we have become more aware of one another's circumstances and challenges. Even when we are apart, there is opportunity for connection. Sonder speaks to the essential truth that we are complex and nuanced, and through artistic expression, compassion, and community, we can create something inspirational.
“My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” - Desmond Tutu
New Year. Same old me. But armed with new goals, renewed passion, and focus. I hope your 2019 was good; I hope you learned something new about yourself, did something you were proud of (or many things!), and that you are filled with some hope for next year.
Goings on, etc. The HouseCats are back and booking for 2020. Never heard of us? That's because we took an 11 year hiatus while raising our two kiddos. They're getting older now, and the acoustic duo engine has revved up once again. www.facebook.com/housecatsmusic
We're booking for wineries, pubs, and other great listening rooms. We play a mix of atmospheric originals and tasteful covers, spanning from rock to pop to folk to Americana and beyond. We make a great opener, too.
I'm keeping busy with a full studio of students, through my own Skype lessons from my home, a full roster at the New Song School of the Arts, and my choirs and private students at the School of Irish Music, too. I can never decide which I love teaching the most - ukulele, piano, voice, or guitar. Or maybe it's just that I love them all and really enjoy the people I get to work with.
The Selkie Girls are releasing our newest album this spring, tentatively in time for the St. Paddy's season of festivals and shows. Go check out all the fun there at www.theselkiegirls.com for more info on that.
Take care and see you all next year! The best is yet to come!
Finally, our newest album is here. We've worked for over a year and a half on the album and are deeply proud to share this with our fans. This was a carefully curated selection of our favorite Celtic pieces, including traditional Christmas songs and some you may never have heard before. Order here: www.theselkiegirls.com/store