Penn Johnson channels and projects stories through song – unlike any artist of our time. His sound is of a genre yet-to-be defined, but his true-to-life lyrics, acoustic melodies, wind-sung strumming, harmonic rhythms, and passionate (uni-)verses, echo an era that once collected the masses. Some call it folk – other simply recognize that the music flowing through him inspires dancing, conscious thought, and healing connection. A Massachusetts native, Penn has traveled the country solo for the majority of his young adult life playing wherever and to whomever he has been called. His first memoir Trail Mix & Goon: Adventures Abroad in Oz was published at the age of 26. His debut studio single Burn a Little Sage was released independently October 24th, 2018. Followed shortly by Circle Forming on November 23rd, 2018, and his latest and first solo acoustic release Echo on January 21st, 2019. He will be releasing several more songs and recording a full album in 2019.
Notable Support Plays (festivals & shows):
Wookiefoot, Satsang, Nahko, Bumpin Uglies, Desert Dwellers, Nathan Feinstein (Iya Terra), Paul Izak, Treehouse!, Sun-Dried Vibes, Joey Harkum (Pasadena), Sessions Americana, Skribe, and Christina Holmes.
Frendly Gathering, Project Earth, Old Settlers, Wanderlust 108, Soulshine, South Florida Folk, Kerrville Folk, and Surrounded By The Sound.
The Mint in L.A.,
The Velvet Lounge in D.C.
The Saxon Pub in Austin, TX
Higher Ground in Burlington, VT
Jack Rabbits in Jacksonville, FL
Douglas Corner Pub in Nashville, TN
Zeiterian Theatre in New Bedford, MA
The Met in Pawtucket, RI
I think Mountains of Colorado is the best folk song I've ever heard."
– Fan Testimonial
– Fan Testimonial
"'Marijuana' is my theme song!"
– Fan Testimonial
"A combination of Nahko, Trevor Hall, & Dispatch."
"I feel like I'm in a trance. I feel like I'm on drugs."
"A voice like velvety goodness..."
"The words and music spoke to my heart."
"I'm in love with Barefoot Vandit."
"Powerful healing words at time when I really need them."
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"Penn's charm is rooted in his sincerity. His songs are unpretentious and entirely heartfelt. It's impossible to listen to his voice and not feel a little more hopeful about human evolution. Burn A Little Sage is a paean to unity and healing that's as catchy as it is uplifting - it deserves to be heard from a festival stage with a thousand voices singing along."
– MK, RADIO WOODSTOCK
"Penn is a super refreshing songwriter with honest lyrics and passionate vocals.
He lives the words that he writes and is putting in the work to spread his message."
– BRANDON HARDESTY, BUMPIN UGLIES
"He speaks from experience and his teaching tone is compassionate and direct. I hear Dylan and Tom Waits in his music, but without the triple meaning phrases and with a much better voice. He strums well and he fingerpicks fine, but the lyrics and the message are always the focus. This cat is the real deal."
– A.J WACHTEL, THE NOISE
"Penn Johnson's songs tell stories that resonate soulfully while connecting with audiences on an intimate level. He makes accessible powerful narratives touching on timeless issues, and his unique sound works in any venue or medium. As a radio host I have worked with him live in the studio, and listeners seem to relate positively to his unique style. As do I."
– NICK NOBLE, THE FOLK REVIVAL, WICN - Worcester Public Radio
"Just as David was a master of the lyre, so it helps to have a fine musician like Penn Johnson deep in the middle of this combat!"
– BILL MCKIBBEN, 350.org