The Story of a Traveling Musician on Tour — Nick Johnson’s “Keep Rocking in the U.S.A.”

Donna Block
4 min readMar 22, 2021

Brooklyn born, Berklee trained multi-instrumentalist Nick Johnson has followed his musical passion from his hometown of New York, to Boston, Los Angeles and now — Nashville, Tennessee — all in pursuit of synthesizing that perfect formula for success. After honing his chops with regional touring bands — and getting a firsthand taste of the true Nashville scene with a long tenure on the fabled and competitive Broadway circuit in Music City — Johnson was ready to launch his solo career proper from the heartland of America.

Boston. Berklee trained multi-instrumentalist. Six-string skills. Which class was your favorite at the College of Music?

My private lessons with Larry Baione were brilliant. He’s an amazing human, guitar player and musician. I needed a lot and he worked with me.

Los Angeles. Regional touring bands. Nashville. Broadway circuit in Music City. To date, which venues have been your favorites to perform in each city?

I have always liked Genghis Cohen or Rainbow in LA. In Nashville, Basement East and Second Fiddle.

Rock. R&B. Funk. Insightful, inspiring, and uplifting. Diverse catalog, “Spread Love,” “Click Bait,” & “Done Done Done.” Different genres appeal to different audiences. How does current radio airplay charts impact songwriters?

Yes, I think you have to find your niche. I do explore different styles and genres because that’s what I got into making music for. I know it’s taking a chance, but it’s important to me to explore songwriting/musically.

Songwriting/arranging skills. Two songs in Hollywood releases, “She’s So Lonely” & “Playmate.” What is the process for getting a song in a Hollywood production?

I think getting the right song to the right people at the right time is crucial — and, of course, a little luck. Obviously, having someone recommend your music will not hurt you!

How does your logo represent you as an artist?

I feel sport and music parallel one another in so many ways. I wanted to put a stage action shot and conjoin it with a familiar sporting frame. Amy Bennick did a great job putting it together!

“Keep Rocking in the U.S.A.,” produced by Justine Blazer, tells the story of a traveling musician on tour. Which cities, that you haven’t played, are on your dream tour list?

Seattle would be cool. Edinburgh, Rio De Janeiro! Let’s do this!

Shooting the video with Ten7Teen Studios for the new single. What can fans expect?

You can expect a really fun, exciting video and some life road reflections along the way! It came out amazing! Justine Blazer did a great job with it. I can’t wait to share it with you guys! The video will be released on Tuesday March 23.

#SpreadLove “All the time, I’ve been climbing on, reaching landings, turning corners, and sometimes going in the dark where there ain’t been no light.”-Cicely Tyson How do female artists like Tyson inspire you as an artist?

How can you not be inspired? Listening to women’s’ personal perspectives as it’s conveyed through their art is inspiring. Where would we be without them?!

“So I know…and I hope you know…you can handle anything that comes your way. It may be a hard road ahead and you may stumble. But you will get up. You will keep fighting. It’s who you are.” What has kept your resilience strong throughout this past year?

For me, it’s been creating and putting out music and video, teaching some amazing guitar/songwriting students, writing new music, family and working personally to be better in all aspects of my life.