October 12th, 2010
Carolyn Dawn Johnson proudly wears the label of singer-songwriter and she’s not prepared to put one part of her career on hold for the other.
Johnson, who is scheduled to play the Casino Regina Show Lounge on Wednesday, loves both aspects of her career equally.
“Yes, I definitely love both sides of it,” said Johnson in a recent telephone interview from her Nashville home. “I like to be the songwriter who gets to stay home and I like to go out there and play for people. I feel like writing these songs and then never getting a chance for them to be heard would be a shame. I love to go out there and sing them.
“I’m proud of this record and I want people to hear it. I hope people will be affected by these songs when I sing them live.”
Johnson released Love Rules on Aug. 10, her first album after a three-year sabbatical to start a family with her husband Matt Fisher.
She spent a couple of weeks in August travelling across Canada promoting the album and began a 15-show, 21-day tour on Oct. 5 in Medicine Hat.
Johnson, who admitted she was a little nervous about heading back out on the road, is now touring as a veteran of the country music wars.
She broke onto the scene in 2001 with Room With A View and followed with Dress Rehearsal in 2004 and Love & Negotiation in 2006. After the births of Abigail in 2008 and Bennett in February, Johnson decided the time was right to get out on the road and take her music to her fans.
“Now that I’m established per se, I still feel like I’m trying to get a foothold and let people know that I’m still out there,” explained Johnson. “I need to come out and play for people and let them hear the new music.”
Love Rules is selling well in Canada with the singles “Let Me Introduce Myself” and “The Whole Thing” receiving generous radio airplay.
When asked if it was safe to assume that since fans are buying the album, they would also be buying tickets for her shows, Johnson wasn’t about to jump to any quick conclusions.
“It’s not safe to assume that,” Johnson said with a chuckle.
“I would like to but I really don’t know. I really hope they are, but I find if we assume too much then we don’t do enough work. I really hope they do. I really am excited about playing this music. I love playing live, I feel I do well replicating what I do on the album. One of the best compliments I can get is, ‘You sound just like you do on the record,’ and that makes me so happy.”
Johnson feels that Love Rules is different from her earlier albums as the material isn’t focused entirely on her life.
Although Johnson has made minor changes to her sound, she was smart enough not to make any drastic changes.
After all, hits like “Complicated,” “I Don’t Want You To Go,” “One Day Closer To You,” “Die Of A Broken Heart,” “Head Over High Heels” and “Taking Back My Brave” put Johnson in the forefront of Canadian country music.
When compiling her set list for this tour, Johnson understands that longtime fans will want to hear her earlier songs and she’s fine with that.
“We’re definitely going to play 90 per cent of the old stuff with a lot of the new stuff,” said Johnson. “I haven’t been out on tour in a long time, so I’m sure they’re going to want to hear the older stuff.
“It’s not going to be a great departure from who I’ve been in the past as an artist, but I’d like to think that you’re going to get a little more from me now.”