Dylan Lee Johnston and Megan Palmer are joining forces this summer to tour Alaska with a world class band behind them consisting of Jem Cohen (The Ettes) Matt Menold (Clear Plastic Masks, Banditos, Hurray for the Riff Raff) Shaylee Walsh & Cody Barnhill. The tour will take them to the far reaches of Alaska on a two week tour from July 14-29 this summer.
Johnston & Palmer crossed paths in an unlikely and timely meeting in Ninilchik, Alaska while on tour, five years ago. Megan in Alaska on tour from New York City and Dylan, a native Alaskan, visiting from his adopted home, Portland, Oregon. The two have since formed a deep-rooted musical partnership, both relocating to Nashville, Tennessee and recording two full length albums. Johnston's debut album Just Like Rain and Palmer's fourth studio release What's She's Got To Give were both recorded with Patrick Damphier at Club Roar in Nashville this year and display a common thread in Roots Rock n Roll and Americana while delving deeper into the sounds of Soul, Rockabilly & Rhythm and Blues.
Dylan Lee Johnston is a native Alaskan, born and raised on the outskirts of Anchorage, and since has traveled the world, living in recent years between Nashville and New Orleans. Intentionally seeking out a musical education by carefully observing his cultural history and inheritance in the streets and venues of the southern states first hand. From the Tin Pan Alley sounds of Memphis to Soul sounds of New Orleans, Johnston's music is steeped in the High Lonesome Sounds of a life on the road seeking adventure and longing for love, truth and song.
Megan Palmer hails from Columbus, Ohio and has deep roots in the south where she now lives in Tennessee after pursuing her musical career in New York City and touring the U.S. with a number of noteworthy acts including Tim Easton, Amy Speace, Nellie Clay & Dylan Lee Johnston. Palmer's music is soulful and intuitive, grounded in her classical education in violin and piano and accentuated with a sound that can only be acquired after many years on the road, touring with acts that range from Psychedelic Rock n Roll to Folk to Country. From the honky tonk's of Nashville to the far reaches of Alaska, Europe and India, Palmer is now touring with a world class band to boot, presenting her latest work, What She's Got to Give.
"Megan Palmer's music is born from finding her way. Starting in Ohio where she performed with local heroes The Spikedrivers, she explored New York City before venturing to Nashville, TN where she's made a stunningly honest and adeptly produced album entitled What She's Got To Give.
Produced by Patrick Damphier at Nashville's Club Roar Studio, and recorded in 6 days of mostly live tracking, this album features the stellar contributionsof Jon Radford, Tony Scherr, Larry Cook,Tim Easton and Amy Speace.
What She's Got To Give serves as both a defining moment in Megan's artistic journey and a chance to further define herself among her peers.
"It was about facing truth, fear, rejection, anger, love and loss...It's sort of me reclaiming myself as the person or writer I want to represent myself as. I have to have a transformative moment in my writing…take the anger and figure out a non destructive way to get out of it,"
The rough and tumble, ramshackle roll of the album's opener, The Only Trumpet is beautifully juxtaposed with Palmer's assuredly yet casually delivered singing. The album's title track What She's Got To Give begins with such beauty and simplicity you wonder if you've heard it somewhere before? Lyrically, it's the kind of song that only comes along if you're willing to scare yourself to death. The album progresses and rolls in some Stonesy honky tonk barroom brawls, Beatlesesque rock'n'roll pop, sweet and sparkling edginess, lush harmonies and ethereal clouds of slide guitar that crescendo into another plane by way of faded delay and distant reverb.
This record leaves the impression that Megan is one of those rare people who truly care. (She spends her spare nights and days as a Palliative Care Nurse at Vanderbilt University Hospital). She expertly communicates in her songs her sense of kindness and compassion even when there's good reason to behave otherwise. It’s not just something she says, it's also who she is as an artist and person.
What She's Got To Give is another new and beautiful beginning for Palmer. What's to follow for her promises to be just as brilliant as what she's done and it leaves us wanting more from a new brilliant and powerful voice."
-Aaron Lee Tasjan
Dylan Lee johnston
"You can infer a lot about a person's record collection, influences and worldly experiences just from listening to their original songs. You will know if they bothered to dig farther back and listen to the things that inspired their heroes to create. You will know if they ever wandered the world, if they are well traveled.
The debut album of Dylan Lee Johnston, Just Like Rain, is the story of a poet traveling through the darkness of the world, seeking out those who can point him towards the light.
Just Like Rain is most certainly a worldly collection of songs inspired in equal parts by New Orleans street soul, the ghettos of Kingston, Toots & The Maytals, Tom Waits, Elliott Smith, The Clash and a youth spent on the road following the Grateful Dead.
The Debut Album was recorded at Club roar in Nashville, TN. The man behind the knobs was engineer/producer Patrick Damphier (Fielddays, Angel Olson, Stone Jack Jones, Minabirds) who also lent his considerable skills as bassist and drummer on many tracks.
"Please Don't Go" is a three chord summer smash. Thumping radio rhythms and pure rock n roll swagger with existential lyrics pushing towards a youthful Carpe Diem.
"What if I cannot overcome my mortality? And tonight is the only night and after this I'll be free?"
Other musicians on Just Like Rain include Bucky Baxter (Bob Dylan, Ryan Adams, Steve Earle, REM) who lent his chops on the pedal steel throughout the record, Sam Doores (The Deslondes, Hurray for the Riff Raff) graced the record booth with his blues harp & barbershop harmonies along with Sallie Ford, Ariel Bui & Megan Palmer singing harmonies, keys, violin and harmonium. Brian Wright dropped into the recording sessions with his harmonica and delta blues whine as well as Kai Welch and Aaron Till's soulful arrangements and motown symphony and horn sections, backing Galen Ballinger's cacophony of sound and edgy lead guitar stylings throughout the record.
Poetry was inside the Rock n Roll spirit of Patti Smith and it returns to us again here and now in the lyrics and experience of Dylan Lee Johnston."
"What She’s Got to Give marks a real step forward for East Nashville-based singer-songwriter Megan Palmer. Palmer’s earlier recordings, including 2012’s Waycross, showed promise, but this one delivers on that promise, offering thoughtful lyrics, interesting arrangements and excellent playing and vocals."
"Over the eight tracks that make up the album, Palmer works to explore so many facets of her voice and sound. Some tracks lean towards Honky Tonk, while others are beautifully stripped down country ballads. Throughout all the exploration, Palmer's voice remains the common thread leading the listener from song to song. She treats her words with such a welcoming tone that the listener can’t help but be drawn in like the pied piper. I wouldn’t doubt there’s a little magic to her either.”
"One of the many notable qualities of Just like Rain, Dylan Lee Johnston’s Nashville debut, is the subtle use of rattling chains and rumbling steel as secondary percussive instruments. These elements offer a hardline industrial underbelly to music of an otherwise pristinely recorded album, an album showcasing the Alaskan songwriter’s deep affection for American soul and gospel music. The songs themselves play out as honest, intriguing accounts into the insights of the artist (and lover) as outsider. “They can’t see my plan,” Johnston sings in “Nevermind,” the final cut off the record. If Just like Rain is any indication, Johnston’s plan is to write, record, and release music in a unique DIY fashion that honors the willful tradition of artistic outsiders. The album shines through ten tracks of layered sonic wizardry with stylistic nods to Tom Waits and Curtis Mayfield, including a sly welcomed reference to the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. With rumbling steel and rattling chains to serve as allusion, Dylan Lee Johnston demonstrates his ability to be a strong link in the long impressive chain of antiestablishment American songwriters."
"Dylan Lee Johnston is a deserving soul and going somewhere..."
To Book Dylan Lee Johnston & Megan Palmer or for any other info or media please contact:
Rob Bashleben at Rbash102@Gmail.com
1 (920) 915-5694