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Will H. Johnson: Bio

By the time he picked up a guitar at age 13, Will H. Johnson had absorbed heavy doses of The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Queen from his parents' collection. Throughout his school years he entertained his classmates in the halls every day at lunch, and also earned numerous accolades by winning talent shows and performance awards. After his band had the honor of playing a send-off song at their 1995 graduation, Johnson embarked on a quest to explore songwriting. He formed the folk-rock band No Preservatives Added and released a full length CD in 1998. The project was hampered by shady characters in the business and Johnson's own inexperience, and the album was largely a disappointment. The band split up, and although he continued as a solo act, it was clear that he needed to go back to the drawing board.

For the next four years, Johnson earned his keep as a semi-professional poker player, devoting himself to this new passion. In 2002, he attended a songwriter's camp in Palmer, AK, where he made new connections and learned from esteemed mentors. Alaskan songstress Lili McGovern showed particular interest, and the two were soon performing as a folk-pop duo. He enlisted Sean Mormelo to be his recording engineer in 2004, and "Paper & Fire" was released that July. After a year of supporting the album in Alaska, Johnson decided to take a calculated risk and leave the state. He spent the next 2 years in Bellingham, WA, playing gigs there as well as in Seattle. Unfortunately, things never got rolling and pretty soon funds were running low. He even discovered that his own name was trademarked by a different Will Johnson, prompting the addition of the initial "H". All of the adversity was leading to some edgy new writing though, and upon returning to Alaska he set out to record another album. Johnson decided on Surreal Studios in Anchorage AK, and approached them about his new project which he described as "Springsteen goes serial killer".

Completed in December 2009, "Highway of Souls" features songs about prison breaks, vital organ theft, and a demented captor, among others. Utilizing heavier guitars and drums than previous works, Will H. Johnson expands on his musical identity while staying true to his fundamental elements: Hook-based writing and accomplished playing with a melodic edge.