Last week we had the opportunity to spend some time with Johnson Crook, one of eight Boots & Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase competitors. We chatted in front of The Gladstone Hotel before their set and hung around to watch the band play. We’re glad we did.
Johnson Crook is Noel Johnson – Lead Singer / Acoustic Guitar, Nathan Crook – Acoustic Guitar / Mandolin / Electric Guitar / Vocals, Trevor Crook – Drums / Vocals and Jared Craig – Acoustic Bass / Electric Bass / Vocals. They all grew up in small towns and while the Crook brothers grew up surrounded by music, Noel and Jared found their own way to music.
Our takeaways from the chat and the set? They were warm, friendly, sincere and welcoming. The music is compelling and heartfelt and when they all sing together… magic. Loved these guys and we’re looking forward to seeing more of them. They’ve got some shows lined up in June at The Cameron House before Boots and Hearts if you want to get a jump on this one. Check out their website for details.
SC: What are your thoughts on making it into the top 8 and what do you think helped you get there?
JC: I think the songwriting. We’re one of the few who submitted with an original song. We all sing, we sing harmonies and the vibe that we have while on stage. We’ve only been together for a year but it feels like I’ve known these guys my entire life. I think everyone watching us will get that. We’re mutually invested in giving the best possible performance.
We’re so proud of the video. The video, that was real, one take. You go into the studio but you wonder how you’re going to do it live. You figure out a way to do it in the studio and then you have to figure out how to do it live and not lose anything.
SC: Where did you shoot the submission video?
JC: Coalition Music. That’s where we went to school together. We decided we’d shoot it there because it brings it full circle to where we met. The first day was in that room. Coming back there helped with the video shoot. It was very emotional and hit home with us. It felt so natural in that room. It shows who we are and what we like to do. Its about capturing not just a performance but our vibe. That’s what we do. This is us, doing what we do.
SC: What are you doing to get votes and do you think social media will play a big part in your exposure and possibly affecting where you end up playing in the showcase?
JC: We’re reaching out to as many people as we can. We’ll reach out more to our home town. We have the one song, Minnedosa, Manitoba which is where we’re from. There’s not that many people there, but there are a lot of dedicated people. Our social media statistics aren’t that impressive but we’re newbies.
SC: Your website says you’re a Toronto band, whereabouts in Toronto are you all from?
Noel Johnson is originally from Cochrane, Alberta, just outside of Calgary. The Crook brothers are from Minnedosa, Manitoba, and Jared is from Greensburg, Pennsylvania. They’re all living in Toronto now and live in Roncesvalles, Bloor and Dovercourt and out in the beaches.
Bands they’re excited to see: Brad Paisley, Florida Georgia Line, Little Big Town and Lennon and Maisy.
We even got a secret confession for you – one of the band members has never been to a music festival ever. Can you guess who?
You can find Johnson Crook online here:
Thanks to Johnson Crook for taking the time to chat with us.