Coming from middle-Georgia, where Southern rock roots run deep from the likes of Allman Brothers Band, it’s safe to say Royal Johnson’s musical tones came naturally. The group’s most recent release, Jars, kicks off with a release show on January 31 at Red Light Cafe.
The band’s music is a kaleidoscope of sound, combining elements of Southern rock, country, bluegrass and Americana that transcend easy categorization. But to the group, which consists of Andy Johnson (guitars and vocals), Wyatt Pyles (guitars and vocals), Dustin Murdock (bass and vocals) and James Lengel (drums), combining genres does more than bring together sound: it brings together people.
Four years ago, Royal Johnson was formed as a duo consisting of Johnson and Chance Royal and later developed into a full band. Royal Johnson began turning heads with 2015’s release of Belly Full and even more so with 2017’s Howlin’. Though Royal departed in 2017, Johnson was determined to keep the music going.
“Jars is a very important snapshot in the evolution of Royal Johnson,” Johnson says. “I’ve always been an almost secretive songwriter, but this time I let my bandmates into what I was thinking, hearing and trying to purvey. As a result, the songs are more rounded and compete thoughts. Executing the new material with our signature sound will silence the people who criticized us for moving forward when Chance decided to leave.”