Joe Johnson

Country singer Joe Johnson will play a free show Saturday at Benson’s Tavern & Beer Garden in Salida.

With a common name, Joe Johnson, the country singer who hails from Mississippi but now calls Colorado home, has come full circle.

Johnson will play a free show at Benson’s Tavern & Beer Garden, 128 N. F St., at 7 p.m. Saturday.

For years, Johnson fronted the band Creating a Newsense. The group released four albums and played hundreds of shows before disbanding. No longer together, the group still maintains a cult fan base.

Departing the group, he returned to his blues, gospel and country roots in his solo debut album, “A Time to Dance.” His sound is minimalist, exploring old-school country concepts of hope, despair, longing and loss.

Now living in Manitou Springs, Johnson was raised an hour from New Orleans. His family tree is thick with musicians, including his grandfather, noted early country artist B.J. “the D.J.” Johnson, who performed in the Grand Ole Opry. Many of his family members, including his father, are well-known gospel artists.

Music has been part of Johnson’s life from the beginning. He recalls learning to play guitar while sitting on the front porch with family and friends. His mother, a piano player, could regularly be heard in the household.

Outside of his solo career, Johnson’s guitar work can be heard on an album by Grant Sabin & The Juke Joint Highball, “Bourbon & Milk.” It was released in 2017.

Currently, Johnson is writing and recording new material for an upcoming album. His music has been featured in the documentary “A Nickel and a Nail” and will be heard in the forthcoming film “Making a Killing.”

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