Richard Johnston (musician)

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Richard Wayne Johnston is an American country blues musician.[1] In 2001 he won the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge and its Albert King Award for most promising blues guitarist.[2]

His work as a street musician on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee, was documented in the Alabama PBS film Richard Johnston: Hill Country Troubadour. The film, directed by Max Shores, featured Johnston singing and playing his Lowebow cigar box guitar. It won first place in the professional documentary film category at the 2007 George Lindsey/UNA Film Festival.

In 1994, Richard lived in Gifu, Japan, where he studied at Gifu University, then played at a local live houses in his free time, eventually joining a "Lynyrd Skynyrd" tribute band as vocalist with guitarist Shinichi Noda, from Konan, Aichi, Japan, in early 1994. They played several gigs in the area, including Club Quatro in Nagoya.

Upon returning home, Johnston studied under blues artists including R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough and Jessie Mae Hemphill. His first album, Foot Hill Stomp (2002), featured Hemphill on vocals and tambourine, with assistance from R.L. Burnside's grandson, Cedric Burnside, and others.[1]

His second album, Official Bootleg #1 (2004), was assisted by Hemphill, Cedric Burnside, and other artists.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Piltz, Dave (November 2002), "CD Review: Richard Johnston Foothill Stomp", Blues on Stage, The Blues Foundation, retrieved 7 March 2010
  2. ^ Gordon, Keith (2003), Richard Johnston Interview,, retrieved 7 March 2010
  3. ^ Bill Mitchell. "Blues Bytes What's New". Retrieved 2014-05-18.

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