Angie Johnson by Alan Matthews

By Bob Doerschuk

© 2013 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.

Apparently, it’s not enough for Missouri-born Angie Johnson to have served as an intelligence analyst in the United States Air Force; she also sang and toured with The Air Force Band. Then, following an initial attempt to find a break in Nashville, she studied psychology at Columbia State Community College in Franklin, Tenn., to help children and veterans struggling with PTSD.

When a soldier posted his video of Staff Sgt. Johnson performing Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for troops in a spirited acoustic performance on YouTube, it eventually drew more than 3 million views. Millions more watched her during Season 2 of “The Voice.”

That’s only the beginning. On May 21, Sony Music Nashville released her debut EP, Sing for You, produced by Josh Leo. On these four tracks, she doesn’t just sing the lyrics – she inhabits them. On “Grandpa’s Farm” (written by Brent Cobb, Adam Hood and Jason Saenz), a slide guitar shimmers like heat from a sun-baked field as Johnson evokes a lazy day, which transforms on the bridge, as the drums drop out, into a whispered promise, as if behind Grandpa’s back, to turn up the temperature in a different way.

In dramatic contrast, the deep feeling of the title track (Johnson, Catt Gravitt and Leo) chills the listener. Here, Johnson offers a different gift, a soft and soothing song, to a young man bloodied and broken most likely in battle. Never mind her impressive technique; Johnson has a gift for bringing beauty to a story, even one of unfathomable sadness.



“Garth Brooks or Keith Urban. I have harmonized with both of them repeatedly via the CD player in my car, and I can already tell you that we sound fabulous together!”


“I can’t name just one. The people who inspired me early on and made me really want to pursue a career in music were Patsy Cline, Elvis Presley, Reba McEntire and Wynonna Judd, in that order.”


“First, carbs. Next, carbs. And then probably carbs. Did I mention carbs?”


“My CMA notebook that I got in my CMA membership package!”

On the Web:

On Twitter: @AngieJohnson

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.