WESTERLY — Josiah Johnson, the singer/songwriter whose “aching tenor was key to The Head and The Heart’s sound,” according to Rolling Stone, will take the stage at the Knickerbocker Music Center Saturday, in his first Rhode Island appearance since he played the Newport Folk Festival with the band a few years back. Joining Johnson will be Kevin Large from the band Widower.
The link connecting the two musicians is Sean Spellman, the Westerly resident and co-founder of the Americana band Quiet Life. Spellman, who has been busy building the Westerly Sound Concert Series, has known Large since he was a 15-year-old. Years later, when Spellman was living in Seattle, Large introduced him to Johnson and the three have remained friends.
“Kevin writes heartfelt songs,” said Spellman. “Josiah is a kindred spirit … it’s going to be a great show.”
Johnson, reached at his home in the California Bay Area Tuesday afternoon, said he plans to sing a few songs made famous when he was frontman for the popular Seattle-based band, The Head and The Heart, and some of his new songs: Songs he’s been writing since he decided to take some personal time and a break from touring. Johnson said he’s been doing a lot of songwriting during his break, and has found solace in the process.
“It helps me understand what I am going through,” he said. “It’s a coping mechanism.”
“But this is a new chapter, said Johnson. “It’s really cool .. really challenging … I’m really excited for this show.”