AUSTIN, Texas - The first thing you ought to know about Austin native Jeff Warren Johnston is that he's not a member of Lil Cap'n Travis. That's another Jeff Johnston who is a fine multi-instrumentalist.
This Jeff Johnston is an up and coming songwriter with a new album that's cleverly titled Undiscovered Country. When people hear this Jeff's music, however, he won't remain in the shadows for very long.
The results can be found on Undiscovered Country, twelve slabs of country rock that never shift from Johnston's outlaw vision. His songs recall originals like Waylon Jennings and Jerry Jeff Walker, all the while infusing his own sly sensibilities and devilish sense of humor. Produced by Rich Brotherton, best known as Robert Earl Keen's guitarist, it features an all-star cast of Texas players including guitar player Redd Volkert (Merle Haggard), pedal steel from Lloyd Maines (Dixie Chicks), bassist Kevin Smith (Willie Nelson), as well as the always in demand Riley Osborn on organ and Warren Hood on fiddle.
Almost ten years in the making, Undiscovered Country is just the beginning for Johnston. He claims he's got enough unrecorded material for at least his next two releases. It's an impressive start and one that make his future look exceedingly bright.
"The newer songs are in the same vein," Johnston says, "but further down the road. They're somewhat more mature. I've gotten more comfortable with the genre as the years go along. The later songs are more developed, maybe a little more fine-tuned. But still, some of my strongest material is on Undiscovered Country, and I'm very proud of it."