Australia’s hottest country music star headed to ROCKHAMPTON!
James Johnston to perform in five regional cities next month: Wollongong, Tamworth, Rockhampton, Townsville & Sunshine Coast
Hear that Rocky? It’s the sound of anticipation, because Australia’s hottest country music star is headed to Central Queensland on his history-making five-region tour, playing at the Great Western Hotel on Thursday 23 November, so mark your diaries, grab your boots and families and get ready to country!
Last week, Johnston’s debut album RAISED LIKE THAT made history as Australia’s largest debut Country album ever featuring 20 extraordinary tracks. It is currently #1 on the ARIA Top 20 Australian Albums (All Genres) and the #1 on the ARIA Top 20 Australian Country Albums and now James Johnston is taking his music to the people.
Johnston said Rocky held a special place in his heart. “My first big opportunity in country music was supporting Morgan Evans at the Great Western Hotel over seven years ago, so to now be heading back there with my own headline show is incredibly exciting! I can’t wait to rock the Western!”
His first ever solo concert pre-sold out in 56 minutes and this bloke who was born and raised near Wingham and now lives in country Queensland just keeps rewriting history. He’s now the most in-demand streamed Australian-based country music artist and today by announcing his first multi-venue regional city tour, he’s officially inviting the people he sings for and about - to join him in making history!
The RAISED LIKE THAT TOUR opens in Wollongong on Saturday 18 November and closes on the Sunshine Coast on Sunday 26 November and includes Tamworth, Rockhampton and Townsville in between. All shows are all ages with Johnston’s incredible appeal spanning multi generations.
Presale tickets are live from this Wednesday 18 October at jamesjohnston.com and to the general public on Friday 20 October.
“As the father of two boys I want my concert to be for all country music lovers, regardless of age or where you come from. This show if for everyone to come and sing their hearts out and just have a damn good time,” said Johnston.
When Johnston released his debut single, ‘RAISED LIKE THAT’ two years ago, he never could have anticipated the whirlwind that followed. Six #1 airplay hits, 110 consecutive weeks in the Top 20 of the Countrytown Hot 50 National airplay chart, 55 million global streams, two Golden Guitars and the song now being certified ARIA platinum, James is easily Australia’s most exciting Country Music artist. He’s been nominated for a QMA Award, an APRA Music Award and was a 2023 Rolling Stone Australia Award nominee for Best New Talent. But all his hard work was rewarded in January when he received two Golden Guitar Awards – New Talent of The Year and Vocal Collaboration of the Year with good friend Kaylee Bell.
Once you listen to a James Johnston song, you never forget it, or his sound: driving guitars and pounding drums frame his gravelly voice that’s deep and soaring, then celebratory and soulful, telling stories of the country that revel in joy and nostalgia. There’s anthems that will fill dancefloors and raise hands in the air, and quiet stories of empowerment, hardship and love that will bring tears to knowing eyes. His words are lived-in and he sings with incredible heart because he was raised like that and he did grow up there.
What’s more, James is a helluva live performer, having spent the past two years touring and performing on stages from Mount Isa to Melbourne, and all stops in between; he’s as at home in a studio as he is on the back of a semi-trailer in Deniliquin or Dalby. He completed a national tour with Australian heavyweight Morgan Evans this year and has appeared at countless festivals including CMC Rocks, Berry’s Big Country, Gympie Music Muster, Meatstock, Tamworth Country Music Festival, Deni Ute Muster and Far North QLD’s Savannah in The Round.
Joining him on the RAISED LIKE THAT TOUR are his great mates and music collaborators Zac & George as the Tour Support Act and Bella Mackenzie (The Voice) as the Tour Opening Act.
“I want to share songs about the good but also the often less talked about side of country life. When it’s all said and done, I hope this album and the tour makes you feel proud of where you call home,” said James. “Music has forever been the way I can express myself in the most honest way possible as an artist. RAISED LIKE THAT is that for me and I cannot wait to take it to Rocky, to get hands in the air and smiles on faces.”
RAISED LIKE THAT – THE TOUR
- Saturday 18 November – Wollongong Entertainment Centre NSW
- Sunday 19 November – Tamworth Entertainment Centre NSW
- Thursday 23 November – Great Western Hotel, Rockhampton QLD
- Friday 24 November – Townsville Entertainment Centre QLD
- Sunday 26 November – Venue 114, Sunshine Coast QLD
RAISED LIKE THAT – THE ALBUM
- #1 on the ARIA Top 20 Australian Albums (All Genres) – here
- #1 on the ARIA Top 20 Australian Country Albums – here
- #7 on the ARIA Top 50 Albums Chart (including all album International Releases) – here
About some of the songs in James’ words….
RAISED LIKE THAT - a song that captures my story and those of the people and places that shaped me to be the person I am today. RAISED LIKE THAT tells the story of community, integrity, and a celebration to a way of life of people who grew up in a small community. The anthemic production and lyrics are reminiscent of Eric Church and Kip Moore and the track is undeniably infectious.
COUNTRY BOYS - the story of the way I would spend weekends growing up in the country! From riding dirt bikes to losing summers swimming in the creek, COUNTRY BOYS is my childhood wrapped up into one song!
SMALL TOWN GIRL – is about finding yourself back in your hometown and finding the one! From buying up dirt, to cranking up Garth, she reminds you of all that you love about that life in a small town.
THIS LAND IS KILLING ME - after a phone call late one night from an old friend of mine, I sat down and penned this one. The song tells the story of a farmer calling his friend to confide in his emotional desperation and tell that not all is okay. THIS LAND IS KILLING ME holds a message that life on the land is hard and the importance of reaching out to friends when times are tough to help you get through.
WORTH ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD - I was born and raised on my family farm in regional NSW. This is the story of a real-estate investor coming to buy the family property without respect to the history that the land holds. Its powerful cinematic style production paints a vivid picture evoking a deep seeded pain that echoes throughout the song.
WE GREW UP ON - anyone that grew up in the country knows that one of the best days was when you got your first car. It was more than just a car; it was your first taste of real freedom. Turn it up!
SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE (+ Zac & George) - Zac & George and I wanted to make a song about old mates reconnecting, and this is a celebration of those friendships that last forever. I wrote SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE in Nashville just before I flew home to Australia, listening back to the demo on the plane ride home, I knew we had captured something special.
OLD COUNTRY BARN - I wrote this on a long drive from Brisbane to Tamworth with nothing but the steering wheel to make the beat. This track can be blasted just as loud at home in a country hoedown as it can at a rocking festival.
ANYTHING LIKE ME - inspired by the birth of my first-born son, as a lot of parents ask themselves, what will their child's future look like and will they follow in their own footsteps. It’s my own life, a universal story of growing up with its ups and downs. The song comes full circle with the final statement "I can't tell the future so I'll have to wait and see, if this boy will be ANYTHING LIKE ME"
SAME SONGS (+ Kaylee Bell) - a celebration of the music that defined a generation. Grown from a single TikTok video, SAME SONGS is my first collaboration. When I reached out to fans on who they’d like to see me collaborate with I was inundated with requests to partner up with Kaylee on this song and she rose to the challenge writing a verse that is tribute to the female artists that she grew up on.
I STILL CALL IT HOME - When I was 17, I left my little hometown to chase the dream of music, but wherever I go that small town will always be home. I STILL CALL IT HOME is that story. The line ‘Proud to say where I come from’ emphasises the strong connection I still have to the place that shaped me into the artist I am today.
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