photos by Kyle Johnson (no relation)
If you look up “Will Johnson” in the ‘pedia, you’re bound to find within five words or less the same adjective: “prolific.” Yes, the man exemplifies the term, having released something like ten full length albums in fewer years, under his own name as well as South San Gabriel and Centro-matic. As far as which of the non-solo projects is his “side project” depends on what article you read, though Centro-matic certainly began first. Consisting of four members, including Johnson on guitar and vocals — with Scott Danbom on keys and other instruments, Mark Hedman on bass, and Matt Pence on drums — Centro-matic plays rootsy country rock that should appeal to fans of Uncle Tupelo, Drive-by Truckers, and The Raconteurs. Johnson is just so prolific that not only is he touring with Centro-matic right now, but the tour is combined with his other project, South San Gabriel. He, Danbom, Hedman, and Pense all perform a separate set as SSG and bring onstage a few other guests as well. Add to that: both Centro-matic and South San Gabriel have released full lengths this year… together! You can pick up the dual-LP Dual Hawks now. Today, the core group of Centro-matic performed a solid set on the KEXP stage at the Doug Fir during our Musicfest NW broadcast.