Times feel uncertain at best. Until midnight Friday Nov. 18, 100% of the sales from my LP, CD, and baseball art will go to Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter, and the The Trevor Project, which provides crisis prevention and suicide intervention for LGBTQ youth. If you were ever curious about checking out some of the music or art, please reconsider it at this time.
Love, and only love. -Will J.

SHOP: https://undertowstore.com/collections/will-johnson


GRATITUDE 1/It’s been a little while since I’ve sent much word.  I got pretty caught up in the painting, parenting, trail running and writing-toward-new-records thing as the summer heat lamps peaked.  I thought standing in a 97-degree garage studio would get old fast, but for whatever reason I spent a lot of time out there over these months.  At any rate, there are a number of thank-yous to send around.  Over the past few weeks I’ve been moved and humbled by some of the responses that have come in with regard to the varying anniversaries of, and favorite songs from our releases.  History shows that our band and I prefer to release records in September.  But with all those posts have come some of the kindest words I could have imagined reading about the music.  To know that these records might continue to resonate with folks as years the years go is a grounding and wonderful thing.  Thank you.

GRATITUDE 2/Thanks to Neighborhood Gallery and all the folks that showed up for Tim Kerr’s and my art opening in Dallas on Sept. 3.  It’s the largest batch of baseball paintings I’ve ever dragged to a show, and in all we had 96 pieces on the wall.

GRATITUDE 3/Thanks also to all the folks that chimed in on the grossly detailed 50K training plan a few months back.  Was very cool to find that there are a lot of runners in this community, and I’m down for nerding out with my fellow trail runner pals here and there on the road.  Please keep the stories and regional recommendations for good trails coming.  I’m hoping to start a small running collective sometime in 2017 with a trial run of shirts, totes, etc., with all profits going to charity.  It’s something that lives a little in the abstract at the moment, but maybe it’ll result in the occasional group trail run on tours if/when time might allow for it.

HATTERAS NIGHT, A GOOD LUCK CHARM LP/I made a new solo record here in Austin at Ramble Creek Recording with my friends Britton Beisenherz, Matt Pence and Ricky Ray Jackson.  Their individual and collective powers seem to be without measure, and we came away with nine songs in five days.  It was engineered and mixed by both Britton and Matt, and will have a cover image by Matthew Genitempo, whose work is on the cover of Swan City Vampires.  It’s mastered and off to the record plant, and will be released on March 24 via Undertow.

THE 901/Been hanging around Memphis for a few days making a record at Sam Phillips Recording with my friend Justin Peter Kinkel Schuster (Water Liars).  We each brought a few songs in and have worked to be the best side-people, background singers, snack getters and joke tellers we can be for one another.  To record in a place like this is an intense thing.  It’s a spaceship back to 1960.  There are cigarette burns left on the upstairs bar left by Johnny Cash.  There are John Prine, Sleepy John Estes, Tom Jones and Bar-Kays masters on the shelves just down the hall, and there’s the occasional old, wadded up check from Sun Records laying around.  The smell of the hallways and iso-booths and reverb tanks and old office spaces sticks with you.  It gets in your clothes.  The kind of place I try to comprehend all day, then dream about at night.

MORE RELEASES/The Little Raider + 2 EP will be released this winter on vinyl, thanks to Goliad Media (Denton, TX).  There are also two new 7″ releases in the works, thanks to Different Folk (SD) and People In A Position To Know (AZ).

NEW SHOWS/Packing the tent and guitar and heading out next week.  All these shows will be acoustic, and with the exception of the Florence show, will be held in living rooms, churches, listening rooms, art spaces, etc. with no PA system.  I’ll have the latest run of baseball prints on this run and aim to play new songs from Hatteras..  I am open to the scenario of delaying or moving show times with respect to local MLB playoff concerns, but I guess we’ll fry those fish when we get to ’em.  Tickets avail. via www.undertowtickets.com.

Dates and locations:
October 7 : Water Valley MS – TICKETS
October 8 : Florence AL @ 116 E. Mobile / with Andrew Bryant – TICKETS
October 9 : Athens GA – TICKETS
October 10 : Brevard NC – TICKETS
October 11 : Asheville NC – TICKETS
October 12 : Richmond VA – TICKETS
October 13 : University Park MD – TICKETS
October 14 : Baltimore MD – TICKETS
October 15 : Philadelphia PA – TICKETS
October 16 : Weehawken NJ – TICKETS
October 17 : Boston MA – TICKETS
October 18 : Providence RI – TICKETS
October 20 : Pittsburgh PA – TICKETS
October 21 : Cleveland OH – TICKETS
October 22 : Columbus OH – TICKETS
October 23 : Detroit MI – TICKETS
October 24 : Grand Rapids MI – TICKETS
October 27 : Little Rock AR – TICKETS

November 5 : Dallas, TX – Trees – supporting Bob Mould.
December 1 : Athens, GA – Georgia Theater – supporting Jason Isbell.
December 2 : Athens, GA – Georgia Theater – supporting Jason Isbell.
December 16 : Lafayette, LA – Acadiana Center For The Arts – supporting Jason Isbell.
December 17 : Thackerville, OK- WinStar World Casino – supporting Jason Isbell.

There will be a few full band shows in early 2017.

Thanks for reading, and maybe see you on the road. With respect.  -Will J.

Will is headed out to play a bunch of shows in September and October. These are all totally acoustic Living Room Shows except the show in Florence AL will be at a great venue called 116 E. Mobile. That show is with Andrew Bryant from The Water Liars.

Tickets for all shows are on sale now! Don’t delay. The living room shows are limited to 35-50 tickets and always sell out quick.

September 7 : Dallas TX – TICKETS
September 8 : Oklahoma City OK – TICKETS
September 9 : Austin TX  – TICKETS
October 7 : Water Valley MS – TICKETS
October 8 : Florence AL @ 116 E. Mobile / with Andrew Bryant – TICKETS
October 9 : Athens GA – TICKETS
October 10 : Brevard NC – TICKETS
October 11 : Asheville NC – TICKETS
October 12 : Richmond VA – TICKETS
October 13 : University Park MD – TICKETS
October 14 : Baltimore MD – TICKETS
October 15 : Philadelphia PA – TICKETS
October 16 : Weehawken NJ – TICKETS
October 17 : Boston MA – TICKETS
October 18 : Providence RI – TICKETS
October 20 : Pittsburgh PA – TICKETS
October 21 : Cleveland OH – TICKETS
October 22 : Columbus OH – TICKETS
October 23 : Detroit MI – TICKETS
October 24 : Grand Rapids MI – TICKETS
October 27 : Little Rock AR – TICKETS

Bring a friend and tell a neighbor.
Thanks, Y’all.

Will Johnson and Tim Kerr, Group Show

411 N. Bishop Ave.
Dallas, TX 75208
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 3 / 7pm-10pm.

I aim to have around 40 paintings in tow for this one, and Tim will have many beautiful skateboard decks on hand.  Tim plays music, and I play music.  So there may well be some music that works its way into this hang.  Stop on down!   -Will J.

Hello Friends! We’re looking for people to host Will Johnson Living Room Shows in September and October in the areas listed below. If you are located in or near any of these cities and interested in hosting please read everything below and get in touch! Contact info at the end.

For the September shows… deadline for submissions is July 22.
Tickets go on sale July 27 at 2pm (central time).

September 7 : Dallas TX – CONFIRMED
September 8 : Oklahoma City OK – CONFIRMED
September 9 : Austin TX – CONFIRMED

For the October shows… deadline for submissions is August 8.
Tickets go on sale August 23 at 2pm (central time).

October 7 : Water Valley MS – CONFIRMED
October 8 : Muscle Schoals AL – CONFIRMED
October 9 : Athens GA – CONFIRMED
October 10 : Brevard NC – CONFIRMED
October 11 : Asheville NC – CONFIRMED
October 12 : Richmond VA – CONFIRMED
October 13 : University Park MD – CONFIRMED
October 14 : Baltimore MD – CONFIRMED
October 15 : Philadelphia PA – CONFIRMED
October 16 : Weehawken NJ – CONFIRMED
October 17 : Boston MA – CONFIRMED
October 18 : Providence RI – CONFIRMED
October 20 : Pittsburgh PA – CONFIRMED
October 21 : Cleveland OH – CONFIRMED
October 22 : Columbus OH – CONFIRMED
October 23 : Detroit MI – CONFIRMED
October 24 : Grand Rapids MI – CONFIRMED
October 27 : Little Rock AR – CONFIRMED

We’ll make this as easy as possible for the hosts. All you have to do is let us borrow your living room for about 3 hours, check names off the list at the door… in return you’ll get 5 additional free tickets for friends and our eternal gratitude.

1. Please read everything below so you know how it works.

2. send an email to will@living-room-shows.com with this info:
– a. Your address.
– b. A few photos of the space where the show will happen.
– c. Please put “Will Johnson Living Room Show” and the name of your city in the subject line.

3. Sit tight and we’ll get back to as soon as possible if we can book the show at your house.

Here’s how it works.

1. You have a house, loft, small gallery, studio or other private space that can comfortably and safely host 40-50 people. A place with a big living room, finished basement or other interior space would be ideal. There needs to be street parking, parking garage or public transportation nearby and your neighbors should be cool. It would be a huge bummer if someone called the cops because of all the extra cars and people coming to your house. You probably shouldn’t do this if you live in a small apartment with a bunch of uptight neighbors or a cranky landlord. Be realistic on how many people your place can hold. We need to know how many tickets we can sell in advance. Sorry, we can’t do these shows outside.

2. Ticket price will be $20. Everyone must buy tickets in advance. No tickets will be sold at the door. There will be no reselling or third-party tickets sales. All tickets sales are direct to fans from Undertow. Limit 4 tickets per person. We want everyone to have the same chance of getting tickets.

3. We’ll provide the host with a list of everyone coming to the show. The host won’t have to deal with any money and will only need to check people off the list as they arrive. We ask guests to arrive between 7:00-7:45pm. The shows start at 8pm and we ask everyone to be out of your space by 10pm.

4. The host gets 5 additional free tickets for the show. If you have other friends beyond your 5 guests who want to come to the show you should direct them buy tickets on-line.

5. Your home address will not be published on the web and will only be given to people who purchase tickets.

6. The shows will promoted on our websites, Facebook and Twitter and word-of-mouth.

7. We’ll need your help to spread the word on your Facebook and Twitter too. We’ll create a Facebook event for each show and make you a host of the event so you can easily invite your friends (Thank you!). Remember, please don’t post your address. The address only goes to people after they buy tickets. We need to keep the location private so random people don’t try to show up and pay at the door.

8. You don’t need any sort of sound system. All we is an armless chair for Will to sit on and glass or bottle of water near where he’ll be playing. It’s nice if you have some kind of ambient lighting like a lamp on coffee table, floor lamp, or overhead lights with a dimmer to help create a cozy mood.

9. You don’t need seating for everyone. If you have a bunch of chairs, great! But most shows are floor seating and we let guests know they should bring a cushion or pillow to sit on during the show.

10. There will be no opening acts on the living room shows.

11. We love dogs and cats… we really do! But an excitable pet running around during the show can be distracting for the guests and performers. If you have curious and friendly 4-legged family members, would you be ok with putting them in another part of the house or sending them to a friend’s house during the show?

Thanks for your help!

After we have the dates sorted out we will announce the shows and tickets will go on sale at undertowtickets.com.


We’re happy to announce a new series of limited edition baseball prints. In stock and available for immediate shipping from Undertow.


Included in this new series:

Whitey Herzog (6″ x 9″)
Ryne Sandberg (6″ x 9″)
Carl Yastrzemsky (6″ x 9″)
Tim Duncan (6″ x 9″)
Craig Biggio (6″x 9″)
Dave Parker (6″ x 9″)
Nolan Ryan (6″ x 9″)
Sidd Finch (9″x 6″)
Disco Demolition at Comiskey Park (18″ x 12″)


Over the last few years I’ve fallen back into a pretty deep and savage affair with trail running. I used to run and race a lot as a kid, fell away from it as a teenager, lost time for it in college, rediscovered it in my twenties, and had on again/off again goes with it through my thirties. I’m not running as fast as I used to, but I’m more disciplined about it now, logging more monthly and yearly miles than before. I make up for this by eating a lot of Mexican food, barbecue, and drinking gallons of beer. I’ve found some helpful training plans here and there, and have drawn from them. I’ve also found some that I don’t believe a working, family person could have time for. You’ll see a lot of Off Days in mine, where more serious, proper runners would be training. I may get to the finer elements of a training plan one day, but probably not. I don’t do timed sprint drills or track work. I have not experimented with the Fraioli circuit or worked with a personal trainer. I looked up the definition of “fartlek”, but did not work it into my routine. Instead I played the audio sample a few times and giggled like a clove-buzzed fifteen-year old. Do that. I don’t do time on a stationary bike, and I don’t cross train. I’m also not winning trophies, but that’s not why I run.

Getting back to some sort of routine, I fast found that the therapy of trail running was both physical and mental. The simple act of running in the woods came to feel as needed as oxygen or music to me, particularly during the time of my mother’s illness and her eventual passing. Our band had also broken up around that time, and I found myself filling the void that was once the physical release of a rock show with trail running. It’s church in its way; a welcome break from anything with a screen, steering wheel or volume knob, and it’s become a way that’s helped me cope with phases of depression.

I spent most of 2012 through 2014 running three to five times a week with no specific goals in mind. I ran when I wanted to, and didn’t run when I didn’t want to. I still live by that rule, but at the start of 2015 I figured I’d aim for my first race in about twenty years. I’d piled up a lot of miles and wanted to see how I measured up against other folks in a formal setting. I wanted to see if I could at least finish respectably, and I needed something new to get nervous about. At the end of February I signed up a 25K trail race just outside of Smithville, TX. I had about five weeks more to train. I was logging 8-10 mile long runs, and was on schedule to be ready for the 15.5 miles of trails the race offered.

I didn’t do as well as I’d hoped, but still placed 16th overall out of 79. The whole experience was enough to seduce me into thinking about more. I liked the camaraderie out there. I liked the simple, primitive movement of running loose through the woods for hours with a bunch of likeminded folks I’d never met. Like a living room show, there was a quiet sense of community amongst strangers. The communication and support amongst the runners was something positive to me.

I took a break, went on tour, fell out of my routine, then got back to it once summer came around. I wasn’t logging huge miles, but was getting somewhere between 85-120 per month. I put a record out, went on tour, and pretty well lost my grip again come Fall. Once all the holidays had cleared, I set my sights on logging my first 50K. I figured I’d document the lead up to it.

To some folks I know, running a 50K is about as tough as making a pot of coffee. Others of us have gotta work at it. I admire anyone that’s getting after it, whether they’re running their 7th 100-miler or their first 5K. We’ve all got our life shit to deal with, and respect is key. People do this at very different rates and paces, at all different ages, for many different reasons. I remember learning that quickly during the time of my first races.

I looked over a few training plans. I didn’t stick to them religiously, but used the distances and times and dates as a rough guideline. I took the weekly long run mileages the most seriously.

Touring, work, and life’s general inertia can naturally derail holding to a training plan. There’s gonna be times when you have to shuffle the routine or miss a long run. You can’t hold yourself to the fire about it. Touring is about 90% of my social life, and I like to hang out and throw down every once in a while. I like to eat a bunch of eggs in the morning with old friends I haven’t seen in years. “Yeah.. sorry to interrupt this great hang. Can you excuse me so I can go get a two-hour run in in white out blizzard conditions?”.

Shit no.

So, more power to the one that can wake up in the middle of a tour and get psyched about a long run day in Milwaukee when it’s 8 degrees out.

There will also be inevitable aches and pains, particularly in the beginning weeks. Trust your body and know that not all aches and pains are serious.

A good foundation to start with here would be at least being able to run a 10K comfortably. I started this plan after almost two months off, a lot of comfort food freak outs, and traditional Bowl Season laziness. I did a couple runs in early January just to get back in the motion of things, then got down to the ramp up.

Here’s the way it unfurled. It may not be the thing, but it’s something. If it helps just one person out toward a first-time 50K goal, then that’s cool with me.

1/11 – Long Run Day. 10 miles trail, meditative/slow pace.
1/12 – Off.
1/13 – 6.2 miles trail, moderate pace.
1/14 – Off.
1/15 – 8.0 miles trail, moderate pace.
1/16 – 6.2 miles road, moderate pace.
1/17 – 7.0 miles road, meditative/slow pace.
1/18 – Off.
1/19 – Long Run Day. 13.1 miles trail, moderate pace.
1/20 – Off.
1/21 – 10.0 miles trail, moderate pace.
1/22 – 6.2 miles trail, meditative/slow pace.
1/23 – Off/Cross Train (Short hike)
1/24 – Off.
1/25 – Long Run Day. 15.5 miles trail w/ hills, moderate pace.
1/26 – Off.
1/27 – 8.0 miles road, moderate pace.
1/28 – 10.0 miles trail, moderate pace.
1/29 – 2/4: Off/Studio.
2/5 – 10.0 miles trail, moderate pace.
2/6 – Off.
2/7 – Hike 3 miles.
2/8 – Long Run Day. 20.0 miles trail, moderate pace.
2/9 – Off.
2/10 – 6.2 miles treadmill.
2/11 – 14: Off/Tour
2/15 – 10 miles trail moderate pace.
2/16 – 21: Off/Tour.
2/22 – 14 miles trail/road moderate pace.
2/23 – Off.
2/24 – Off.
2/25 – Off.
2/26 – 10 miles trail meditative/slow pace.
2/27 – Off. (This is about the time I find out the 50K race I’ve been
training for and have made time for, will not be held this year. I
fail to find another Spring time 50K nearby that I can participate in,
mostly due to calendar conflicts. Bummed out, but I’m six weeks in
and decide to stick with the plan anyway.)
2/28 – Off.
2/29 – Long run day. 22 miles trail meditative/slow pace.
3/1 – Off.
3/2 – Off.
3/3 – 6.0 miles road moderate pace.
3/4 – 10.0 miles trail meditative/slow pace.
3/5 – Off.
3/6 – Off.
3/7 – Long run day. 20 miles trail, slow and painful. Easily the most uninspiring of the ramp-up. Right foot swollen, in pain.
Limp to car.
3/8 – 14: Off/Stretches every day to try and rehab feet and legs.
3/15 – Long Run Day. 13.75 miles trail slow/cautious pace.
3/16 – Off.
3/17 – Off.
3/18 – 10 miles trail race pace.
3/19 – Off.
3/20 – Off.
3/21 – Off.
3/22 – Long Run Day. 16 miles trail race pace (PR 13.1).
3/23 – Off.
3/24 – Off.
3/25 – 6.2 miles trail moderate pace.
3/26 – Off.
3/27 – 10.5 miles road moderate pace.
3/28 – 30: Off/Studio.
3/31 – Off.
4/1 – Off.
4/2 – 10.0 miles trail moderate pace.
4/3 – Off.
4/4 – 4/8: Off/Studio.
4/9 – Off.
4/10 – Off.
4/11 – 10.0 miles trail meditative/slow pace.
4/12 – Off.
4/13 – 8.0 miles trail meditative/slow pace.
4/14 – Off.
4/15 – Long Run Day. 18.0 miles. The wall is real. I hit it,
particularly from mile 14 onward.
4/16 – Off.
4/17 – Off.
4/18 – Off.
4/19 – Off.
4/20 – Long Run Day. Run 50K/31 miles trail. 5:04:34.

I didn’t plan to do this distance on this day, especially after such a shitty and uninspiring outing a few days ago. But the weather was right, I had time, and I felt good. Around mile 22 I reasoned that there’d never be a better time or situation in which to see this 50K goal through. The first 25 miles of this run were for the most part joyous. The last 6 miles were not joyous. I used the car as an aid station, and my routing allowed me to stop there at the end of every ten miles, refuel on food and hydration, then tack on an extra mile at the end.

I still can’t accurately figure out what to expect from long run to long run. With this experience there have been shorter runs that feel like work, then longer runs that feel pretty effortless. I think it’s more about having the furniture in one’s head arranged in a good way. I tend to believe this type of endeavor is mostly a mental thing, and that’s part of the mystery that keeps me coming back. Just grateful for some time on the trails, ultimately.

Happy running (before the heat swallows us all..).
-Will Johnson, May 2016



Tickets on sale now for the Midwest Living Room Tour! These shows are hosted in private spaces and each one is limited to 40-60 people. No stage, no sound system… just Will playing songs and telling stories. All tickets must be purchased in advance. The zip code is listed on the ticket page so you know the general location of the show happening in your town. You’ll get the full address to the secret location when your purchase is complete. These shows always sell out quickly… don’t delay!

5/15 : Tulsa OK
5/16 : Springfield MO
5/17 : Omaha NE
5/18 : Sioux Falls SD
5/19 : Charles City IA
5/20 : Minneapolis MN
5/21 : Madison WI
5/22 : Milwaukee WI @ Club Giranldi’s
5/23 : Chicago IL
5/24 : St Louis MO
5/25 : Champaign IL
5/26 : Bloomington IN
5/27 : Lexington KY
5/28 : Louisville KY

As always, thanks for your continued support for these shows. It’s an honor to get to play music this way and your attendance is much appreciated.


Will Johnson & Justin Kinkel-Schuster (of the Waterliars) will be on tour together in February. It’ll be a mix of all acoustic Living Room Shows and a couple of small venues along the way.

2/11 : Huntsville AL @ Tangled String Studios – BUY TICKETS
2/14 : Waverly AL – BUY TICKETS
2/15 : Birmingham AL – BUY TICKETS
2/16 : Atlanta GA – SOLD OUT
2/17 : Nashville TN – BUY TICKETS
2/18 : Memphis TN – BUY TICKETS
2/19 : Little Rock AR – BUY TICKETS
2/20 : Oxford MS – SOLD OUT
2/21 : New Orleans LA – BUY TICKETS
2/23 : San Antonio – BUY TICKETS