All posts by josh

MindTravels News Autumn 2023

MindTravels is a creative collaboration between Josh and English poet Mark Hutchinson. Since 2019, they have been creating guided reflections using Mark’s words and Josh’s improvised piano playing.  Straddling the areas around and between mindfulness and mental health awareness, the combination of the music, the words and the creativity in action leads to a unique experience – invigorating and calm, inviting the listener to take stock and also to take decisions.   Initially for use in Unitarian services (Mark is a Unitarian minister and Josh is organist and director of music at Dublin Unitarian Church), they have more recently begun a podcast featuring a new guided reflection each week.  They also released their debut CD simply titled MindTravels in August 2022.

Mark & Josh are playing a few concerts in November.  See details below.  All concerts at 7.30pm.  Tickets £10 (€10 for Dublin).  The links are to purchase advance tickets via Paypal – you will receive an email confirmation.

Saturday 11th November – Dublin Unitarian Chapel, St. Stephen’s Green West, Dublin 2

Monday 13th November – King Edward Street Chapel, Macclesfield,  SK10 1AB

Wednesday 15th November – Rosslyn Hill Chapel, Hampstead, London, NW3 1NG

The album is available to stream from all the usual streaming sites.

The podcast has been running since January on Apple Podcasts, TuneIn Radio, Podcast Republic, Google Podcasts and others.  Search for MindTravels.

CD copies of the album are available from this site and will be available at the concert performances.

MindTravels In Performance, and on disc

MindTravels is a new project Josh has developed with English poet and Unitarian minister Mark Hutchinson. The duo have taken a collection of Mark’s poems and reflections and Josh has improvised on the piano while Mark has read the poetry. Initially a lockdown experiment, the project began as a series of video reflections recorded over zoom and broadcast via YouTube and Facebook. The idea grew legs and an album has been recorded in Ireland with Josh’s regular collaborator, sound engineer Anthony Gibney.

The debut album, simply called MindTravels, will be launched on August 15th, the day of the first date of the first MindTravels tour across the UK and Ireland. You can catch the performance in the following venues

Monday 15th August – Manchester
Cross Street Chapel, M2 1NL
Tickets £6 at the door or here via Paypal

Wednesday 17th August – Evesham
All Saint’s Parish Church, Market Place, WR11 4RW
Tickets £6 at the door or here via Paypal
(a portion of the proceeds will benefit
Wallace House Community Centre in Evesham)

Friday 19th August – York
St. Saviourgate Unitarian Chapel, YO1 8NQ
Tickets £6 at the door or here via Paypal

Monday 22nd & Tuesday 23rd August – Edinburgh
St. Mark’s Unitarian Church, 7 Castle Terrace, EH1 2DP
4pm on both days
Tickets can be booked from Edinburgh Fringe website

Thursday 25th August – Cork, Ireland
Cork Unitarian Church, Prince’s Street
Tickets €6 at the door or here via Paypal

Friday 26th August – Dublin, Ireland
Dublin Unitarian Church, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2
Tickets €8 at the door or here via Paypal

The album will be available to stream or download from August 15th via all the usual streaming partners.
You can already pre-order the CD from this website via Paypal. Choose the currency most local to you to avoid currency exchange and get a speedy delivery.

Sterling – £12.50 (incl. shipping)
Euro – €15 (incl. shipping)

NB. Paypal will only allow you to pay in one currency per transaction.

The CD will also be available at the concerts on the tour.

Josh and Mark look forward to seeing you in August.

Pre-Order Reasons To Fly – a new Josh Johnston CD

I’m in the closing stages of putting my forthcoming album Reasons To Fly together – the album is mixed and is about to be mastered. This album is a collection of songs written by me and with other writers, as well as one cover of a Loudon Wainwrght III song. The three singles I have released since September 2021 are all on it. I am very excited to share it with the world.

The cover is in process and I have made arrangements to work with various PR consultants to ensure the album gets listened to at radio and media. The process of putting out an album and readying it for release costs money. After the difficult 2 1/2 years we have had, money is in shorter supply than it might normally be. For this reason, I’m inviting friends and supporters to pre-order their copy of the album via a donation on Paypal – you don’t need to have an account, you can just pay with a debit or credit card.

Much like other crowdfunding models in the past, I’m offering different “rewards” based on the amount of your donation. That said, no amount is too low or too high. Each reward comes with a large amount of gratitude from me to you.

To donate, click on the Paypal Donate button below and enter your chosen amount on the next page – I’ll be in touch in due course about your reward.


> €10 MP3 or WAV download of the album
> €20 MP3 or WAV downloads of the album + Where We’re Standing Now, my last piano solo album from 2020
> €25 signed CD copy of the album, posted worldwide
> €40 signed CD copy of the album + Where We’re Standing Now (CD)
> €60 signed CD copy of the album + 2 tickets to launch gig (Dublin, June 2022)
> €100 complete CD back catalogue
> €200 house concert in Ireland (solo) (possibly UK and Europe if it can be scheduled with other engagements)
> €500 house concert in Ireland (with small band) (possibly UK and Europe if it can be scheduled with other engagements)

To be honest, at the upper scale, I admit to not really having a clue what people want from rewards – when I do these things, I just want the CD and am happy to support. I mention house concerts here as I’m really looking forward to playing this music but if you have other ideas, or you’d like to combine rewards, let me know by email.

Thank you for continuing to support quality original Irish music.

Touching Base + New Single


What a hard time we have all had.  I’ve been enjoying finishing the creation of some new music – both writing and recording when it was safe to do so.  I was recording an album and I’m now almost finished it with a good start made on the next one.  One thing at a time . . . . . . the album will be called Reasons To Fly and I’m sitting on it for a little while as the world settles down. In the meantime I have recorded a version of Loudon Wainwright III’s song Strange Weirdos which I will release digitally as a single on September 27th with a video and a livestream gig on the day of the release.  This will give me the opportunity to play some of the new songs I’ve been recording for you as well.

Stay well and strong.  I plan to be better at interacting with my supporters over the next year and I thank you in advance for your ongoing support.



j x

New Years Wishes

Happy New Year to all my friends and followers,

2020 was a hard year but I still managed to get a CD out so I feel there was some artistic and creative success at the very least.  Where We’re Standing Now is available on CD and digitally from my Bandcamp page along with most of my other solo and collaborative albums, and sheet music.  Thanks to those of you who have purchased and also to those of you have sent me mail to tell me you have been enjoying it.  It’s a strange notion to do a music video or think of any individual tracks as a single on an album of instrumentals but I did just that with Letting Go – Alan Rogers and I had fun early in the morning last August  making the video while driving the streets of south county Dublin.  The video is at the link above.

Despite the pandemic, we were able to get 7 more Paul Simon Project videos up during 2020 thanks to one lovely session in January and a great team effort to put a video together of a group of us performing Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover from our own living rooms in the later half of the year.  I hope to make more videos in this way yet in 2021 – hopefully we can make it happen.

I have started a new project with Rev. Mark Hutchinson, a Unitarian minister and poet based in the Cotswolds in England.  He writes reflections and meditations and I improvise piano backdrops while he is reciting them.  At the moment, we record these using zoom (with slightly better microphones in our individual rooms), I sync up the sound, and Mark creates videos using us and other visuals in England.  They go up roughly once every two weeks, usually on a Friday.  We call it MindTravels.  Look out for us on Facebook and YouTube.

I started recording a new album of songs in the middle of 2019, around the time the Moon Landing EP came out.  This was delayed for much of 2020 but was in fact within spitting distance of being finished so there are only a few tracking sessions before we will mix.  I’m in no hurry to put it out before I can figure out how to promote it properly in this very new world and musical working environment we now find ourselves in.  But it’s sitting there on the horizon and a time will present itself.  The working title is Alternative Arrangements and I’ve collaborated on 10 songs with collaborators from four countries as well as singing two songs by Ronan Swift and Malachi Smyth.   I can’t preview anything yet but I’m really pleased with how it’s sounding at this early stage.  Can’t wait.

Stay safe, stay warm, stay positive, stay healthy, stay at home as often as you can.  This too will pass.

Best wishes,





Paul Simon Project continues apace

There have now been three Paul Simon Project sessions and I have been working gradually to get all the videos up onto YouTube.

There is a new one up today – “Something So Right” by Tommy Keyes.  It is Number 14.

You can see notes and links to all of them (as well as some background history on what possessed me to do it)  on my Paul Simon Project page. Please don’t forget to like and share your favourites on social media.  Thanks.

Where We’re Standing Now – New CD

I am pleased to announce Where We’re Standing Now, my current CD which was released on September 4th.  It is an album of 4 improvised piano solos.  Recorded in different studios for different reasons, it felt good to put them together at this chaotic time to hopefuly bring you peace and time to think.  You can read more about it on my Recordings page.  There is a link there to my Bandcamp page where you can stream and / or purchase it digitally or on CD.

Paul Simon Project #6 – Slip Slidin’ Away

If you haven’t been following the Paul Simon Project page, you may not be aware that I have been uploading various videos steadily through the year. Six are now available to view through YouTube and Facebook.

1. America – Carol Keogh (19th January 2019)
2. April Come She Will – Paj (19th January 2019)
3. Rene And Georgette Magritte (With Their Dog After The War) – Gillian Tuite (5th May 2019)
4. Still Crazy After All These Years – Rob Molumby (5th May 2019)
5. You Can Call Me Al – Ailie Blunnie (19th January 2019)
6. Slip Slidin’ Away (uploaded 24th September 2019) – Adam Fleming
Filmed May 5th 2019 in Josh’s living room, Dublin 8

Only ever released as a single, this 1976 song was nonetheless a popular single and remained a live favourite at Paul Simon concerts up to and including his farewell tour in 2018. From the moment we’re born we die. Dressed up in a soulful groove.

Dublin guitarist Adam Fleming is known as the guitarist in Ana Gog. He has recently kickstarted a solo career and also plays as a duo (The Final Stations) with singer Sinéad Toomey.

Adam’s most recent solo single, Victory on YouTube

Adam on Facebook

Adam Fleming – Guitar & lead vocal Adam on Facebook
Rob Molumby – Bass & backing vocal
Josh Johnston – Piano & backing vocal
Jane Willow – Bodhrán & backing vocal
Gillian Tuite – Backing vocal
Marco Francescangeli – Clarinet

Moon Landing – new video and EP

Moon Landing is a song written by Doug Kinch and myself which appeared on the 2018 LP The Art Of Saving Lives. With new collaborator Anthony Gibney and a host of wonderful musicians, we have worked further on the recording and I look forward to releasing the updated track as the lead cut on a new EP which will also be titled Moon Landing.

The EP will be released in early September but I’m pleased to present a music video for the song which has been devised and directed by my friend Yalda Shahidi.

You can see the video
on Facebook
or on YouTube

Please feel free to like and share on social media and amongst your friends and contemporaries.

I’m in the middle of organising some gigs for the Autumn after the EP is out. More of that later.

Best wishes,


Paul Simon Project – Maiden Voyage – #1. America

Paul Simon Project

An Irish tribute to a great songwriter & musician

Going Live on YouTube Thursday 14th February 2019

Ailie Blunnie // Paj // Josh Johnston //

Carol Keogh // SJ McArdle // Sive

with Marco Francescangeli & Rob Molumby 

The brainchild of Dublin pianist and songwriter Josh Johnston, the Paul Simon Project was born  of a desire to toast the man and the music he has created.

In January 2019, five of Ireland’s finest singer-songwriters and two musician friends were invited to Josh’s house in Dublin on a cold winter’s day. It was an afternoon of intense social and musical activity where, after a light lunch, the eight musicians set about arranging, rehearsing and performing six Paul Simon classics from across his career. At 6pm, they were joined by director of photography Alan Rogers who videoed each song in turn.

This meeting of musical minds, while also being fantastic fun, primarily pays homage to a songwriter who has provided musical company to three generations of families growing up. Paul Simon has recently retired from live performance with sixty-five years in the music industry to his credit. On that basis, we feel it is timely to tip the hat and thank him for the gift of his music.

His songs have formed the soundtrack to many lives and continue to be performed and re-interpreted by himself on stage and on his recent album In The Blue Light, as well as in cover versions in increasing quantities.

Over the course of 2019, the Paul Simon Project will add six covers to this oeuvre, with each of the singer-songwriters personally selecting a favourite tune and arranging it with the rest of the group. Creative decisions have been made in the choices and the arrangements while always staying true and sensitive to the spirit of the songs. The selections cover a wide span of songs from 1964 to 1992 and the videos will be uploaded gradually to YouTube via Josh Johnston’s channel.

To get the ball rolling, we are pleased to present the first video this Thursday 14th February. Dublin singer Carol Keogh (The Plague Monkeys, The Tycho Brahe, Autamata, The Natural History Museum, The Wicc) sings America from the Simon & Garfunkel 1968 LP Bookends.

Watch the video at

Videos will be uploaded roughly every two months throughout 2019.  For current info please see

Musicians (and where to find out more about them)

Carol Keogh – Vocal

Paj –Acoustic Guitar, Vocal

Josh Johnston –  Piano

SJ McArdle – Electric Guitar, Vocal,

Rob Molumby – Bass, Vocal

Sive – Vocal

Ailie Blunnie – Vocal

Marco Francescangeli – Soprano Sax

Live this Friday in Derry

This Friday, I – and a few of my musical friends – have been invited to play a gig in Bennigan’s in Derry (or Londonderry if you’re that way inclined). I will be joined by Eoin O’Brien on guitar, Rob Molumby on bass, Cormac Dunne on drums and Marco Francescangeli on various saxophones. This is my first venture up North – I’m very excited.

If you know people in the area, you could do worse than tell them about it or guide them in the direction of this Facebook event – they might even agree to forward it on.

A few new songs written since the CD was released – it’s too early to start even thinking about the next one but the ship moves on . . . . . looking forward to trying them out on Friday.

Rain // Live shows in September

I am pleased to announce the release of Rain, the third single from my recent CD The Art Of Saving Lives.

On the full album, the tune morphs out of the previous track. To this end, I’ve created a radio edit and I’m glad to send it out into the world as a free download – this can be downloaded from here (WAV) or here (MP3).

There is a video on YouTube it was produced, directed and edited by Elton Mullally.

The track was recorded at various stages of the last nine years by Eoin O’Brien, Anthony Gibney and Michael Manning. It was mixed by Anthony Gibney at Audioland Studios in February 2018.

“The rain it falls on all of us just the same”. This song is an antidote to the blues – an injection of positivity designed to lift you even in hard times.

Produced by Josh Johnston
Engineered by Eoin O’Brien, Michael Manning & Anthony Gibney
Mixed by Anthony Gibney
Mastered by David Montuy

In the video:

Josh Johnston – Piano, Vocal, (also Pipe Organ on the track)
Eoin O’Brien – Bouzouki, Electric & Acoustic Guitars
Martin Gruet – Bass
Cormac Dunne – Drums & Percussion
Aisling Bridgeman – Backing Vocal

Also on the track but not in the video

Carol Keogh – Backing Vocal
Tom Portman – Dobro
Adam Fleming – Electric Guitar

The video was produced, directed and edited by Elton Mullally

Buy The Art Of Saving Lives from (CD, Vinyl, MP3) as well as all good digital distribution partners.

To celebrate the single release, I’m playing a few gigs in September with more to follow in October

Josh live in September

Sunday 9th September
featured artist at Sunday Songbrunch
Darkey Kelly’s, Fishamble Street, Dublin
Admission Free

Monday 17th September
featured artist at Circle Sessions
International Bar, Exchequer Street, Dublin 2
Admission Free

More gigs in October

The Art Of Saving Lives in shops in Dublin

The Art Of Saving Lives is out. While there is yet to be a media review, very nice pieces of feedback have been leaking back in this direction. Liam O Maonlai of the Hothouse Flowers wrote on Facebook shortly after it was released’ “Great sound and instrumentation. I love [Winged] Revolution. Great power and great subtlety. Bravo.”. Roddie Cleere of the Irish Music podcast and Irish Music Show on KCLR FM (Kilkenny) made it his featured album of the week this last Sunday giving me the opportunity to talk about two of the songs before playing them. You can hear my segment here (go to 51″15′ for me but the rest of the show is cool too).

I have booked a few dates for the Autumn but, in the main, that work is ongoing.

The album is available in the following actual shops in Dublin –

Tower Records, Dawson Street, Dublin 2 (CD & vinyl)
Sound Cellar, Nassau Street, Dublin 2 (CD & vinyl)
The Record Spot, part of RAGE (Record & Games Emporium), Fade Street, Dublin 2 (vinyl only)

If you prefer to buy music online, the album is available through the following channels

Bandcamp (Physical CD or Vinyl, Download)
CD Baby (Physical CD or Download)
Amazon (Download)
7Digital (Download)
I-Tunes Music Store / Apple Music (Download / Stream)
Google Music (Download / stream)
Deezer & Spotify (Stream)

and many other digital music partners

Needless to say, the CD and vinyl albums are always available at the gigs.

The Art Of Saving Lives is released !!!

It is a great pleasure for me to announce that, as predicted, my micro-label Shandon Reords actually released my fourth solo CD The Art Of Saving Lives at a concert in Dublin at the end of Friday 29th June. It feels great to get to this stage.

Many thanks to all of you who came to any of the gigs in Dublin, Wexford, Galway and Dingle or shared the details on social media. The support was felt and was appreciated.

The tour was a lot of fun. We had a 15 piece band in Dublin and a very enthusiastic audience both of whom greatly helped me get through the show. Most of the band members played on the record. All the co-writers of the songs were either in the audience or the band as well as the sound and mixing engineers. It was a pleasure to have them onboard. Supporters travelled from as far away as Virginia to be there, and Galway and Cork.

The tour that followed was fun but quieter. A smaller band – I couldn’t fit them all into two cars – was put together featuring Eoin O’Brien and Rob Molumby and we were joined at various stages by Carol Keogh, Tom Portman and Cormac Dunne at various points. Thanks to Mick for all the driving and roadieing. Eoin, Rob and I are looking forward to putting it together again for a variety of shows through September and October to promote the next single which will be the song Rain. We are always open to international touring – it’s just a matter of finding the right contacts to help me on the ground.

You can hear a few of the tracks from the album on Spundcloud

The second single, “Completely” came out in June and I’m pleased with the amount of airplay it got – thanks to all those who requested it, and the radio presenters who thought of playing it. The video was directed by Yalda Shahidi and features location photography around my house in Kilmainhan in Dublin. If you missed it, you can still see the video for the first radio single Lines – thanks to Christopher Merton who devised and produced the video.

Midsummer With Anja is another track from the album that it feels appropriate to be releasing now as a free download – !! It was written by Doug Kinch and I arranged it and put the finishing touches to the composition as well. Marco Francescangeli provided the haunting soprano sax solo in the middle. I love the conflicting counterpoint of Winter and Summer in this one.

The album is available on CD, vinyl and download. You can buy the CD from CD Baby or any of the formats on my new Bandcamp site which you can also access from this website on the Music page. If you prefer walking into a shop (I do but I seem to be in the minority) and live in Dublin, the vinyl records are available from Tower on Dawson Street and The Record Spot on Fade Street. Tower also has the CD actually. Digital downloads are also available from all the digital partners we have come to know and love – Itunes, Google Play, 7Digital, Deezer and all the others – and of course you can stream it from Spotify if that’s your thing. If you go the extra mile and order the physical product, I think you’ll enjoy the cover art which has been created by Limerick-based print artist Des MacMahon for a cover concept designed by Mark Conway at Born&Raised.

Please feel free to forward this email or the information contained herein far and wide. I’m excited about this music being heard and hope you enjoy hearing it as much as I’ve enjoyed making it.

I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud, YouTube, Instagram – please come and find me. Thanks for your continued support.

Pre-Order The Album !!!!

Pre-Order “The Art Of Saving Lives”, the forthcoming CD by Josh Johnston

Good things come to those who wait.

Shandon Records is pleased to announce the imminent release of my fourth solo CD “The Art Of Saving Lives”. Recorded in fits and starts over nine years with a supporting cast of friends and colleagues, the album features 10 original songs written to some degree or other by me and one instrumental.

The album was begun in the Summer of 2009 in The Potting Shed, actually a house in Galway owned by my aunt loaned occasionally to me for recording sessions. Four musician friends convened to try a few musical ideas out. We had a great time and wound up recording backing tracks for 14 songs before leaving the house five days later. Not much happened after this due to life getting in the way but in the Spring of 2017, I was reminded of the recordings sitting on my computer and resolved to do something with them. After re-recording all the tracks featuring piano sounds (originally recorded on a keyboard) on a real piano, the lovely grand piano at Cauldron Studios (now sadly closed), I spent the next year hatching a plan. A cast of musicians was drawn up as well as a panel of collaborators to finish writing the bits of the songs still not finished yet. The first two weeks of January 2018 was spent finishing lyrics with Doug Kinch, SJ McArdle, Eoin O’Brien and Anna Johnston. Then the second two weeks were spent in my own house with Michael Manning recording vocals and overdubbing brass, reeds, strings and lots of guitars (there are five guitarists on the album). Lots of tea was drunk and lots of great music was recorded. In February, I worked with Anthony Gibney finishing off some vocals. Finally, the restored Dublin Unitarian Church pipe organ was put to good use to create something a bit special for five of the songs. Over five weeks, the album was mixed by Michael and Anthony, and mastered by David Montuy.  The striking print on the front cover – see above – was created by Limerick-based print artist Des MacMahon and the package was designed by Mark Conway at Born & Raised.

I am spending some time now sending review copies off to press and radio people – lots of them have it.  Feel free to request tracks on the radio.

I’m greatly looking forward to launching it with a concert at Dublin Unitarian Church on Friday 29th July followed by a short tour of Ireland.

Friday 29th June
Dublin Unitarian Church
Doors 8.15pm
Tickets €10 (general admission) or €15 (with CD)

Saturday 30th June
Wexford Arts Centre
Tickets €15 from

Wednesday 4th July
Black Gate Cultural Centre, Francis Street, Galway
Tickets €10 (or €15 with the CD)

Friday 6th July
McCarthy’s, Dingle, Co. Kerry

more to follow

You can hear a few of the tracks from the album here

You can see the video for the first radio single Lines here – thanks to Christopher Merton who devised and produced the video.

The album will be released on CD, vinyl and download. A few people have asked me how they can get their hands on the disc before it is formally released. I’m very glad to give people this opportunity – your pre-ordering the CD will certainly help the cashflow issues any independent musician faces when trying to see an ambitious project like this through to its release. Many thanks for your support. The pre-orders will be dispatched on Tuesday 5th June 2018.

There are 8 options for the pre-order – select whoever one tallies with your preference.  Options 2-8 include post and packaging. Once you have selected your choice, click Buy Now and enter your details.  All payment is handled through Paypal but you don’t have to create an account to pay this way.

Option 1 – €10 – MP3 or WAV download of the album (let me know which you’d prefer)
Option 2 – €20 – signed CD copy of the album posted to you (I won’t sign it if you prefer)
Option 3 – €25 – signed CD copy of the album posted to you + ticket to launch gig (29/6/2018 at Dublin Unitarian Church) – (I won’t sign it if you prefer)
Option 4 – €25 – signed Vinyl copy of the album posted to you (I won’t sign if you prefer)
Option 5 – €35 – signed Vinyl copy of the album posted to you + ticket to launch gig (29/6/2018 at Dublin Unitarian Church) – (I won’t sign it if you prefer)
Option 6 – €35 – 2 signed CDs posted to you (I won’t sign if you prefer)
Option 7 – €40 – 1 signed CD + 2 tickets to launch (I won’t sign it if you prefer)
Option 8 – €45 – 1 signed Vinyl record + 2 tickets to launch (I won’t sign it if you prefer)

Pre-Order The Album

Spring 2018 – Lines

I spent a very enjoyable day today visiting the good folk at RTE (Ireland’s public broadcasting organisation) with 2 boxes of CDs, encouraging all and sundry to play tracks from my forthcoming CD The Art Of Saving Lives. The one at the top of my mind is a track about the trials of communication. Stephen (who co-wrote this one with me) and I wrote this a long time ago. In fact it’s the oldest song on the disc (more about the disc later). I thought, as this album is a little more mainstream than previous albums (and all the better for it in my humble opinion), that maybe I should highlight a few tracks as radio singles along the way. So the first radio single is this one and Chris Merton, a fellow I bumped into on my travels, has devised and directed it for me. Be kind. Neither of us have made a music video before but we have both worked hard at it, the children are lovely and definitely understand the concepts I’m singing about, and you get to see me masquerading as the moon getting Greek yoghurt smeared down my face. I’m very pleased with how Chris has mirrored my story with his. What’s not to like ?

for the song, we recorded the basic track as a four piece band, all of us playing together in the same room, no click. Then we told everybody who arrived in for the overdub sessions on all the other songs, to just play “something” over this. Sometimes I even told them what the chords were. The result was a little bit like the painting easel in the nursery kindergarten after a few of the messy kids have got into it. I think it sounds cool. I hope you do too.

You can hear / see the video on YouTube

Please feel free to share the video with your friends and on social media.


Spring 2018 – The Art Of Saving Lives

I have just signed off on the mastering of a new disc of original compositions and co-writes.  I am in the process of putting together some videos for three of the songs with three fine young Irish video directors.  I am working once again with Mark Conway on the design of the CD cover.  The music itself will be released on CD, vinyl and download through this website and at gigs from June 29th.

If you’d like to hear some of the tunes, you can stream three of the tracks at where you can also get a sneaky peek at the striking cover art which was designed specifically for the project by Limerick-based print artist Des MacMahon.

I will be launching the disc with a national tour in early July 2018. There are a few details to be hammered down so I won’t shout too loudly about them yet but suffice to say that I’m beyond excited to be given the chance to play my own music again.

More details anon.

Spring 2017 – Hege Anita, Pierce Turner, Art Of Saving Lives

Thanks to all those who have been in touch to say how much they enjoyed my various contributions to two CD releases last year. Although neither were solo releases, their releases were two of the most important events in my career to date.

“Close Your Eyes”, which I recorded with Dutch singer Truly DiVine was launched almost exactly a year ago from the date of this post and we decided to stop gigging almost immediately after we launched it. We are both extremely proud of the CD (and it is still available from this website) but the pushing to get it out as well as some differences in opinion in how to proceed as a duo made the partnership a little less relaxed and it was decided to park it in August after a final concert in Arthurs. Funnily enough, I saw the CD as a springboard to greater things but it ended up being a swansong. That’s the way life happens sometimes.

I was involved in The Lazy Band‘s album preparations for 18 months of the 9 years that the idea had been gestating. The 10 piece band convened in my aunt’s livingroom in Galway for a week in early January 2016 and recorded a very charming CD that reflected all the band member’s musical and personal interests. Having moved slowly for 8 years, it went from recording to release in 8 months. Some change of pace. Some of us almost came to blows over it but we’re all still friends thankfully. You can buy copies of the CD online from but for the full experience you should go along to a Lazy Band session on the last Monday of the month in Arthurs on Thomas Street, Dublin 8.

2017 is all about new possibilities and new possibilities arising from old seeds. I am in the process of recording a long awaited follow up to 2010’s piano solo disc, The Shape Of Things. The working title for this is The Art Of Saving Lives. Not sure yet if that is too pretentious but it’s fitting with the vibe of the tracks already recorded. Basic tracks for several tracks were recorded before The Shape Of Things was recorded but I am now proceeding with a vengeance on developing them and hopefully completing the project late this year or early in 2018. It is an ensemble record in the mould of Asylum Harbour and features songs and instrumentals.

In 2008, I started working in a very sporadic fashion with Norwegian singer-songwriter Hege-Anita Skjaervik. We, with the help of many friends and accomplices, have tapped away in our spare time at recording an album of her songs and we are looking forward to releasing it in Norway and Ireland this June 2017. We will be playing with many of the band from the album in Whelan’s (upstairs) in Dublin on Thursday June 22nd. Keep the date in your diary. In the meantime, you can listen or even download the first single from the album by going to her website and clicking on the Recordings tab.

I have also recently started playing gigs with Wexford-born, New York resident singer-songwriter Pierce Turner. A pianist himself, he recorded a CD in a Lutheran church in Manhattan. When he came over to tour it, he decided to play at the Unitarian Church in Dublin and asked me to insert the pipe organ parts from the record. My pleasure. He will come over again this June but this time we are playing in Whelans as well as in St. Iberius Church in Wexford. Dates to follow.

See you on the road.

Truly & Josh in Arthurs on Thomas Street, Dublin 8

After a few months travelling around between weddings, pubs down the country and visiting other Dublin venues, Truly DiVine and I are bringing the Close Your Eyes album to our regular home Arthurs, 28 Thomas Street, Dublin 8 on Friday August 26th at 8.30pm. We’ll be playing lots of songs from the new CD as well as a few new favourites that we’ve picked up along the way. I’ll also have the opportunity to toast a new piano at the venue. Exciting.

You will of course also be able to buy copies of Close Your Eyes at the gig.

To buy tickets in advance, thereby nabbing them at the discounted price of €10, click here.

Truly DiVine & Josh in Dublin – Cobalt Cafe, North Great Georges Street this Friday evening

Truly DiVine & Josh Johnston – Close Your Eyes
Cobalt Cafe, North Great Georges Street, Dublin 1
Show 8.30pm
Tickets €12 on the night or €10 in advance from here.

“mixing flirty theatricality and an authentic sense of period with precise vocals and an attention to the musical details of the songs” Cormac Lappin, Irish Times

After a packed out gig to launch their debut CD as a duo, Truly DiVine and Josh return to Dublin in anticipation of a nationwide tour starting at the end of August 2016. This gig is to warm people up ahead of the tour. Playing music from the CD (which features songs made famous by screen sirens and jazz anti-divas such as Marlene Dietrich, Blossom Dearie, Doris Day, Rita Hayworth and others), the evening is a sensuous and fun mixture of nostalgia and great songs.

Close Your Eyes on Youtube