Johnson's Crossroad brings "Appalachian Soul" to Hillsboro
The Pretty Penny Cafe hosted Johnson's Crossroad in Hillsboro Saturday night.
The band is based out of Asheville, North Carolina, but have roots in Lewisburg. Dobro and banjo player Corey Lee McQuade, and guitarist and vocalist Paul Johnson grew up in the nation's coolest small town.. Over the years, Keith Minguez, on mandolin, and Garry Segal on harmonica, joined the group.
Johnson categorizes their sound as "Appalachian Soul" and the band travels all along the east coast playing their unique style.
"We played about 145 shows last year," said Minguez. "Everywhere from Maine to Georgia, basically the Appalachian Trail. We've played a couple festivals with some big names, MerleFest was probably the most prominent. We've played FloydFest before, and we're doing Badlands Bluegrass this year."
Minguez said the band has produced two studio albums in the seven years they've been together.
Although Johnson's Crossroad has never played at The Pretty Penny before, the band is plenty familiar with Pocahontas County.
"We've spent a lot of time up here," said McQuade. "Going up to Cranberry [Glades] and the Scenic Highway and camping over on the Williams River. My wife worked at Watoga for a couple years, she was a naturalist there. We just absolutely love it up here."
Although the set was Johnson's Crossroad's first performance at The Pretty Penny, owner Blair Campbell and the band have known each other for years.
"It's the first time they've been here, but they're old friends of mine," said Campbell. "We just kind of reconnected."
Campbell said she's into the Johnson's Crossroad style and was pleased with the attendance.
"It's mountain music, I'm into that sometimes," said Campbell. "I'm stoked about the turnout, we've had a lot of people that came out for dinner, which was awesome. It's been great."
Campbell said there are more shows lined up this summer and to visit www.prettypennyfood.com for a schedule, or friend The Pretty Penny Cafe on Facebook.