Ashland, OR, USA
“Intimate, honest, haunting, majestic.” These are the words used to describe Jude Johnstone’s critically acclaimed debut CD, “Coming of Age.” Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Nicks, Jennifer Warnes, Johnny Cash and Trisha Yearwood covered songs from this CD.
The piano in the parlor of her parents’ house in coastal Maine was hers as soon as she could reach its keys. On its bench, alongside her church-soprano mother, she learned the magic of harmony. In that same room, her older brothers’ records played, (Stones, Creedence, Beatles), and in the evenings, her school-teacher father’s collection of Glenn Miller and Sarah Vaughn. It was, Jude Johnstone recalls, “…all the education I thought I’d ever need.”
But she’d get more: writing songs by age ten, playing clubs while still in school, she surprised no one when, at nineteen, she headed west to continue her training in the studios and nightclubs of LA, where she soon found herself collaborating with many of that city’s top producers and musicians.
After her marriage (to writer/producer Charles Duncan), Johnstone rededicated herself to songwriting, setting off a string of covers by such artists as Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, Jennifer Warnes, Bette Midler, Trisha Yearwood, and Johnny Cash (including the title cut of the latter’s Grammy-winning album “Unchained”). She wrote, “The Women Before Me,” a #1 song on Radio & Records charts, which was recognized with a BMI Songwriter’s Award.
Johnstone’s critically acclaimed debut CD “Coming Of Age” (released on independent label BoJak Records) was featured on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” reached #6 on Amazon’s Best Seller’s List, and was the # 1 selling CD for the Burnside Distribution Corporation (BDC). Her most recent release “On A Good Day” spotlights eleven potent new songs, along with guest appearances by Jackson Browne, Rodney Crowell, Julie Miller, and Bonnie Raitt.
REVIEWS & COMMENTS
“This CD tugs at heartstrings through songs like the utterly beautiful When Someone Speaks Your Name and Wounded Heart. Coming of Age is a quiet wonder.”
BONNIE RAITT-CAPITOL RECORDS ARTIST:
“I love Jude’s writing. “Wounded Heart” is one of the most exquisite songs I’ve ever heard.”
NPR NEWS “MORNING EDITION” Host Renee Montagne:
“Songwriter Jude Johnstone steps up to the microphone on her debut album “Coming of Age.” Hear her interview that aired August 13, 2002 at www.npr.org
“Songs rarely sound so potent as when they are delivered by the songwriter who penned them. After years of having her songs cut by the likes of Trisha Yearwood, Stevie Nicks, Johnny Cash, Jennifer Warnes, and Bette Midler, Jude Johnstone breathes life into her own compositions with her debut disc, Coming of Age. The BoJak Records collection showcases Johnstone’s intimate vocal style and finely crafted compositions.”
PERFORMING SONGWRITER MAGAZINE:
“Coming of Age” is a triumphant, emotional effort that melds bluesy, Americana rock with lush, smart production and intense honesty, delivered in Johnstone’s distinct, beautiful voice.”
MUSIC CONNECTION MAGAZINE:
“Coming of Age, Jude Johnstone’s BoJak Records debut, is a welcome reminder that lyrics and music can still open windows to a songwriter’s soul.”
THE CITY PAPER-NASHVILLE’S PAPER:
“Cry Wolf is a haunting majestic piece of Americana/Pop. Coming of Age is soothing and tender. A top flight CD.”
THE SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE: “Unchained finds Johnstone in near-gospel soulfulness, while the touching reclamation-of-love song, The Nightingale showcases both a vocal sincerity and tenderness.”