KC Johns - “I’m Always Me”
Review by Patrick Joseph & Staff
“I’m Always Me” wastes absolutely no time in notifying the listener that this song is going to be a deeply emotional statement. Heart wrenching chords and twangy guitar melodies set the stage perfectly for what’s to come. John’s vocals enter strongly but with a delicate edge. She homes in on a specific emotional space and suspends listeners in time, fully exploring the dynamics of one significant moment. Her melodic phrasing shows a wisdom in its execution, showcasing only the most poignant notes and delivering the song’s message in an economical and brilliant way.
Lyrically, “I’m Always Me” reveals an artist’s perspective on the classic love song. “All the memories we can make, Well find our way somehow.” The lyrics show a reverence for future possibilities and a respect for the significance of the present. “We’re searching we’re finding, A place that we could hide in.” Johns communicates these large sentiments with honesty and believability, making them even more powerful. A poetic line caps off a catchy chorus: “Cause I’m always me when I’m with you.”
While there is an effortless feeling to “I’m Always Me,” closer inspection will reveal an intricately arranged rhythm section and inspired songwriting. Blending of various guitars, including fantastic dobro fills, is done seamlessly. Piano adds a classic layer of emotional depth. Vocal harmonies create a soft bed over which melodic phrases are expertly placed. Listeners will love the way the chorus sits stoically over bittersweet harmonic motion. Overall, “I’m Always Me” comes off as a timeless piece of art.
For more information, please visit KC John's website.
About KC Johns
Every now and then, we all need a break—a feel-good, take-me-away minute when everything is fun, light, and just feels right. We need a little KCJohns. With powerhouse pipes that take you on a whiskey-soaked jaunt to your favorite honky-tonk in the absolute best way possible, KC’s music is as infectious and dynamic as she is. Think Miranda Lambert meets Sheryl Crow with a touch of Brandi Carlisle, and you’ve got an artist with a voice all her own, tied tight around songs that make you feel like you’ve known her forever.
With deep roots in the Blues capital of the world, KC grew up in Memphis, where she was baptized in soul and fell hard for the stage, the spotlight, and songs that make the world go ’round. “Music has always been that one thing in my life that digs up a smile when I feel like I’m buried under the rest of ‘life,'” says KC. “I want other people to feel the same way.” Having discovered her stage legs young, KC jumped feet first into this business called music, performing everywhere from Dollywood, where she was featured in Dolly Parton’s “Christmas Coat of Many Colors,” to cruise ships around the world. After performing in ports throughout the Atlantic, the Caribbean, and everywhere in between, she made her way up the mainstream music ladder, opening for artists like Luke Bryan, Chris Young, Randy Houser, and Trailer Choir.
2021 is the continuation of her page-turner of a story, with the release of three new singles, co-written and produced by GRAMMY-nominated producer and songwriter Billy Smiley (WhiteHeart, Johnny Cash, and Petra). With the music sensibility of Otis Redding, the raw stylings of Christ Stapleton, and the rock vibe of Led Zeppelin, each song is an audible shot of your libation of choice—they take your breath away, feel good going down, and leave you wanting more. Recorded at the legendary Sound Kitchen in Franklin, Tennessee, the creative process was as revelatory it was fun.
The end result is an artist who knows who she is, what she wants to say, and the best way to say it. “Getting her into the studio to write and record has been time well spent in developing the artist she is becoming,” says Smiley. For KC, already a seasoned songwriter, the creative energy poured into these songs was as much an exercise in self-discovery as it was a process of an artist coming into her own.“
For the first time in my life, I have met someone who seems to really understand the rawness and the restlessness in my soul,” says KC of Smiley. “We have so much fun writing and have really connected through the songs we have come up with, which just seem to keep getting better and better. They are me, they are my heart, and they have my energy and my soul. I hope they make other people feel as good as I did creating them.” “No More Chances,” “Whiskey Break,” and “Thunder” are currently available on Spotify, while her touring schedule can be found at KCJohns.rocks.