Turn Me On: The Saint Johns

Posted by Jim Nelson on 14 June 2016

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At last, even vegetarians have a reason to celebrate Taco Tuesdays. Or at least one particular Taco Tuesday.

If you were at this particular Taco Tuesday Party in St. Augustine, Florida, in 2008 you would have been in one of the rooms hooking up so you would not have noticed the moment when Jordan Meredith of St. Augustine and Louis Johnson from 250 miles away in West Palm Beach found themselves the last two at the party not partnered up, the moment when they began to share Jordan’s guitar, by turns playing each other song after song, that elusive moment when—if the stars align and the wind is blowing just right—two voices can find each other near the taco fixings and become one voice. In that moment, Jordan and Louis laid the foundation for The Saint Johns.

And since this is the point in the story where everyone assumes the rest of the story, maybe now is a good time to clear that up: They don’t date. Never have.

Jordan and Louis named their duo after the nearby Saint Johns River, and soon their blended voices were blowing minds in original Americana songs that rate comparison with fellow vocal bands Fleetwood Mac, The Civil Wars, The Lumineers, Delta Rae, and The Lone Bellow (with whom they’ve toured). After a yearlong hiccup in New York City they headed west for Nashville, where they’ve been a part of the scene since 2012; that same year, their free introductory EP/videos, Live Sessions, and their song Your Head and Your Heart on the Nashville Indie Spotlight compilation began to spread The Saint Johns beyond their neck of the woods.

A year after landing in Nashville The Saint Johns officially went national with an indie EP, Open Water, followed by a record deal with Sony imprint Kemosabe Records and a shot on David “Normally My Policy Is No Beginners, But These Kids Are So Good We Had To Have Them On The Show” Letterman.

A debut full-length CD, Dead of Night, complemented the EPs in 2016. Produced by Grammy-winner David Kahne, Dead of Night has the songs—Lost The Feeling, Coming Home, Falling, and Little Bit could all be hits—the expert performances, and the honest vulnerability—What Are You Doing Now, Shadowplay, and The Way You Did are all drowning in universal ache—to make Jordan Meredith and Louis Johnson two of this year’s more noteworthy singers and songwriters, and certain first-ballot Got Their Start on Taco Tuesday Hall of Famers.

See more Turn Me On at Rock Cellar Magazine


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