An east Kentucky native, Johnson grew up singing with her family’s Gospel group with both her parents serving as musical mentors. She’s been performing on her own since she finished college and started her own band, Billie Renee’ and Cumberland Gap, in 1997. They won the SPBGMA International Band Championship in 2006.
Songs From The Heart finds Billie Renee’ surround by some of Kentucky’s finest studio musicians, including Truegrass founder Rickey Wasson, who engineered and co-produced the project, plus Ron Stewart, Matt Leadbetter, Marty Raybon, Shayne Bartley, Josh Hymer, Harold Nixon, and several others. Johnson even recruited her parents to sing one of the songs with her.
She tells us that, in her case, the album title is literally true.
“During my 20 year stint of playing music, I’ve had the privilege of playing with some of the finest musicians and singers in the business, and more importantly have made friendships that will last a lifetime. This solo project literally comes from my heart; starting with artists that appeared on it, to choosing the songs that have a special meaning to me, and to joining the Truegrass Entertainment label. To say that I am excited about this project would not do it justice, the only words that can describe it best for me would be truly blessed and thankful for the opportunity to make it happen.”
It is available now to radio programmers at Airplay Direct, and will be available on iTunes in a few days. There will be copies on hand at the SPBGMA convention this weekend, offered for sale.