Unplugged event on May 24.
By RICK CURL
Of The Record Staff
There’s free music on the way later this month thanks to Angier singer/songwriter Paige Johnson.
Ms. Johnson will be joined by a pair of young entertainers when she revives Angier Unplugged on Thursday, May 24.
“I started Angier Unplugged last summer as a way to offer another night of live music for people in the community, but in a different setting than the normal dinner theater we put on as ‘Country on the Outskirts of Town’,” Ms. Johnson said. “Angier Unplugged is a very informal night that is free to the public and open to all ages. I decided to call it Angier Unplugged because that’s what it is — an unplugged, acoustic show where myself and other local songwriters come in to share the stories behind the songs we write.”
Joining her will be Faith Bardill and Justin West in the show that gets underway at 7:30 p.m. at Johnson Properties, 48 Progressive Parkway, Angier.
“Another really fun thing I have found as I’ve planned these Angier Unplugged shows is that I have discovered so many talented songwriters and artists in our local area that I have never been able to meet,” Ms. Johnson said. “As artists and traveling musicians, we are always making these blanket statements about how ‘yeah, we really need to get together sometime to write some songs, or we need to plan a show together’ but they most likely never come to fruition because we all get so caught up in our own shows and stuff. But with this show pulling multiple local songwriters together I’m able to play shows and make friends with these people I’ve been hearing about for so long, it’s great.”
Ms. Bardill is the 2016 Carolina Music Awards Country Female Artist of The Year and the 2015 Carolina Music Awards Teen Artist of The Year.
She has shared the stage with several recognizable names including Craig Campbell, Justin Moore and The Embers.
Ms. Johnson said it was at the Carolina Music Awards where the two became friends. It was a meeting long overdue according to Ms. Johnson.
“We had both heard of each other just from other musician friends, but had never been able to catch each other at a show or anything,” Ms. Johnson said. “But once we met and talked for just a little while during our sound check at the Carolina Music Awards we became instant friends.”
Ms. Johnson says the two discovered they are a lot alike and appreciate each other’s presence in the music industry in North Carolina.
“Faith and I are very similar in many ways and we both agree that it’s nice to have another girl in the country music scene here in North Carolina that understands the struggles we face and the things we must do to get our names out there,” Ms. Johnson said. “She’s such a sweet person and an amazing songwriter. I’m so excited to finally get her down to Angier, from her home in Sanford, to play a show with me.”
For Justin West, it has been an unusual transition to musician from an ordinary country boy. After trading a shotgun for his first guitar, he quickly picked up the instrument and was well on his way.
He and his brother-in-law took the humble beginnings of forming a band and finally saw things take shape in 2017 when his own music helped him take the next step.
He has been the opening act for several popular artists including Chris Janson, Granger Smith, Canaan Smith and Parmalee.
“I am just a small-town kid with a big-time dream and I write about what I know,” he said. “My songs represent who I am and the way I see things, and I thank anyone who has supported me along the way.”
When the two take the stage at Angier it will be the first time they’ve met according to Ms. Johnson. It’s something she’s very excited about.
“Like Faith, I have heard about Justin and everything he is doing with his music through other musician friends, but with each of our schedules being so filled with our own shows and writes and such, we have never been able to meet,” she said. “I’ve been following Justin for a while, keeping up with everything he’s been doing and I’m so excited to finally have him at this show. From what I’ve heard so far, he’s also a great songwriter and artist.”