new album out 1.31.2020

new full-length release "Holster Your Silver"

Out 1.31.2020 | Pre-order Vinyl Now via Little Village

I am so excited to share my new album, Holster Your Silver, with you! The release date will be Friday, January 31 2020. It is a very personal, emotional album for me, documenting some of the toughest years of my life. I am so proud of this project, produced by Ryan Joseph Anderson and recorded by Luke Tweedy at Flat Black Studios. Vinyl pre-sale is live now via Little Village Magazine, an important local Iowa City institution that has been so kind in helping release the vinyl. The 12-inch record comes with a digital download that includes a bonus track, "Melancholy Man," that is ONLY available on the vinyl digital download card.

I will be celebrating the release of Holster Your Silver at two of my favorite venues in the world. Friday, January 31st we'll be at The Mill in Iowa City and Saturday, February 1st at The Tonic Room in Chicago. Tickets are on-sale now (via the hyperlinks above) and if you buy your ticket in advance, I'll give you a free CD! What's not to love?

new single





Brian Johannesen

Iowa City songwriter

It’s been a rough year for Brian Johannesen. The same week he closed on his first house in Iowa City, IA, his mother-in-law went onto life support. Although she pulled through, her health steadily declined over the following months, leading to endless doctors appointments, hospital stays, rehab stints, and several months living with Brian and his wife. All the while Brian was trying to finish his second full-length solo release, “Holster Your Silver” (Due out Jan 31, 2020). Last April, she passed away in that new home.

While some of the songs on “Holster Your Silver” were written before any of this happened, they took on new meaning as he watched a loved one wither. The album inherited a haunting tone, dealing with personal issues like anxiety, loss, and a struggle to come to terms with an increasingly unjust political climate. These themes manifested themselves in an honest, lyric-forward collection of songs that offer a glimpse into the mind of a songwriter coming to grips with the real world.

A Chicago native and longtime Iowan, Johannesen’s Americana sound has always been firmly rooted in the Midwest. Drawing inspiration from his heroes like John Prine, Guy Clark, and Bruce Springsteen, he writes about everyday life with sincerity and often a little bit of his tongue in his cheek. Johannesen’s songs also carry a twang he learned from four years spent in Nashville, where he formally studied Music Business and informally studied the songwriters and musicians who inhabit Music City. He returned to Iowa City in 2016 where he felt more at home and free to pursue music without the industry looming over his head.

Songwriting has always been Johannesen’s passion, but for the past 6 years the music industry has also been his day job. He has worked as a talent buyer for clubs and festivals across the country over the years, and this experience has helped him understand the real struggle of musicians and promoters alike. This struggle also presents itself in his music as he reconciles the new and old models of “making it” in the business.

With “Holster Your Silver,” Johannesen takes a step forward, leaning into a craft he has worked at for over a decade. The result is a songwriter finding his own voice that is powerful, delicate, artful and accessible all at the same time.

Through the years, Johannesen has had the honor of sharing the stage with Shovels & Rope, Justin Townes Earle, Joe Pug, Greg Brown, The Felice Brothers, JD McPherson, Other Lives, S. Carey, The Cave Singers, William Elliott Whitmore, Langhorne Slim, Lydia Loveless, Junior Brown, Cory Branan, Paul Thorn, Willy Tea Taylor, Charlie Parr, David Dondero, and many more.



bjjohannesen [at] gmail [dot] com


With gritty vocals and a swaggering, everyman style of country rock Johannesen’s sound is at times reminiscent of acts like Lucero, Ryan Bingham, and James McMurtry. ”

Glide Magazine

“Holster Your Silver” is an intimate, wind-swept ballad about resilience and healing. The pedal steel guitar and gradual crescendo of strings vividly illustrates the Midwestern plains Johannesen evokes in his lyrics. His plaintive singing puts us square in the middle -- of the country, his emotions and the devastating changes in his life. Yet the friendly rasp in the singer’s voice suggests that all things pass in time.” - Rachel Cholst

The Boot

Northern Town has a wonderful arc to it. The songs tell some great stories, but the story that the album as a whole tells is just as compelling. There’s a homecoming hidden in there, if you listen for it, and also a bit of the wisdom that tells us that finding the way home doesn’t always mean an end to our searching.” - Genevieve Trainor

Little Village Magazine