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Cirque Du Soleil
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(Cirque Du Soleil)
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“Whiteworld/Oedipus”
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Andy Timmons Band
“Gone (9/11/01)”
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Amos Lee
"Arms Of A Woman"
Amos Lee
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Julius Curcio
"American Pie"
Alligator Shoes
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Spotlights [Issue # 14 ]
Johnathan Rice:

By Lynne Bronstein


Johnathan Rice is a phenomenon at age 21. Born to Scottish parents and raised in locations ranging from Scotland to Washington D.C., Rice began writing songs while in his teens. After living and playing in New York for a year, he was about to abandon his ambitions for college when he was offered a deal with Warner/Reprise Records. About to tour for the release of his first full-length album Trouble Is Real, Rice talked with ONE WAY about his life and beliefs.

Johnathan Rice is a phenomenon at age 21. Born to Scottish parents and raised in locations ranging from Scotland to Washington D.C., Rice began writing songs while in his teens. After living and playing in New York for a year, he was about to abandon his ambitions for college when he was offered a deal with Warner/Reprise Records. About to tour for the release of his first full-length album Trouble Is Real, Rice talked with ONE WAY about his life and beliefs.

You grew up partly in Glasgow, Scotland. Do you feel like America is a “second country” to you?

I’ve always felt pretty conflicted about that, you know? I’ve always enjoyed both places. But I’ve made America my home. I live in Los Angeles now and before that I was living in New York City.

Tell me about those musical “flashes” you had while growing up.

I guess what I mean by that is I think there’s certain records that everyone hears - any kind of creative expression - there were just times in my life where I heard my favorite music for the first time. There’s nothing quite like hearing your favorite record for the first time. It will become your favorite record but at the time, you don’t know that. I had one of those experiences the first time I heard Astral Weeks by Van Morrison.

What’s special to you about Gram Parsons? You took your album title from one of his songs (“Hickory Wind” which Rice covers on Trouble Is Real).

There’s just something about Gram Parsons that’s so beautiful and interesting to me. I think that music is a great place to create a character for yourself. Gram Parsons is a good example of that. He was a rich boy who grew up on the citrus plantations of Florida and ended up going to Harvard University and then reinvented himself as this cosmic hippie and played country music in a more rock and roll way.

You took a year off to go live in New York and get into music instead of going to college. Was that scary for you?

Not for me. More for my friends and family. I think it didn’t really faze me at the time. I did it without really thinking about it. I had no plan. I was just there and started to play music.

What was special about working with Mike Mogis (producer of Trouble Is Real)?

Mike is.. a tremendous musical talent in his own right. He plays so many different instruments - the instrument credits on my album are pretty shocking. He’s a great musician . . . but he’s also technically brilliant. I was very impressed by Mike because every record he ever made I really liked.

What is your involvement with the film Walk The Line?

It’s a film about Johnny Cash. Joaquin Phoenix plays Johnny, Reese Witherspoon plays June Carter and I play Roy Orbison. My part is very small. Of course, my voice doesn’t sound like Roy Orbison’s - my voice is about 75 years older!
How did they get you for the part?

Someone involved with the production saw me when I was on tour. They just picked me for it and I did it. I pretended I was a movie star for a few weeks and then went back to being this folk musician who plays in really small clubs.

Now that this album is out though, you’ll be playing larger venues.

That’s the idea. But the trick is, people have to like it. People have to come and see you play. You’re only as good as your show.


trouble is real
Warner Bros.

Johnathan Rice trouble is real


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