Reigning SCMA Emerging Artist of the Year still surprised by award recognition

The 2023 SCMA Emerging Artist of the Year Adam Johnson will be in Prince Albert on Saturday performing at the Rock Trout Café as part of the Blue Moon Tour with Josh Stumpf. -- Photo by Kathrine Marie.

Nearly 10 months after being named the Saskatchewan Country Music Association (SCMA) Emerging Artist of the Year, Adam Johnson is still a little surprised.

The Saskatoon-based musician has had plenty to keep him busy since winning the award in June 2023, but when he stops and thinks about the honour it’s still a little surreal.

“It’s still pretty crazy to think about the fact that I was able to win an award for music,” Johnson said with a chuckle. “The fact that I get to step on stage and play songs I wrote for people, to me, is still the craziest thing ever and I’m cherishing every single moment and every single show I get to play.”

Johnson hasn’t slowed down since his win. Over the past year he’s released a series of singles for his new album and continues to perform across Saskatchewan. His next show is planned for Saturday night at the Rock Trout Café as part of the Blue Moon Tour.

“I’ve been looking to play in PA for a while and just looking for something that’s the right fit,” Johnson said. “I saw some video of a performance there and it looked like a really cool venue and something that can be a really fun place to play.

“Everyone I’ve talked to has had nothing but good things to say about it, so I’m really excited for Rock Trout.”

Johnson’s music and style are flown blown country, but it didn’t start that way. His first love was rock music and artists like The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, but he became a country music fan after listening to Deirks Bently, Kenny Chesney, and Waylon Jennings.

That mass of influences all found a home in his new album.

“I sat down and wanted to just explore the country genre and see what I could do with it,” he said. “There’s a little bit of everything…. (It’s) exploring my musical tastes and putting that into an album and creating something that I can look back on, hopefully, in 20 years and be really proud of.”

Saturday’s show will be Johnson’s first in Prince Albert, but he’s spent plenty of time in the area over the years. His family has a cabin at Emma Lake, and he’s performed at a few events in the Lakeland Area, so a tour stop in Prince Albert almost feels like home.

He’s even bringing a familiar Prince Albert voice with him in Josh Stumpf.

“In May of last year he did an acoustic opening show for us,” Johnson said. “I’d known him before that and he’s just insanely talented. We’ve done some writing together and I have nothing but good things to say (about him).

“When I’m doing shows with people, I just try to find artists where I really respect their music and respect them as people and there’s not many better than Josh, so it’s awesome to have him.”

Johnson will be back performing in the PA area this summer. He’s scheduled to play Country at the Creek Music Festival in July—a gig he’s long looked forward to.

“I’ve been following the festival for a long time,” he said. “I’ve never been able to get out to it, but it’s always been a bucket list thing for me, so I’m really excited.”

Adam Johnson’s Blue Moon Tour with Josh Stumpf is scheduled for Saturday, April 20 at the Rock Trout Events Centre. The doors open at 7 p.m., with the music starting at 8 p.m.