Jill Johnson: Swedish Country/Roots Singer

I know next to nothing about Jill Johnson other than: She’s a Swedish country/roots singer who delivered a wondrous rendition of Emmylou Harris’ “Boulder to Birmingham” at the recent Polar Music Awards ceremony honoring Emmylou.

Her CDs, imports all, are prohibitively expensive on Amazon, otherwise one or two would already be in my library. None are available, even as CD-quality FLAC downloads, in the Pono or HDTrack stores. A few are available in the iTunes store, true, but the idea of loading squashed 256kbps files onto my Pono Player turns my stomach.

Anyway, Jill seems like a cool person. Last year, while recording a TV series about Nashville for Swedish television, she happened upon a struggling street performer named Doug Seegers, liked what she heard and invited him into Johnny Cash’s old studio to record with her and Magnus Carlson (of the Weeping Willows). He soon had a hit on his hand. It’s a good song.

From the YouTube videos I’ve watched, she has impeccable taste in material. Here she is, from a 2008 TV special, covering Emmylou’s “Rhythm Guitar” – and when was the last time anyone covered that overlooked Ballad of Sally Rose gem?

And here’s a trifecta: the Rolling Stones’ “Tumbling Dice,” Bruce Springsteen’s “No Surrender” and the Eagles’ “Desperado.”

She also has plenty of original material – her co-writers, from what (little) I’ve gathered tend to include Liz Rose, who’s co-written many of Taylor Swift’s hits, and Lisa Carver, whose songs have been recorded by Reba McEntire, Tanya Tucker and Willie Nelson, among others.

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