Macon-based band Royal Johnson releases debut album “Belly Full”


Royal Johnson members Andy Johnson (guitar and vocals), Chance Royal (guitar), Kevin Vines (bass and vocals), and Joanie Ferguson (drums and vocals) take photo for Belly Full album release.

Ireal James, Contributing Writer

Over the past six months, the Macon-based band Royal Johnson has worked its way up from a group of two Georgia-born artists to a four-member band consisting of members from Washington and Michigan.

Citing musical influences from talents such as Macon-native blues and funk guitarist Robert Lee Coleman, the band released its full-length debut album on Sept. 25.

The album, “Belly Full,” begins almost as if you are cruising as the sun sets. The country styled rock tune “Sunset Roller Palace” starts the album off with a fresh, upbeat melody.

“Boar,” the first song with lyrics on the album, uses word play from the album’s title with the line “find that red tomato / squeeze tight / bust it / with a large grip / with a large grip.”

The selection showcases its country rock roots with its repetitive and direct phrasing and word choice.

Songs like “Plow” keep up the rock n’ roll influence, and the selection “Ballad of Birmingham” mellows the album with its mysterious sound and subdued tempo, which complement the continuous pattern of the drums.

Royal Johnson members Andy Johnson, Chance Royal, Kevin Vines, and Joanie Ferguson combine their musical talents into a bit of folk, a bit of rock n’ roll and a touch of blues for the remainder of the album.

The songs on the album “Belly Full” are well-balanced. Though the guitar is an instrument used consistently in the album, it does not overwhelm Johnson, the band’s lead singer. No one instrument overshadows another.

The album started as a scattering of demos about a year ago, but when a substantial group of songs had been produced, the group decided to begin planning an album.

“I think listeners will notice that while every song is decidedly southern. Several different genres are presented and put together,” Johnson said.

Royal Johnson’s next performance in Macon will take place at The Crazy Bull on January 15, 2016.