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Nick Johnson

How does a kid leave a small New England town, a year out of high school, with absolutely no music industry connections, find his way to the heartbeat of the South and play guitar alongside some of its best-known musicians? Says Nick Johnson: “Never, ever think of failure as an option.”

The Massachusetts native came to Atlanta in 2007 and has performed with such musical masters as Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes and Oteil Burbridge of the Allman Brothers Band; Colonel Bruce HamptonJimmy Herring of Widespread Panic; Bonnie Raitt; Grant Green Jr.; and Yonrico Scott of the Derek Trucks Band, to name a few, all before his 26th birthday.

In Atlanta, Johnson fell under the wing of Hampton, who has a history of mentoring young musicians, and quickly gained a reputation as “the young guitar player to watch.” Today he’s a mainstay in the band of Randall Bramblett, the noted songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based in Athens.