American Idol finalists Michael Johns and Brooke White announce tour

Brooke White and Michael Johns
Brooke White and Michael Johns
Former American Idol finalists, Michael Johns and Brooke White, have just announced a slew of tour dates. The first show will kick off in Pomona, CA on August 16th. Johns will be promoting his new album Hold Back My Heart, which hit stores in late June. The Aussie singer will be premiering the video for the first single off the album, “Heart on My Sleeve,” shortly. White will be out supporting her album High Hopes & Heartbreak which will be released on July 21st. “Radio Radio,” the first single pulled from the album has already had critics comparing her to greats like Carly Simon and Carol King. Both Johns and White’s albums were produced by David Cobb who also worked with artists like Chris Cornell and Shooter Jennings.

MICHAEL JOHNS / BROOKE WHITE 2009 TOUR

8/16 – Pomona, CA @ Glass House
8/17- Sacramento, CA @ Boardwalk
8/19 – Reno, NV @ Club Underground
8/21 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
8/22 – Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey
8/23 – Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory
8/24 – Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
8/26 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Avalon Theater
8/27 – Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
8/29 – Lawrence, KS @ Bottleneck
8/30 – Des Moines, IA @ People’s Court

Michael Johns offers free MP3 to fans

Michael Johns
Michael Johns
Former American Idol finalist, Michael Johns, released “Hold Back My Heart,” his new solo album, last week. The 12 song collection was produced by Dave Cobb (Brooke White, Shooter Jennings) and features the hit single “Heart on My Sleeve” which Amazon.com is giving away for free this week! Johns filmed a video for the track which will be premiering next month.

While the Australian singer was in New York City last week promoting Hold Back My Heart, he stopped by the studios of UGO.com where he filmed an acoustic video performance of a few songs from the album. Below is John’s stripped down version of “To Love Somebody” which was originally written by the Bee Gees for Otis Redding back in 1967. Unfortunately, the soul legend tragically died in a plan crash before he ever had the chance to record it. The song has gone on to be covered by artists as varied as Billy Corgan, Nina Simone, Damien Rice, and Ace of Base, among others. Check out Michael Johns’ stirring version below.

“TO LOVE SOMEBODY” video performance embed code:

Michael Johns to perform “Heart on my Sleeve” on Ellen DeGeneres Show

Michael Johns
Michael Johns
Former American Idol finalist, MICHAEL JOHNS will be performing his new single “Heart on My Sleeve” on The Ellen DeGeneres Show next Monday, May 25th. The Aussie vocalist will be releasing his first post-Idol solo album, Hold Back My Heart on June 23rd. Encouraged by his mentor David Foster, who invited Johns to appear on his star-studded David Foster And Friends PBS special in December 2008, Johns chose the road less traveled, and for the first time in his adult life, went to work on an album with no deal in place. “Foster always said that the secret of his success is to look at whatever lane is open in the music industry and take it,” Johns recalls. “And the way my record combines old and new, I could open for Alicia Keys one night and John Mayer the next, it’s right in the middle.” Songwriter Diane Warren, who penned the knee-buckling ballad “Heart Is Weak,” was another key endorsement. “There’s nothing more validating than having these heavyweights behind you,” says Johns. “It’s like screw winning American Idol when people like David Foster and Diane Warren are saying you have the real thing here.”

With an album completed and ready to turn in, Johns had the rare freedom to shop it around, and when Downtown Records, home to Gnarls Barkley, Cold War Kids and Santigold, showed interest in a licensing deal, he jumped at the opportunity to finally control his own fate. “I think we’re in the most exciting period of music ever, because there’s so many ways to do it,” he says. And like most of his plans thus far, Johns is thinking big for his future. “The live show is going to be great,” he says excitedly. “I might even take it old school with different bands in different towns — almost like what Chuck Berry and all those guys used to do.”

Heart On My Sleeve – Michael Johns

American Idol finalist Michael Johns to release “Hold Back My Heart”

Michael Johns
Michael Johns
A year after his electrifying performances made him a favorite with “American Idol” fans around the world, singer-songwriter Michael Johns will release debut album Hold Back My Heart on June 23 through TRP Records being distributed by Downtown Records/Fontana.

Johns was a top ten finalist during season 7 of “American Idol” and his departure from the show drew outcries from the series’ mega-million-strong audience and helped inspire a new rule for the current season. This year sees the show using a new “judges save” rule for the top 13 finalists, allowing judges to keep a contestant from being eliminated prematurely. When introducing the new rule, the show ran footage of Michael Johns, Chris Daughtry and Jennifer Hudson and asked “what do these three Idols have in common,” with the answer being that all three were sent home too soon.

Not that Johns is complaining.

“Talk about the chance of a lifetime,” says the Aussie native. “’Idol’ allowed me to introduce myself to the world and I plan on making the most of that opportunity.”

He’ll start with Hold Back My Heart, an album that sees Johns drawing inspiration from his own idols—Paul Weller, Joe Cocker, the Faces—to create a stunning collection of blues-soaked rock and classic soul songs. Among the album’s many highlights is lead single “Heart On My Sleeve,” co-written by John Shanks (Carlos Santana, Sting, Bon Jovi). The track impacts radio on April 21 and iTunes on April 14.

In between his time on “Idol” and the recording of Hold Back My Heart, Johns recorded the holiday song “Another Christmas” and donated its proceeds to the Red Cross and ALS. He also co-wrote the soundtrack for the acclaimed documentary Don’t Look Down, based on Olympic gold medalist Shaun White, performed on the west coast run of Kanye West’s “Glow in the Dark” tour and on the PBS special “Hit Man: David Foster and Friends,” the latter featuring Michael Buble, Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli. Additional appearances include “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” ‘Live with Regis & Kelly,” “The Today Show,” and “Ellen.” In addition Johns just co-wrote a track for the upcoming album from “Idol” alum Brooke White.

”I remember driving down the freeway at age 15 and Pearl Jam’s ‘Daughter’ was on the radio,” Johns recalls. “I don’t know what it was about that song, but afterward I kept singing it over and over. The feeling it gave me made me say, ‘I have to do this for life.’ I started a band a few months later and have been going ever since. I never dreamed it would take me here.”