Nearly 15 years ago, a child from Kersey came face to face with the inspiration that sparked a fire in his belly and a passion in his heart.
Alongside hundreds of other country music fans, a young Johnny Day stood in the Greeley Stampede Arena as a then-up-and-coming Brad Paisley took the stage and wowed the crowd with his guitar playing and singing.
“I had never seen anything like it in my life. He was sitting up there tearing it up and singing and playing,” Day said. “I was determined to get myself a Telecaster like the one in Brad Paisley and get the same amp as him.”
Day, 28, first became interested in the guitar when he was 12 years old.
“A good friend of mine, his older brother played guitar and I had expressed interest and told my mum about it,” Day explained. “And she went out and bought me a guitar for Christmas that year.”
Day’s mother also helped the youngster get into a band run by a former colleague from King Soopers.
“He was an old man when I met him and he kind of taught me the ropes of live playing. It was just a cover band and I started playing at 13,” said “I played my first show just when I was about to turn 13, so I was super young. They were seasoned musicians and they allowed me to come and play with them.
While Paisley, Keith Urban, Brent Mason and Shania Twain inspired Day to pursue a career in country music, the musician is a fan of all genres of music.
“I love making music. I’m a music junkie; I’m the definition of it,” Day said. “I can listen to orchestral music, jazz music, country music, pop music – I like everything.”
As we all know, the music industry is a badass and many artists work full time to help pay the bills while pursuing their music career. The day was no different.
Day took a job with Extraction Oil and Gas, now Civitas Resources, in Windsor where he worked in the oil fields during the week and flew to Nashville every weekend to work on his music.
“I have a favorite list on Southwest,” Day laughed. “I just left the oilfield in May. I had been in the oil fields for about eight years at that time.
While Paisley is now enjoying the fruits of his success which has earned him numerous awards and accolades, Day is working to carve his own path in the world of country music.
As Paisley returns to perform for the 100th Greeley Stampede on Friday, June 24, Day is busy in Nashville working on his debut album and releasing singles.
Day has released two singles, “Wild” and “Left Hand Heavy”, and is working on his third, “Every Beer Every Bar”, written by singer/songwriter Zack Dyer. Dyer wrote the lyrics to Tim McGraw’s “If I Was a Cowboy”, which was released in August 2020.
“Every Beer Every Bar” is a classic country song about love gone wrong about trying to find relief from heartache at the bottom of a beer glass.
“It’s a beautiful image of when I was in my early twenties trying to figure out how to deal with a broken heart and lonely situations,” Day said. “I think it’s a very relevant topic that happens to a lot of people. It highlights that whole period of life where you’re just figuring things out and how to deal with emotions.
“Sometimes you just have to open a cold one and have a little fun and get in the moment.”
Day worked with The 720 along with Jarrod Ingram and Blake Hubbard to produce the album as well as Warner Chappell’s BJ Hill.
As with many things, the pandemic put a damper on the production and release of the album.
“It was a difficult situation. I had actually recorded a full album with legendary musicians in a legendary studio just before COVID hit,” Day said. “It really put a damper on it all because you couldn’t go out and play your music or promote it.”
Although he couldn’t perform in person, the pandemic forced Day to up his social media game.
“He introduced a new channel on how to get music out into the world. So Instagram and Tiktok really became the way to be successful in this business,” he said. “Which is pretty crazy because it has never been like this. It was a big deal before COVID to have social media numbers, but after COVID, that’s it. That’s all the labels look at. Having those social media numbers is a big problem.
COVID also put the kibosh on Day’s chance to perform in front of local folks at the Greeley Stampede opening for Brett Young in 2020.
“COVID has canceled this show. It’s like one of my big goals, I grew up there my whole life and went to the Greeley Stampede,” Day said. “I will get there, I will play it for sure. But it was heartbreaking.
Day has performed numerous shows at venues across the United States, including Bluebird Café and the Key West Songwriters Festival, as well as the Rocky Mountain Country Music Awards in Greeley, where he was nominated for New Country Artist and Performer. of the Year.
“I came to Nashville and I’m doing all of this now because I want to release songs that are real and about real people,” Day said. “That has always been my goal. Just make great songs that really speak to people and give you that inspiration that people can listen to long after I’m gone.
When he’s not recording or playing, Day enjoys spending time with his wife and child.
For more information on Johnny Day, his music and upcoming performances, visit www.johnnydayofficial.com.