Burbank, CA – Since the April 26, 2005, release of “Trouble Is Real,” his debut album on Reprise Records, singer and songwriter Johnathan Rice has emerged as one of the most promising up-and-coming young vocalists and songwriters on the scene today.
While building a loyal following here in the U.S., Rice’s popularity overseas is exploding at an alarming rate, especially in the UK: “‘Trouble Is Real’ is a tremendous debut,” enthused The Guardian. “Although indebted to Bob Dylan, Nick Drake and Jeff Buckley, it is a record of singular ambition.”
The excitement surrounding Rice is certain to spike when he appears by special invitation of REM as the band’s opening act on two major UK concerts this summer: July 9th in London’s Hyde Park and July 10th at the Millennium Arena in Cardiff.
He will also be headlining his first UK tour in July.
Johnathan Rice will also be making his acting debut later this year portraying legendary rocker Roy Orbison in “Walk The Line,” the upcoming film biography of Johnny Cash, directed by James Mangold (“Girl, Interrupted”) and starring Joaquin Phoenix as Cash and Reese Witherspoon as June Carter. The film’s soundtrack is being supervised by T Bone Burnett (“O Brother, Where Art Thou?”), who recently produced Rice’s rendition of the Johnny Cash original “You’re My Baby,” which will be featured in “Walk The Line.”
Meanwhile, music from “Trouble Is Real” is finding its way onto a wide variety of top-rated television shows. Included are such standout tracks as “Mid November,” heard on “One Tree Hill,” “So Sweet,” featured on “The O.C.,” and the unreleased “Quiet Hushed Voices,” highlighted on “Everwood.” Additionally, the Rice original, “Break So Easy,” which Q Magazine called “one of the 50 most essential tracks you need to download now,” has been heard on the hit shows “Smallville,” “Judging Amy” and “Six Feet Under.”
Born in Scotland and raised in rural Virginia, Rice counts among his eclectic early influences, Hank Williams, Nirvana, Billie Holiday, Bad Brains and Blind Willie McTell. His songwriting was also influenced by a wide range of reading, from James Joyce and Jean-Paul Sartre to Sylvia Plath and Flannery O’Connor. Small wonder Elle Girl Magazine called him “intelligent and talented,” adding, “what more could you ask for in a singer-songwriter?”