Carolyn Dawn Johnson’s Debut Aims High

New Singer-songwriter Has 10 Canadian Award Nominations

The debut album by newcomer Carolyn Dawn Johnson leads country CD releases this week. Also out are a solo project by an Alison Krauss sideman and reissues by Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty .

Johnson’s Room With a View on RCA Nashville has already yielded two hit singles, “Complicated” and “Georgia,” and earned her an unprecedented 10 nominations for the upcoming Canadian Country Music Awards.

Johnson had her sights set on Nashville from an early age, dropped out of college for a while to study recording engineering in Vancouver, British Columbia, and joined the Nashville Songwriters Association International from afar, eventually traveling to Nashville to attend its songwriting workshops. She had songs recorded by the likes of Kathy Mattea , but it was her background singing on Kenny RogersWild Horses and her demo recordings that led to a recording project and this album. Johnson wrote all 11 songs on the CD. Martina McBride and Kim Carnes add backing vocals.

Ron Block, the banjo player in Krauss’ Union Station Band, releases his first solo CD, Faraway Land, on Rounder Records. He joined Union Station in 1991. He wrote three songs on Krauss’ Every Time You Say Goodbye album, has had his songs recorded by Randy Travis and Rhonda Vincent and produced a gospel album by the Forbes Family on Rebel Records. Accompanying him on his own gospel album are Krauss, Jerry Douglas, Dan Tyminski, Barry Bales, Viktor Krauss, Stuart Duncan and the members of Nickel Creek . Block wrote all twelve songs on the album.

Lynn is represented by the reissue 20th Century Masters: The Best of Loretta Lynn: The Millennium Collection Vol. 2 on MCA Nashville. Produced by the late Owen Bradley, these 12 songs were recorded by Lynn between 1964 and 1981. Included are such Lynn classics as “The Pill,” “Fist City,” “Somebody Somewhere (Don’t Know What He’s Missing Tonight),” and a duet with the late Twitty on “As Soon as I Hang Up the Phone.”

Twitty also has a volume two in MCA’s Millennium series, and it includes a duet with Lynn on “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man.” Other cuts include “Fifteen Years Ago,” “A Bridge That Just Won’t Burn” and “She’s Got a Single Thing in Mind.”