And while Johnson describes the group's music as a mixture of “rock, funk, soul and country,” he is quick to point out that the band does not identify itself with any particular musical genre.
“We just like music,” he said, crediting a number of artistic influences - from The Beatles to Bob Dylan - as inspirations for writing and performing music.
But Johnson, lead vocalist, also credits each band member's musical background and upbringing. That includes Kenny Wright, of Nashville, on drums and guitar, and Nicholas Nguyen, of Canada, on banjo, guitar and several other instruments.
So fans of all musical genres may find a tune or two to enjoy at Friday's Poke Sallet Festival in downtown Harlan.
“We'll be playing lots of different stuff,” Johnson said, adding that songs from previous records will also be performed at the festival.
Entertaining audiences since 1989, Johnson said Bonepony has been performing “in its current form” for the last seven years. The band's first album, “Stomp Revival,” was released in 1995 not long after gaining recognition from record and publishing companies in Nashville.
Since that time, the band has released its fourth independent and “fifth regular” album, “Feelin' It.” The album was released May 27 and is available on the group's Web site.
Having been featured recently on Kentucky Educational Television's popular “Jubilee” series, which showcases nationally known singers and musicians from summer folk music festivals throughout the state, Bonepony is gaining recognition for its musical tastes and performances. The program captured an appearance by the band at the 2005 Master Musicians Festival in Somerset.
Tona Barkley, spokesperson for KET, said “Jubilee” producers choose two summer festivals to tape and create programs “out of the best performances.”
“Bonepony was at the Master Musicians Festival last summer and, of course, they were one of the stand out groups,” Barkley said.
Johnson said he also credits the band's unique musical style to spending time on the road, listening to tunes and collaborating musically. Upcoming performances will take the group “all over the place,” from Winston-Salem, N.C., to Elko, Nev., and New York City. The three will also perform again at the Master Musicians Festival in Somerset on July 15.
“We draw inspiration from everything. The Beatles, Steve Earle, Bob Dylan - they've all inspired me,” he said, adding that the “old-school church songs” from his childhood still bring tears to his eyes.
“We're from all parts of the country. We just like music,” he said.