Michael Johnson to Bring A DOWN-HOME HOLIDAY to ECC Arts Center, 12/14

Michael Johnson to Bring A DOWN-HOME HOLIDAY to ECC Arts Center, 12/14

American pop, country and folk singer/songwriter and guitarist Michael Johnson brings his one-man show "Michael Johnson: A Down Home Holiday" to the ECC Arts Center, located in Building H on the Elgin Community College Campus, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Known for pop hits "Bluer Than Blue," "I Know This Night Won't Last Forever" and the country hit "Give Me Wings," Grammy-nominated songwriter Johnson says "The show provides a healthy sense of humor and features a compilation of old and new material including some classic hits and some holiday oriented works, (but not a lot of the 'Jingle Bell' type stuff)." Billboard Magazine calls Johnson, "A dazzling guitarist and wonderfully expressive singer. No two shows are alike."

The Colorado-born Johnson picked up the guitar when he was 13 and won an international talent contest in the mid-1960s that led to Epic Records releasing his single, "Hills." In 1966 he moved to Spain to study guitar at the Liceu Conservatory. After moving back to the U.S., he was a member of several bands, including a trio featuring folk legend John Denver. After the group dissolved, he appeared in an off-Broadway/touring production of "Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris" before releasing his first album, "This Is a Breeze," in 1973 on Atco Records. More albums followed before he broke into the national scene in 1978 with "Bluer Than Blue," released on "The Michael Johnson Album" "Bluer Than Blue" peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart that summer, reaching No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. To date, Johnson has charted four hits on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, and nine more on the Hot Country Songs charts, including two Number One country hits, "Give Me Wings" (1986) and "The Moon is Still Over Her Shoulder" (1987).

Johnson toured with the Clint Black-Wynonna Judd tour in 1993 and Alison Krauss and Union Station in 1997. In 2012, Johnson released "Moonlit Déjà Vu," his first album in eight years, which featured a collaboration with his biological daughter Truly Carmichael, whom Johnson met for the first time in August, 2009.

Johnson's music and concerts have taken him all over the world, performing many times throughout the U.S. as well as Japan, Holland, Spain, Switzerland and The Philippines. Currently a resident of Minneapolis, Minn., his holiday concerts at the Tony Award-winning Guthrie Theater are lorE. Johnson often performs alone, preferring the intimacy and spontaneity a one-man show allows. "I like to talk to people and I love to make them laugh," says Johnson. "And, of course, I have to move them with the music...Without that, there is no reason to be on stage."

"Michael Johnson: A Down-Home Holiday" comes to the ECC Arts Center, in Building H on the Elgin Community College Campus, 1700 Spartan Drive, Saturday, Dec. 14, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25. A three-course, pre-show dinner prepared by ECC's award-winning Culinary Arts and Hospitality program can be purchased online for an additional $29. The Menu for Dec. 14 will include Cream of Chestnut with Pancetta Soup, Filet with Horseradish and Garlic Crust in a Red Wine Sauce, Dauphinois Potatoes and Eggnog Mousse. Dinners are served at 5:30 p.m. in the Spartan Terrace Restaurant, located in the lobby of the ECC Arts Center. Dinners must be ordered on or before Monday, Dec. 9.

Tickets for the ECC Arts Center performance and pre-show dinner can be purchased online at tickets.elgin.edu or at the ECC box office located in the Arts Center. Box office hours are noon to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon to 5 p.m. Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. To purchase tickets by phone, call 847-622-0300. All major credit cards are accepted.

The ECC Arts Center, located in Building H on the Elgin Community College Campus, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, presents amazing artists in intimate theater settings. Delicious dinners prepared through a partnership with the ECC's award-winning culinary arts program often accompany events. Parking is plentiful and free.

For more information about the ECC Arts Center, visit tickets.elgin.edu or call 847-622-0300. The arts center also can be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/ECCArtsCenter. Become a fan of the arts center on Facebook at facebook.com/ECCArtsCenter.