Key to the Highway: Johnny Chops

Interviews Key to the Highway Series

Americana Highways’ ​Key to the Highway​ series

Fans always clamor to learn more about their favorite, most beloved musicians and those who travel with them. There’s such an allure to the road, with its serendipity, inevitable surprises, and sometimes unexpected discomforts. This interview series is a set of questions we are asking some of our favorite roots rock Americana artists to get to know more about them and what they’ve learned and experienced on the road. We are sure they have key insights to share and stories to tell. Here’s one from Johnny Chops. 

AH:  How do you like your coffee or other morning wake-up beverage?

JC: Early, strong and black. Preferably dark roast.

AH: What’s the most interesting or strangest motel/hotel or place you have stayed (while on the road?)

JC: We used to play a venue in Missouri, I won’t divulge the name and I don’t even think it exists anymore but it was a converted hotel bar in a rundown motel that I’m fairly sure was one of those “hourly rental” type places. I actually only took a shower and then slept in the van.

AH: If one CD is stuck in the player in the van for the entire tour, what do you hope it is? And why?

JC: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The first album. It’s the perfect rock and roll road trip album and it always puts a smile on my face.

AH: What’s one personal item you must have with you on your road trip?

JC: A good long, book. Sometimes there’s no power, batteries die. The Immortal Irishman by Timothy Egan was really good.

AH: What is your relationship with food? How do you handle this on the road, and what’s your favorite dish on the road, (or restaurant, and what do you order there)?

JC: I try and eat healthy when I can. That being said, if I’m somewhere that has a local tradition or specialty, ie; oysters in Seattle, gumbo in New Orleans or green chilies in New Mexico, I go that route. Always local over chain restaurants. The same goes for beers as well.

AH: If you could pause your life for a few weeks and spend some time living in a place you only have passed through, which would you choose, and why?

JC: The Pacific northwest, anywhere from NorCal to Vancouver. It’s so beautiful and vastly different from Texas.

AH: What quote or piece of advice have you gotten from someone on the road that has really stuck with you?

JC: Be nice to everyone on the way up, because you’ll see them again on the way back down.

Find all things Johnny Chops, and Randy Rogers Band, here &

See other Key to the Highway interviews here: (click here for: Bruce Cockburn Jimbo Mathus Charlie Musselwhite Jim White Danny Barnes  Patterson Hood Jerry Joseph BJ Barham Rodney Crowell Todd Snider Elizabeth Cook Tommy Womack Eric Ambel, Dan Baird, Robbie Fulks, Malcolm Holcombe Jon Langford Steve Poltz, Lilly Hiatt  Sarah Shook & the Disarmers )

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