Johnston sings with soul

Lara Johnston, daughter of the Doobie Brothers' Tom Johnston, is the opening act for her dad at the South Okanagan Events Centre Oct. 27.

LARA JOHNTSON will be opening up for the Doobie Brother’s and her father

LARA JOHNTSON will be opening up for the Doobie Brother’s and her father

We all take after our parents to some extent, in Lara Johnston’s case, she acquired a sense of soul from her father.

The daughter of the Doobie Brothers’ Tom Johnston, Lara will be the opening act on eight stops on the Doobie Brothers tour, including the Oct. 27 performance at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton.

Growing up listening to the same soul legends as her dad like Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, Johnston acquired a taste for the music that still influences her today.

“My dad played a lot of soul music for me growing up. That was something I really latched on to,” Johnston said.

Johnston is currently working on an untitled project to bring that connection to early soul to fruition.

“It’s definitely really soul influenced because that’s what I’ve grown up loving, and that’s kind of where my heart is,” Johnston said.

She is now compiling as much work as possible before putting anything together officially in hopes of being able to pick out the tracks she connects with most.

“It’s always a process but I know that the more you do it the closer you are to finding those moments that really feel genuine,” Johnston said.

Johnston promises an album of honest lyrics with a sense of humour when appropriate.

“It’s very personal, very me,” Johnston said.

Johnston gained more than a taste for soul from her father. Early on she discovered the work ethic that is involved in pursuing a career in music.

“He’s a really hard worker and growing up seeing that really showed me that when you love something you have to put the hours in,” Johnston said.

While work ethic isn’t what comes to mind when most people think “rock star”, Johnston feels it was a cornerstone of her father’s success and hopes to imitate his determination and commitment in her own career.

“He’s so disciplined to this day, he really puts the hours in, he takes it so seriously, and it pays off, he’s amazing,” said Johnston. “Hearing his voice, seeing his work ethic, seeing him perform, he’s an incredible, confident performer on stage and that’s something I’ve definitely aspired to.”

For her, the recent stint on the Doobie Brothers tour has acted somewhat like a small family reunion.

“It’s fun because I’ve known the guys in the band forever, so it’s fun to be travelling alongside them and getting to see their show every night.”

Like many rock and roll fans, Johnston grew up on the Doobie Brothers, perhaps more than anyone else could ever boast, and still gets that familiar feeling when she hears the classic songs.

“It feels so good to me because it’s stuff that I grew up on, so it feels like home,” Johnston said.

Joining in on part of the tour has been an opportunity for her to work on her stage presence and the finer points of her performance as well. Johnston has also taken some time to take in the many subtleties of the Canadian experience.

“It’s cool being somewhere different from America, as silly as that sounds, to be able to see the things that make Canada Canada. To hear the accents, see the signs in English and French and visit Tim Hortons,” Johnston laughed.

Johnston has been making her own waves in collaborations with bands like The New Velvet  and winning accolades such as the Unsigned Only award for independent musicians. The competition is put on by the International Songwriting Competition (ISC) and Johnston was the first to recieve the prize with her single K.I.S.S.

“It was a really cool experience,” said Johnston. “It definitely got me a lot of exposure I wouldn’t have otherwise gotten. I got a lot of phone calls and opportunities to talk to people and collaborate,”

Tickets for The Doobie Brothers are $49.50, $64.50 and $82. Tickets can be purchased at by telephone at 1-877-SOEC-TIX (763.2849) or in person at the Valley First Box Office and Wine Country Visitor Centre.





Just Posted

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Naramata community in shock as condolences pour in for homicide victim Kathy Richardson

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

The RCMP are asking for assistance regarding the death of Kathleen Richardson of Naramata, pictured here. Her death is believed to be related to two homicides in Naramata in May. (RCMP)
Suspected Naramata homicide victim identified by police

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday

(File photo)
Reports of aggressive deer in Penticton prompt warning from city

Expect female deer to be more aggressive over the next two months

(File photo)
Mobile drop-in vaccination clinic coming to Oliver

All those in the Oliver area who have not yet received their first dose are eligible for the vaccine

Dr. Albert de Villiers, chief medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a summary of this week’s biggest stories from the Okanagan-Shuswap

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Fair-goers take a ride at the 120th annual Armstrong Interior Provincial Exhibition and Stampede Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 2019. (Katherine Peters - Morning Star)
Armstrong’s IPE not eligible for COVID-19 grant designed for major attractions

Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo criticized the rigidity of the provincial program’s criteria

Two e-scooters parked on the sidewalk along Water Street in downtown Kelowna on Monday, May 3. Scooters parked on walkways are causing accessibility issues for some people with disabilities. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Kelowna General Hospital clinicians observe increase in e-scooter injuries

A report is set to go to city council next week on how the e-scooter pilot has gone thus far

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Most Read