Johnston's career spans performing, composing, improvising, arranging, engraving, sound designing and teaching. He holds a Masters of Music in composition from the University of Texas - Austin (UT) and a Bachelors of Music in composition from the University of Missouri - Columbia with an emphasis in piano performance and electroacoustic music.
He has been mentored by a long list of musicians. To name a few they include Pulitzer Prize winning composer Kevin Puts, composer/orchestrator Donald Grantham and internationally renowned pianist and pedagogue Jane Allen.
Some of his keyboard/accordion influences are (in no particular order):
Page McConnell (Phish), Terry Adams (NRBQ), Garth Hudson (The Band), Leon Russell, Bruce Hornsby, Carly Simon, Stevie Wonder, Booker T., Greg Allman, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elton John, Billy Joel, Richard Tee, Professor Long Hair, Alan Toussaint, Ray Charles, Chick Corea, Herby Hancock, Clifton Chenier, Joel Guzman, Flaco Jimenez.
Gina Chavez (Latin Fusion/Rock)
Mother Falcon in collaboration with Gina Chavez (Indie/Orchestra)
Lisa Marshall (Soul/R&B)
Cracker Box Gospel Band (R&B, Soul, Gospel)
April Hall Band (Country, Rock, Americana)
Crystal Flavola (Indie, Folk, Rock, Folk Psychedelic)
Pete Minda (Folk, Rock, Americana)
Michael Romero – Strumero (Indie, Folk, Latin)
Jeff Whitehead (Indie, Country, Folk, Rock)
Rankin Twins (Country Pop)
Regan Brown (Folk)
Steve Hopkins (Folk)
Wahoo Trout (Free Improv)
The 145's (Traditional, Americana)
Runamok (Rock n' Roll)
The Late Joys (Brit Pop)