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'American Idol' winner Caleb Johnson to perform in Mobile on Tuesday

By Lawrence Specker

Rock singer Caleb Johnson, who won the 13th season of "American Idol" in 2014, performs in Mobile on Tuesday. Here's what you need to know:

1. Johnson's win came on his third stab at the show in four years. His flair for powerful material was evident in his song choices, which ranged from rock classics such as "Sympathy for the Devil" and "Gimme Shelter" to more soulful tunes such as Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools" and even Adele's "Skyfall."


2. He went on from his win to set a record: He released "Testify," his post-win album, faster than any other "Idol" winner had accomplished the feat. It came out in August 2014, barely three months after his victory. (According to, it was produced in just three weeks.)

3. He has family connections in northwest Alabama. Speaking by phone on Tuesday, he said "It's going to be great to be able to come back and see that state." And for home-state fans, the music will be fresh: His tour was due to start on Saturday, May 2, meaning he'll have just a few nights to work out the kinks before he hits Mobile.

4. John says he's sticking to his guns, and that he's planning to bring "some loud rock 'n' roll music" to fans. "Just be ready to have a good time," he said. "I'm going to take them to the church of rock 'n' roll ... It'll be a very emotional, visceral experience." He doesn't plan to dial it back from the go-for-broke approach for which "Idol" contestants are known: "It's going to be just like the show," he said. Selections will include classic rock covers; songs from "Testify;" and even newer original material, he said.



5. The show takes place Tuesday, May 5 at Soul Kitchen Music Hall, 219 Dauphin St. Doors open at 7 p.m. for an 8 p.m. performance. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 day of show, with reserved standing and seating tickets for $20 and $25. Patrons 18 and younger must be accompanied by a parent. For ticket availability and more information, visit