For nearly a decade, Patrick Johnson felt like “a man in a suitcase.”

From 2007 to 2016, Johnson played bass with the New Orleans roots rock band Dash Rip Rock. However, he came to a fork in the musical road as his desire to write and release his own songs grew.

"I wanted to do it my way and not be influenced by anyone else," Johnson said.

Though he had released a debut solo album in 2014, he couldn’t find time to tour. By 2015, he knew his time with Dash Rip Rock was coming to an end. The following year, Johnson left the band.

"I had to decide if I was strong enough," Johnson said. "If I had tried to leave immediately, I would have had trouble. But the decision process helped me.

“It was hard to let go (of Dash Rip Rock). You're in a good band that's touring and traveling a lot. After nine years on the road, though, I'm not living out of a suitcase anymore. It's nice to play closer to home."

Johnson now has a new band and album, and he's excited about the future. He'll celebrate the release of his sophomore solo effort, "Monsters in the Clouds," with a concert at 9 p.m. Saturday at Mid City Ballroom. 

Johnson's band is filled out by multi-instrumentalist/producer Adam Hains, drummer Kyle Melancon, and lead guitarist and Johnson's brother, Paul.

"I created the band I wanted to, with my friends, and I'm playing the music I've been working on since 2010," Johnson said.

At this point, Johnson is no stranger to the recording process. He played on five albums with Dash Rip Rock and another three with Baton Rouge rock band Poor Harvey. He also has seen both sides of the music industry. While in Dash Rip Rock, he saw record companies dictate cover art, tracklistings and sounds. Independently, there is less outside pressure.

"The challenge is finding your own voice," he said. "You're always finding out what's best through trial and error. It never ends. You're constantly learning how to improve."

However meticulous Johnson is when writing and recording, he knew he didn't want to be disingenuous.

"I hear a lot of songs today where people write about how awesome they are," he said. "I like songwriters who are not afraid to admit when they've made a mistake. Bragging doesn't do anything for me. When I hear someone trying to figure out if they have the confidence to make a decision, I can say, 'I've been there.' "


WHEN: 9 p.m. Saturday 

WHERE: Mid City Ballroom, 136 S. Acadian Thruway, Baton Rouge 

COST: $10-$15  


Follow Matthew Sigur on Twitter, @MatthewSigur.