Born in the oil patch town of Borger, Texas, Johnson attended the University of Texas in Austin where he used to jam and run around with Stevie Ray Vaughan. He later moved to San Francisco, where he played in a number of bands and paid the rent working as a session player. He was doing a fill-in gig at a small blues club when he heard that Isaak was looking for a drummer and gave him a call. He joined the band in 1984, shortly before they signed their first record deal. Before joining, Johnson admits he hadn't been east of New Orleans, but he enthusiastically embraced the band's rigorous touring schedule which has taken them around the world several times. Johnson received his first drum kit at age 12, and is an avid drum collector, spending much of his down time during tours seeking out vintage drums for his collection. Kenney endorses the Zildjian Cymbal Company and Drum Workshop.