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ADY JOHNSON —LONDON SONGS (Self-Released)

www.adyjohnson.co.uk

London Songs is Ady Johnson’s second album, and like with his debut Tell The Worry Dolls (2011) it once again has Gerry Driver (tenor, bass guitar, mandolin, Bodhran, violin, washboard) produce. Slotted inbetween the albums Johnson also recorded an EP.  Opening in impressive fashion via the bustling, piano warmed pub rock come big band (New Orleans style) “Problems Of Your Own” you could not want for a better or more tempting taster. He follows it with another well worked, if more lazy paced production in the brass prompted “Put The World On Standby”, and with the artful “Irish Goodbye” next up evoking choice stark imagery Johnson is off and on his way.  

Johnson enjoys performing lyrics and music of a subtle nature; the kind that tend to sneak up on you when you are least expecting them. As in the artful “The Glass Tower”, and at a slower tempo still, “New Year’s Day” on the intro that is before he goes a little poppy, 1970s folk singer-songwriter style. Whatever the melody Ady always has his lyrics for the listener to fall back upon, even when he becomes a little whimsical on acoustic warmed “The Black And Blue” and pretty “Bring You Back”. Rarely will you come across a more beautiful or more carefully arranged piece (Dave Rothon on pedal steel guitar) than the latter.  

Keeping it spare and simple “Thank You For The Good Things” has him remember his Granddad, and with its busker-esque traits his early days playing are likewise revisited. Getting into a funky almost blues groove “Bloodshot Eyes” sees a little more beef added, and with rocking rhythm it is a timely change, and he goes a step farther on the next song as he calls up the band for “Whale Song”. The production works a treat! His choice for the closing track “These Days” is an earthy affair; one of those where his voice bleeds the emotions of the tortured lyrics (more intelligent use of pedal steel). It is a real study.  

Maurice Hope 

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May 2018

1
John Prine
67 pts.
The Tree of Forgiveness
Oh Boy Records
JJC,MB,SP,RM
2
Levi Parham
58 pts.
It's All Good
Continental Records
CRS,JB,TK
3
Jeb Barry and the Pawn Shop Saints
55 pts.
Texas, etc...
DollyRocker
HDB,CVL,DHO
4
Michael McDermott
54 pts.
Out From Under
Continental Song City
JDO,LK,BK
5
Sam Morrow
48 pts.
Concrete and Mud
Forty Below Records
MA,JBO,HB
6
Caleb Caudle
39 pts.
Crushed Coins
Cornelius Chapel Records
 
7
Western Centuries
36 pts.
Songs From The Deluge
Free Dirt Records
MF
8
Carter Sampson
34 pts.
Lucky
Continental Song City
 
9
Charley Crockett
30 pts.
Lonesome as a Shadow
Son of Davy/30 Tigers
 
10
Courtney Marie Andrews
28 pts.
May Your Kindness Remain
Loose Music
JV
11
Ed Romanoff
27 pts.
The Orphan King
Pinerock Records
 
 
Joan Baez
27 pts.
Whistle Down The Wind
Proper Records
HD
 
Pharis and Jason Romero
27 pts.
Sweet Old Religion
Lula Records
SZ,LM
14
Gretchen Peters
24 pts.
Dancing With The Beast
Proper Records
KG
 
Old Crow Medicine Show
24 pts.
Volunteer
Columbia Records
GF
 
Will Stewart
24 pts.
County Seat
Cornelius Chapel Records
 
17
Ben Reel
22 pts.
Land Of Escape
B REEL Records
GC,FC
 
Birds Of Chicago
22 pts.
Love In Wartime
Signature Sounds
 
 
Emily Herring
22 pts.
Gliding
Eight 30 Records
RST,RH
20
Jenny van West
21 pts.
Happiness To Burn
Independent
PJ,FS,JJ
 
Mary Gauthier
21 pts.
Rifles And Rosary Beads
In the Black Records
 
22
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
20 pts.
Years
Bloodshot Records
FCE
23
David Starr
19 pts.
South And East
Independent
HM
24
Cold Tone Harvest
18 pts.
After You
Independent
 
25
Grant Peeples
17 pts.
Settling Scores vol. 2
Continental

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