Welcome back to the Minute! And thanks so much for all the feedback on the last column. That Joshua Jacobson is something else, and his brand of Piedmont Blues is quite a treat. We're featuring another new album release in this edition.
"Mother Nature's Husband" by Johnny Roquemore
Local musician, Johnny Roquemore, who we've written about several times in this column's run, has just released his 29th studio album. 29. Let that sink in for a bit. The word prolific would be a mild understatement in my estimation. The guy just cranks it out at about a clip of an album a year. It really is something else, and this latest release ranks up among his best.
Roquemore, who has been ranked as the Atlanta area's top singer/songwriter by “Creative Loafing” magazine, has developed quite a reputation in our neck of the woods and beyond with his superb songwriting, excellent guitar work and singing, arranging, and his sometimes offbeat sense of humor. And don't forget about his harmonica playing, either - it is truly top-notch.
Johnny's latest is right up there with some of his best and I should know - Ann and I are proud owners of over a dozen of his CDs. They say the first taste is with the eyes, and the first taste on "Mother Nature's Husband" is the album cover. Done by local artist Sandy Glover, it is just exceptional and totally encapsulates the essence of Johnny. The liner notes describe the recording as the "ramblings of an embarrassingly self-conscious individual foisting his art on a suspicious public."
In terms of the songs, it is, per usual, just outstanding. The second track, "Blackberry Blossom," is pure Mountain/Bluegrass music at its finest; the instrumentation and lyrics are incredible, especially the fiddle. Track # 4, "Can't Go Wrong," might be my favorite. A fusion of Honkytonk, Bluegrass & Country, John Johnson's killer piano work puts this one over the top. And with a line about "Grandma's gone on a bender," and a chorus of "you can't go wrong if you're doing right," it is so dang good.
The esoteric Blues of "Tobacco Road" is another favorite. Dave Ross, one of Johnny's Apostles bandmates, lays down some sweet dobro work. And if you like banjo playing, you should definitely check out "Don't Do it Anymore." A fine track, it features the other member from the Apostles of Bluegrass, John Nipper pickin' that thing just right! And the lyrics on this one are quite apropos.
Really, the entire album is exceptional. Aaron Clegg and Bruce Hoffman also play on the recording. You can purchase this album by getting in touch with Johnny on Facebook or at his website: www.johnnyroquemore.com. Or, you can attend the Apostles of Bluegrass show coming up this weekend...
The Apostles of Bluegrass at The Listening Room at Irish Bred Pub. Friday Janu. 13. 8 p.m.
There's a lot of excitement surrounding this one as this will be the first time they've played this venue. As previously mentioned, the Apostles of Bluegrass are comprised of Johnny Roquemore, John Nipper, and Dave Ross. Primarily, Johnny handles the guitar work, Dave plays the upright bass and dobro, and John handles banjo and mandolin. All three of these guys are phenomenal musicians and great singers. At a typical show you'll hear a fair number of Roquemore originals as well as several they've written together. You'll also hear a lot of Ole-Timey Country, Bluegrass and Gospel tracks and maybe a few surprises, too. All three are multi-instrumentalists so you'll probably see some swapping out on the instruments as well. Always a great show, you won't want to miss it.
TONIGHT! Shane Clark & Friends live at The Listening Room at Irish Bred Pub. 7 p.m. Local exceptional talent Shane Clark, who we've written about a few times in this space, will be playing tonight with several special guests.
Hendrix & Day Live at The Speakeasy in Porterdale. Friday Jan. 13. 8p.m. This killer rock and blues duo brings life to classics from the 60s through the 90s in an acoustic format.
Sanctified Revival at Porterdale Bar & Grill. Friday Jan. 13. Led by Harvey Dills, this group has been turning heads with their impressive and unique blend of Southern Rock.
Josh Millwood live at the Lahrceny Tavern (formerly The Social House). Saturday Jan. 14. 9 p.m. Josh is a true talent and brings some real deal Country in the tradition of Brooks & Dunn, Garth Brooks, and Travis Tritt.
Matt Brantley Band live at The Listening Room. Saturday Jan. 14th. 8PM. There's a real buzz about this group. Word is they are excellent and play an exciting blend of Country and Southern Rock.
Two great shows on tap at The Mystic Grill. Friday the 13th will be Doc & Paul. And the one and only Matt Moncrief will be playing Saturday night, Jan. 14.