Johnsmith wrote or co-wrote ten of the thirteen songs on this his sixth disc. His beautiful tenor voice is there and he has enlisted a wide variety of people to help him flesh out the music. Musicians of repute such as Jimmy LaFave, Ray Bonneville, Tim O'Brien, and Darrell Scott are but a few of those who contributed. Tom Prasada-Rao produced this disc and did an excellent job of keeping the focus on Johnsmith, his voice, and the songs, while contributing work on nylon, high strung, tenor, steel string, and 12-string guitars on all the tracks as well as violin, backup vocals, and percussion on assorted tracks.
Some of the melodies will sound very familiar or close to other songs by other writers, such as Ring That Bell, sounds very like Tom Waits' Get Behind The Mule, and Jaybird sounds like the old call and response tune Mockingbird. However these songs' melodies go back much further in time and all songwriters almost can't help but be influenced by what they have been listening to and in some cases it is probably not a conscious decision, just that there should be a way of sharing credit. The songs are good and his word craft is damn good and then there is his voice and presentation that are superb. His backing musicians are tight and it is a very easy disc to listen to, wonderful disc that shows his growth as a songwriter and singer.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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