Richard Leo Johnson Trio — Poetry of Appliance
(Cuneiform Rune 198, 2004, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2005-03-01
Although the American guitarist has a couple previous releases, this is his first in a trio configuration, in this case with violinist Ricardo Ochoa (who also contributes theremin to some of the tracks) and keyboardist Andrew Ripley. Note the absence of a bassist and drums, which makes this a fairly unusual configuration. Known for his unique self-taught picking style and his twin-neck acoustic, Johnson covers a lot of stylistic territory on the eight tracks herein. Almost a one-man band by himself, his playing pulls every last bit of power and passion out of the entire fretboard; having a bassist on board would only amount to unnecessary redundancy. The lack of drums proves an even more important asset as the trio – not anchored by a drum beat, can freely launch into spirited flights that might take them just about anywhere; on the more aggressive pieces Ochoa and Ripley tend to drive the entire melodic end while Johnson handles just about everything else, while on the softer more dreamy cuts like “Charmin’ Carmen” the melodic and support roles are shared. There are no easy comparisons to be made here, Johnson and company cover way too much area to be easily pigeonholed, though folks who appreciated Pat Metheny’s New Chautaqua or As Falls Wichita, the first two Steve Tibbetts albums, or guitarists like Leo Kottke or Michael Hedges will probably find plenty here to get excited about.
Related artist(s): Richard Leo Johnson
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more