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Bravo Johnson - The Crooked and the Straight

The Crooked and the Straight

Bravo Johnson

Available from Amazon.com.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb
(taoboy@cox.net)

This is a hearty slice of Americana, that ubiquitous term that means the music draws on folk, rock, blues, R & B, Gospel and country, and these two discs are an all encompassing slice of it. There is a large amount that is not lucid about this group, not that any of it is terribly important in some ways, however there are times that it helps to know some background. The band is lead by Rick Amurrio who handles guitars, piano, Wurlitzer, lead vocals and writes all the songs. That much is revealed in the scanty notes —the title of this double disc (the group's first) isn't on there (found it on the internet—but not much else about the band is exposed to enlighten those that are curious about such details. We do know that the band also includes Hendrik Roever on guitars, Dobro, banjo and steel and that he also recorded, mixed and mastered the disc; Gnossos Pappadopoulis plays bass; and Inaki Garcia is responsible for the drums. That is about the extent of disclosed information which is available on the disc along with the song titles, but not broken down as to which song is on which disc (though they are in sequence).

All that said, or that not said, doesn't effect the approximately two hours of music that is here, and it is well played and proves that it deserves to fit under the title of Americana music. The songs are at times louder and electric and other times they shift to a quieter and more acoustic mode. As to influences perhaps the scope or the reach, is closest to The Band in their eclecticism, maybe at times the later Beatles, and more at other times they tip their hats to Tom Petty. It is an audacious first offering filled with lots of jangly guitars, and for the largest portion of it there is success, and what doesn't quite measure up misses by not much more than a whisker. This is a band that has great potential to show the way to some new directions and lead the pack if they can maintain this form.

Track List:

Disc: 1Disc: 2
  • King of the World
  • Sacrifice Yourself
  • Are You Dreaming?
  • Aimlessly Drifting
  • Hot Wheels
  • Lush
  • Ace in the Hole
  • JJ Joe
  • Loveblind
  • River Run
  • Ship of Fools
  • You're Still Standing There
  • Cahoots
  • Clouds/With The Band
  • Waltz of More and More
  • Monday Morning
  • Hobo
  • Lone Star
  • Mean Highway
  • Ishmael
  • Easy Chain
  • Changes
  • House up the River
  • Jesus Out To Sea
  • Losing My Mind
  • Mountain Man
  • Pictures Falling

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2008, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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