Monday, June 8, 2015

CD: MIKE JOHNSON - Doggone It I've Written A Sad Song Again

MIKE JOHNSON
Doggone It I've Written A Sad Song Again
Doggone It I've Written A Sad Song Again - The Day Hank Williams Died - Corner of the Bar - Guitar Pickin' Motorcycles Hungry Women - Old Lovesick Fool - Do You Wanna Get Drunk and Fool Around - Isn't Goofy Something At All? - Sittin' In A Truck Stop Down In Georgia - Pain! Pain! Pain! - Chug-A-Lug Another One - Home For Sunday Supper - The Good Part Of A Sad Song
 
Mike Johnson is one of the most amazing songwriters and recording artists I've ever met.  He makes his home in Virginia, right next to Washington DC, and has pursued his life-long love and affection for traditional and classic country music by writing and recording some of the best 'real' country songs I've ever had the pleasure to listen to. A couple of years ago he teamed up with a young college student, James Adelsberger, who is a master at providing the musical backing that is not only unique and original, it's incredibly well done.  What's totally unusual about this pairing is that Mike is a black guy, and James is a white guy.  The very epitomy of racial harmony in its very best form, music.  In this case 'real' country music.  Mike has been writing country music for a whole big bunch of years now, recording it too, and taking the road wherever it takes him, sometimes pretty bumpy.  He's been to our national festival several times, and receives incredible admiration and acceptance there, and wherever he goes.  This CD is a kind of 'new' display of his very good songwriting ability.  James adds a 'just right' backing to everything Mike does.  And, James does this on acoustic and lead guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, mandolin, piano, steel, and ukulele.  They did call in a fiddler, Michael Roman to play that particularly well represented 'true' country music part, and presents it beautifully in "The Day Hank Williams Died."  This is my favorite song on this CD.  James is also a very gifted 'mix' artist.  The final version of any good musical production is what it sounds like in it's creator's ears, that will hopefully sound the same to a non-participant listener, like me, and thousands of others that will get to hear this remarkable presentation.  Is the 'mix' good?  It certainly is, the full poignancy and honesty of that early rural country soul is all here, just as it should be.  The stories in the songs are all here, just as 'real' country music has always been.  The 'topics' of the songs are all here, just as 'real' country music has always been.  A congratulatory salute to Mike Johnson on an artistic work incredibly well done.  For me it is so sad to see this very American musical art style and genre altered so drastically in the commercial music world today....BUT, it's alive and well in this new 'Virginian,' Mike Johnson, and he's not likely to let it die.  Off this one goes to the Rural Roots Music Commission for their observation.  I already have a feeling about this one.  Keep it up Mike, an American 'tradition' is not going to go away if you keep doing what you are doing.  He's been a truck driver in the past, so he knows what 'travelin' is all about, and you'll hear that in another of my favorites "Sittin' In A Truck Stop Down in Georgia."
MUSIC REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART - www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International
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