After more than 5 years it is time to say good bye and this blog shuts its doors.

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

YVR3 2001 Mustard And Relics

Genre: Blues
Rate: 224 kbps CBR / 44100
Time: 00:59:15
Size: 94,92 MB


As a non-player who's never been able to penetrate the eternal mystery of the instrument, I've found the simplest way to measure a guitarist's prowess is to attend a show and count the number of fellow fretmen shaking their heads in a combination of appreciation and disbelief. Having witnessed the phenomenon first-hand at a Johnny V show, where I picked up this platter, I can safely state that Calgary's Johnny V is an absolute monster.

Fortunately, those who can't conveniently catch the band live can still be transported to Johnny's version of blues/rock heaven via "Mustard & Relics," a thirteen-slice platter culled from a number of live dates. These represent the band's favourite takes, warts and all; they opted not to overdub or fix things up in the studio, rightfully recognizing the absurdity of tinkering with live recordings after the fact.

While Johnny's previous outings have encompassed many a style, this outing remains resolutely within the power-trio format, with Johnny's guitar crunching out the chords front and centre. Backed by very muscular accompaniment of bassist Glen Yorga and drummer Andrzej Ryszka, Johnny here favours a thick, fuzzy tone, judiciously employing effects to achieve a somewhat distorted sound reminiscent of an earlier era. In lesser hands, pedals and such often take over, rendering things more sonically than musically interesting; Johnny, however, keeps firm rein on proceedings, never allowing technology to override the sheer musicality of his fretwork.

Liner notes mention a fondness for the blues-rockers of the sixties and seventies, and the disc could almost be taken as homage to those heroes, back when musical exploration ruled the day, and only the scholars worried too much about the authenticity of it all. Johnny wrote everything on the disc (a couple with assistance from Richard Newell, Canada's legendary King Biscuit Boy); not one to confine himself to restrictive formulae, he mixes in elements of funk, swamp, country, and yes, plain ol' rock. Yet no one's likely to call this anything but a blues album.

Perhaps the biggest surprise here is just how good a singer Johnny is. There's a soulful intensity to his singing, with just the right measure of grit and grease, that never seems forced; indeed, he sounds thoroughly relaxed throughout, having as much fun as though these were the very first times he'd ever had the pleasure of performing in public.

Ultimately, that to me is what makes this disc such a winner; sure the music is great, the band extraordinarily accomplished, but there's no shortage of either quality on the market; but how often does one hear veterans for whom the sheer joy of performing shines through?

Excellent stuff! (John Taylor)


01 - I'm Crying 04:19

02 - Lost At Love 03:21

03 - Let The Door Hit You 03:12

04 - Wrapped Around Your Finger 07:15

05 - Missing The Flu 09:29

06 - One Night Stand 04:11

07 - Takin' That First Step 03:09

08 - I Ain't Gonna Dust My Broom Again 05:56

09 - That's All That You Need To Do 03:34

10 - What's Up With You 03:34

11 - I've Got To Get Back To My Squeeze 06:15

12 - I Ain't Lyin' 03:54

13 - Thanks 01:06

YVR3 here:

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