SHM-CD reissue. Comes with a mini-description. Features new remastering if it comes from Parlophone. Guitarist Johnny Smith in a sweet, laidback trio setting – just the kind of mode that's perfect for his gentle sense of color and tone – a style he virtually invented for jazz guitar in the 50s! The album's one of his classics for the Roost label, and it's a masterpiece in chromatic hues – subtle, simple, but completely fantastic – at a level that makes Johnny Smith one of the true legends in jazz guitar from the 50s. Accompaniment is by George Roumanis on bass and Mousie Alexander on drums – but both players are extremely gentle, and leave most of the sound to Johnny – as it should be. Titles include "Little Girl Blue", "My Funny Valentine", "Polka Dots & Moonbeams", "Everything Happens To Me", "Pavanne", and "Blues Back Stage".
SHM-CD reissue. Comes with a mini-description. Features new remastering if it comes from Parlophone. Sublime guitar work from the great Johnny Smith – a musician who was years ahead of his time, and influenced a generation with his clean, clear tone on the instrument! Smith's in a perfect setting here – a Roost label quartet date that includes Bob Pancost on piano, George Roumanis on bass, and Mousie Alexander on drums – a very understated group that really lets Johnny's wonderful tones and colors stand strongly out front! Titles include "0500 Blues", "Old Girl", "Tired Blood", "Un Poco Loco", and "More Bass". Great CD version – one of the few proper issues of this material!
Grapefruit Moon: The Songs of Tom Waits is Southside's tribute to one of his favorite songwriters, but also a pet sound: big band music. The idea to marry the brassy, ballsy sound of a big band to Tom Waits' cinematic, character-driven songs has been sitting in the back of Southside's mind for sometime.
Johnny Handsome is a 1989 American crime drama film directed by Walter Hill and starring Mickey Rourke, Ellen Barkin, Forest Whitaker and Morgan Freeman. The film was written by Ken Friedman, and adapted from the novel The Three Worlds of Johnny Handsome by John Godey. The music for the film was written, produced and performed by Ry Cooder.
Jailbreak was such a peak that it was inevitable that its follow-up would fall short in some fashion and Johnny the Fox, delivered the same year as its predecessor, did indeed pale in comparison. What's interesting about Johnny the Fox is that it's interesting, hardly a rote repetition of Jailbreak but instead an odd, fitfully successful evolution forward. All the same strengths are still here – the band still sounds as thunderous as a force of nature, Phil Lynott's writing is still graced with elegant turns of phrase, his singing is still soulful and seductive – but the group ramped up the inherent drama in Lynott's songs by pushing them toward an odd, half-baked concept album. There may be a story within Johnny the Fox – characters are introduced and brought back, at the very least – but it's impossible to tell. If the album only had an undercooked narrative and immediate songs, such digressions would be excusable, but the music is also a bit elliptical in spots, sometimes sounding theatrical, sometimes relying on narration.
Originally included as part of the exhaustive Unearthed box set of Johnny Cash's American Records recordings, My Mother's Hymn Book is exactly what it claims to be – songs directly out of Cash's mother's old hymnal. Featuring Cash alone playing an acoustic guitar, this is a stark, beautiful, and simple album. In the liner notes, Cash calls this his favorite record he's ever made and it's clear that learning these songs as a child is what inspired his love of music. In that sense, despite no original material, these are some of the most personal songs Cash ever recorded; he even includes song-by-song commentaries that help illuminate what each track meant to him. For Merle Travis' "I Am a Pilgrim" Cash writes, "It's one of those old country gospel classics that my mother sang, that I knew I would record it someday." Of course, Cash recorded gospel songs before this album, as in 1959 with Hymns by Johnny Cash and again in 1962 with Hymns From the Heart and he usually included one gospel track per album.