Larry Johnson who was born in 1938 and has made many albums over the years,
he has just released a brand new album on the English Armadillo label. The album
has 10 tracks and was recorded in England with Brian Kramer and The Couch
Lizards from Sweden helping out.
The album starts off with "Can't Last Very Long", which has a lovely steady beat
with an almost train ride feel as it rolls along with some soft harp work from
Mats Qwarfordt, Larry's vocals glide along effortlessly as his tale unfolds.
The album has a couple of covers, one being Leadbelly's "Goodnight Irene"
which has a very melodic backing due to Jim O'Leary tick tock beat on his drums
as Brain Kramer lays some nice rippling guitar down, Mats on harp adds a couple
of good solo's, as the song swings along with the band joining in the chorus.
My favourite is "Midnight Train", with it's wailing harp at the start, the song
chugs along the railroad (at least it feels like that). The title track "Two Gun
Green" is a tale from New Orleans (where else) which is sung so well by
Larry as the story unfolds, to tell us about Two Gun Green and Bad Man Dan
and how Larry was the bartender on the night they hit town. "Old Time Religion"
is a piece of uplifting gospel which sounds like it was fun to record. "I Used
To Be Down" starts off with Larry calling Brain to play some blues in the key
of E, to which Brain responds with some nice subtle guitar playing before the
song sets off.
The final track starts with Brian talking to Larry, telling him about how hearing
Larry singing "Charlie Stone" changed his life. Larry then explains about how
the song came about, before he launches into his superb tale of Charlie the slide
trombone player, which is a excellent way to finish this highly likable album.
Sam Charters wrote the sleeve notes and I have to agree with him 100% that
there is no song on this album that sounds like "Sweet Home Chicago", thank
goodness. The album has a good kind of Southern down home feel to it and
with it's imaginable tales and with Larry's own unique style it's certainly one album
that all good blues lovers should get.
Armadillo Records has a website www.bluearmadillo.com
Simply click on the CD cover at left to order this CD NOW!
This review is copyright © 2002 by Dave Thomas, and Blues On Stage at: www.mnblues.com, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission.
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