"Keeping the Blues Alive Award" Achievement for Blues on the Internet Presented by The Blues Foundation
Larry Johnson first appeared in the middle-1960's when he recorded for Prestige/Bluesville under the supervision of Samuel Charters, but unfortunately, he hasn't appeared often enough in the past 30-plus years. Two Gun Green has the throaty-voiced guitar player and songster in the company of Brian Kramer and the Couch Lizards, a four-piece band from Stockholm made up of second guitar from Kramer, acoustic bass by Pa Ulander, drums from Jim O'Leary, and harmonica courtesy of Mats Qwarfordt. Johnson gets solid and sympathetic accompaniment from start to finish and his enthusiasm shows perfectly on the up-tempo Midnight Train where the harp chugs along sounding like a locomotive steaming out of the depot. Kramer delivers some fine acoustic slide (sounding a bit like Muddy Waters) with his steel-bodied National on I Used To Be Down without overshadowing the take and he's just as focused everywhere else on the CD. The title track is a storyteller's tale set to a thumping backbeat where O'Leary's drumming has the perfect snap and bounce to push things along and Back To The Groove has a looser jam approach showing the delight of Larry and the Lizards. Can't Last Very Long and Late Last Night are wonderful and heart-warming originals while Old Time Religion and Goodnight Irene put Johnson's traditional songster abilities well to the fore. This isn't a produced effort with gloss and shine, it's nothing more than a group of friends and musical counterparts who thankfully sat down with tape machines rolling, and in the end, there's a beautiful simplicity here sadly absent in too many present-day recordings. www.bluearmadillo.com. 10 tracks, 43 minutes.
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