Will Johnson

Will Johnson & Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster have joined forces to release an album under the name of Marie/Lepanto. The idea was hatched during a living room tour they did together. These are two of my favorite voices in music and I can’t emphasize how happy I am about this. The tune below kicks ass. Get excited for this one.

In the sunken lands of Arkansas along I-55, there’s a road sign that directs you to a pair of tiny, hardscrabble towns in the Delta. It reads: Marie/Lepanto and resides roughly between where each artist grew up: Justin in Arkansas and Will in Missouri. Alternating between lofi folk and distorted indie rock, ‘Tenkiller’ finds their two voices shadowing one another, with Johnson’s battered vocals and Kinkel-Schuster’s wavering tenor complementing one another. Many of the songs then funnel into expansive instrumental breaks. “Inverness” segues into the fingerpicking, creaky “Rest Be Mine.” The widescreen waltz “High Desert” coexists with the ghostly title track, named for a lake in Oklahoma and inspired by Justin’s reading the book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Marie/Lepanto is here

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Will Johnson of Centro-matic is releasing his fifth solo album on 3/24/17 and this is will be his most rocking solo effort to date. Per the PR release, Johnson had this to say, “When Centro-matic was still intact, my solo records were usually really subdued,” he says. “I would take them in a completely different direction than the cascade of guitars and feedback that we were really into. Now that Centro-matic is not in existence anymore, there are going to be moments where I just want to turn everything up and kind of go for it.”

I’ve had the pleasure of getting a sneak preview and this album is kick-ass. Get real excited about this one.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Will Johnson is here

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Will Johnson – Scorpion [album review]

by Woody on November 26, 2012

I’ve always considered Centro-Matic and Will Johnson to be a barometer of cool. Anybody that liked Centro-Matic, South San Gabriel or Will Johnson was cool. Other examples for me include The Mother Hips, A.A. Bondy and Sleater-Kinney. Here’s an example of how a conversation would play out:

Woody – “Did you hear that Will Johnson is touring with Monsters of Folk?”

Random Person – “Yeah, that’s awesome. Love Centro-Matic.”

That person is immediately deemed cool. And while I am not super-cool enough to break down their catalogs, there is something about Johnson’s weathered and raw voice that strikes a nerve every time. There are many genuine voices in music but few rival Will Johnson’s.

I meant to review that this back in September when it came out but I couldn’t find the right words. In reality, I still haven’t found them but if this poorly worded review can turn one person on to Will or Centro-matic; well then my job here is done. Scorpion is a sparse and personal affair that sinks its teeth in and doesn’t let go. Johnson meant for it be an album that grows on you and let me tell you, it most certainly does. I love listening to it when walking the dog on a cold fall morning. Something about it just feels right as the sun fights to poke its head out.

The opening track, You Will Be Here, Mine is a real treat and the accompanying video is genius. My favorite track is It Goes Away So Fast. The only thing better than Johnson singing is Will Johnson harmonizing with himself while distorted guitar squeals. This album isn’t one to listen when getting ready for the game or spinning. For a long walk in nature; preferably a grey, introspective morning – you’d be hard pressed to find a better album for such a setting.

Will Johnson – You Will Be Here, Mine by Indiespot

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One of my favorite songs of the year is “Iso Residue” by Centro-Matic off their album Candidate Waltz. Will Johnson just released a video where he performs the song live and acoustic and Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio. It’s a real nice alternate take of the track and very nice video production.

Catch the band on the road in November:

10 – Kansas City MO – Record Bar
12 – Denver CO – High Dive
13 – Durango CO – Abbey Theatre
15 – Salt Lake City UT – Urban Lounge
16 – Reno NV – The Underground
17 – San Francisco CA – Bottom of The Hill
18 – Los Angeles CA – The Satellite
19 – Tucson AZ – Club Congress

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