Johnny A Driven
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Johnny A.
Sometime Tuesday Morning
Favored Nations

Steve Vai sure knows how to pick â ùem for his new label. Previously released as an independent CD, Favored Nations picked this up and ran with it. Johnny A.'s new Sometime Tuesday Morning album is a collection of originals and well selected covers. His guitar tone throughout this recording reminds me of George Harrison's early Beatles sound with a new millennium flair. Depicted by the photos in the liner notes, his choice of weapons appears to be a mixture of Custom Shop Gibsons with Bigsby whammy bars.

Johnny A. apparently loves to play chords as much as single string work. Very refreshing. With his bare bones rhythm section of bass and drums, all of these instrumentals are clean and alive. "Oh Yeah," "Two WheelHorse" and "Up in the attic" all rock, while "In The Wind" and "Tex Critter" swing and rock with a slight country flavor. Johnny A.'s take on Glen Campbell's late 60's hit, the touching "Wichita Lineman," is a joy to listen to. His redition of The Beatles' "Yes It Is" has a Chet Atkins-style intro and a tastefully underplayed melody line. The Johnny Smith/Ventures redo, "Walk Don't Run" has a lean, cool drive sound that impresses the listener with the strength of the song's melody. His interpretation of the Allman Brothers' version of "You Don't Love Me" is refreshing with its untimely breaks.

Wow! Can this cat pick a variety of tunes or what? They all sound prefectly natural in this sequence. The nasty, back-alley-sounding "Walkin' West Ave." adds another flavor to his songwriting. This man can play - and he plays music, not just guitar licks. This album can be appreciated by anyone, not just members of the so-called guitar-listeners club. I'm looking forward to see what Johnny A. has up his sleeve for his next recording but for now will savor Sometime Tuesday Morning.

- Guy Lee

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