A half hour of mesmerizing and beautiful fingerstyle guitar from Chicago's Johnny Young. 'II' is as at home in Harry Smith's 'old weird America' as it is in early 60's Takoma Park and, because craft this impeccable and pure-hearted is timeless, it's at home in the mid-summer evening in 2015 that I'm writing this down. Young's playing is rich in Fahey-esque technique that lends itself to meditative listening sessions, a pastoral escape from the waves of vacuous, juddering internet nonsense that wash over so many other hours.
Limited to 100. Packaged with a fold-out mini-poster.
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Chicago based guitarist Johnny Young offers a cassette of fine old school fingerstyle guitar via the Voyager Golden Records label from Portland, OR. So far this seems to be the only release of this label, so chances are you've never heard of either of them. And this is not the Chicago blues legend Johnny Young, just sayin'.
The 20 minutes of this release are an entertaining trip through early Fahey/Ochs/Taussig/Takoma standards. I am tempted to say, there is nothing surprising here. There is an uplifting Rag, Magnolia and Bayberry Family Blues, rivers, trails and valleys. No lengthy improv parts, no trying to be super psychedelic, dark or avantgarde, just joyful fingerstyle guitar with the obligatory lap steel slide parts thrown in.
Young executes this all very well and it's maybe the familiarity that makes this mini album so enjoyable. I've been listening to this quite often.
My favorite moment is the opening of Magnolia Blues, which sounds for a second like a duet with a violin, but turns out to be the glissando produced by the slide on the steel strings of his guitar (as far as I can tell).
If you are not getting tired of this kind of music, check him out! Thanks!
What a dope, indeed!
Photos via Vintage Musicians Blog