Johnson House – Go Gently

Debut from US-fixated Yorkshiremen

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You can’t blame their record company for making the most of an over-excited review in a rival magazine that called Johnson House “the gap between Van Morrison and The Band.” They aren’t, of course, although the Leeds quintet certainly boast some of the least prepossessing blokes you’ve seen this side of the portly Van and what’s left of Big Pink’s grizzled old road dogs. Musically, the more obvious comparison is blue-collar Springsteen, and singer-songwriter Chris Harland’s voice sounds remarkably like Raul Malo?who in turn sounds uncannily like Roy Orbison, and it doesn’t come much better than that. Songs such as “Waiting For Tomorrow” and “My Constant Companion” prove they’ve absorbed their mostly US influences well. The next LP will show whether they can become something more.

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