Every now and then a band emerges from seemingly nowhere to release a debut album that captures your attention and causes the hairs on your arms to stand up instantaneously. Little John are such a band with their release Put Your Hands On Me.
The Melbourne based five-piece are purveyors of country gospel and folk-rock. The band is the brain child of singer/songwriter & harmonica player from Redfish Bluegrass, John Dickson.
Formed in 2009, Little John also comprises Brooke Penrose (double bass/vox), Damo Hooper (electric guitar), Bill Deeble (drums/backing vox), and Greg Field (mandolin/fiddle/backing vox).
Put Your Hands On Me was recorded mostly over a series of cold Saturday afternoons in a backyard studio in Preston, Melbourne. The songs were then mixed and mastered under the experienced eye of Kramer whose credits include Low, Will Oldham, Jon Spencer, Daniel Johnston, and his expertise in the gothic/roots genre shines through in this album.
The true beauty of the songs lies in the strand of country and blues music Little John taps into: a strand somewhat indefinable and primordial. These are songs of salvation; of love that has been lost, of the flaw in the clay, of the ineradicable restlessness that sets a body to wander.
This is the hole Little John is digging, the essence they are mining.
The sound of Little John is captivating: it has been described as devotional, celebratory, heart-breaking and archaic. It combines the angelic harmonies reminiscent of the American Folk tradition with a gritty rock'n'roll delivery, evoking images of old American landscapes by way of a twisted Australian rhetoric. The album consists of nine tracks that swing wildly between erratic guitar noise, shrieking vocals and driving swamp beats; to chain gang antiphony and haunting traditional melodies.
The CD is now available from The Last Record Store, Basement Discs, Polyester, Readings, Pure Pop, Red Eye Records (sydney) and 78 Records (perth).
For Online CD and Merchandise, please visit http://littlejohn.bandcamp.com
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