My wife and I walked into a wedding reception with probably 500 plus people there. I thought, Here we go again. We stepped off the elevator and I was hit with music. The Jock was playing an incredibly haunting CD that I had never heard. The cut was "Dreams Be Dreams." I went up to the DJ and said, "Holy guacamole, what is that?" He said it was his girlfriend's favorite artist, Jack Johnson. I jotted the name down on his card then totally enjoyed the rest of the evening. The song set the stage for the whole weekend.
Next day we headed down to Bardstown Road to find this Jack Johnson, or at least his albums. We bought Johnson's On and On and listened over and over to the artistry. Poetry, stories, life set to an incredible beat. Sometimes reggae, sometimes folksy, always great. Jack has a clarity to his voice that reminds me of James Taylor. Johnson wrote all or contributed to all songs. He strums and picks with the best of them, with Adam Topol and Merlo Podlewski giving him an assist. The mix is incredibly good. The only criticism of a true artist that I might give is that they get hung up on the same old, same old 'cause it sells. Jack Johnson cannot be criticized for that.
Actually, when I listen to Johnson I think a bit of Tracy Chapman. Not bad company, James Taylor and Tracy Chapman. I would encourage everyone out there to treat themselves to a great talent. Pick up Jack Johnson and enjoy the stories. "Rodeo Clowns" is my favorite story and it is told in an incredible way. Wish I could send it to you in words - what a trip. "Times Like These Those" is the most philosophical and always makes me think. This is a total winner.