Take recordings that have survived earthquakes, hurricanes, and incarcerations, add some digital salvation, and out comes a pastiche of new music that was almost lost in time. Wampus Multimedia imprint Foldback Records introduces Grateful, the new CD from “singer at large” Johnny J Blair.
“I thought the master recordings were gone,” Blair says. “I was told some tapes were destroyed in an earthquake, others were trashed by record companies, and one reel was taken to South America and lost. Last year, friends found pieces of these tapes ‘marooned’ on two continents. It’s almost like rescuing people from a desert island.”
Blair’s offbeat, sunny brand of pure pop is informed by irreverence, romance, and a bittersweet spirituality — with Beach Boys-inflected vocals, string quartets, and hard-rock improvisation featuring prominently. Gems include “Desert Ruby” (a surreal diary of a bus ride from Tampa to Los Angeles) and a jet-propelled cover of “My Bonnie” dressed in riffs from David Bowie’s glam era. “I’m So Glad (U Let Me In)” is a love note to San Francisco, where much of Grateful was recorded, and “I Wanna Be in Pennsylvania” takes a whimsical look at the Keystone State.
Guests include ex-Monkee Davy Jones, Michael Miller (Gilmore Girls), Michael Roe (The 77s), power-pop prince Chris von Sneidern, and members of the seminal jangle-guitar band Flying Color. Engineers include Grammy winner Rusty Richards (Julie Miller, Michelle Shocked, Brian Wilson) and the late Aaron Gregory (Chris Isaak, Toiling Midgets, Chuck Prophet), to whom Grateful is dedicated.
Grateful is available today at Amazon, and direct from Wampus Multimedia for just $9.99 in the Amazon Marketplace.
Foldback Records markets should-be classic and illogically obscure music, and seeks rare, offbeat, and out-of-print titles for licensing and release.
Johnny J Blair official site…