NEWS: Ethan Johns Instores | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Readers of a certain age will remember the release of 2001’s Gold, prolific troubadour Ryan Adams’ 70-minute magnum opus, and with it the inauguration of several important pieces into the great American songbook. Three years later, the gravel-voiced lamentations of Ray LaMontagne were unleashed upon the world in Trouble. Only the eagle-eyed liner-note scrutiniser would have noted their shared producer, Ethan Johns, although in Johns’ case ‘producer’ is too narrow a term. Having played much of the instrumentation on Trouble, along with unspecified instrumental contributions to Adams’ recordings, it was surely only a matter of time before he swapped sides of the glass and began his own career as an artist.

Despite his productions’ reputation for clarity, 2012’s solo début If Not Now Then When is a ramshackle collection of acoustic guitars, fuzz pedals, honky piano and tape hiss, overlaid with Johns’ bluesy, 70s-inspired vocals – a sound all the more remarkable when you consider his Surrey roots. November saw the release of his third collection, Silver Liner, the title track of which sounds like nothing other than Johns staking his claim as the natural successor to Neil Young and his trademarked pastoral-fuzz ethos. By way of announcing the new record, he’s embarking on an audaciously low-key tour of record shops, arriving at Stockton’s Sound It Out on Thursday 10th and climaxing at RPM Records in Newcastle on Saturday 12th December, which gives the opportunity of not only experiencing the man himself in a powerfully intimate setting, but also of purchasing his entire back catalogue on heavyweight vinyl and having it autographed before one’s very eyes.

Ethan Johns plays Sound It Out Records, Stockton on Thursday 10th and Newcastle’s RPM Records on Saturday 12th December.

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