Reviews

Johnnie Selfish & The Worried MenJohnnie Selfish & The Worried Men
Album: Calle Slavaje
Label: River Tale Productions
Tracks: 9
Website: http://www.johnnieselfish.com

An independent acoustic country band from Italy, via Texas and with a name and a half to boot!

Totally immersing themselves in the scene, in 2012 they travelled to Nashville to record their last album with John Wheeler from Hayseed Dixie and three years on offer up their new platter. Produced by the Italian based indie folk label (how unusual does that sound?) Rivertale Productions, Johnnie himself has said that "the album is a tribute to the art that inspires us, from the music of Mano Negra, Ennio Morricone and Hank Williams to the movies of Roman Polanski, Clint Eastwood and Sam Peckinpah."

Cut from the same cloth as 'Kauntri Musik', it paints a picture of the Worried Men's take on the traditional music of America with that added element of their cinematic Moriconne styled leanings. It's a short blast of 9 songs taking up a mere 23 minutes.

Musically, they blend lots of different influences; more than you may initially imagine. Listening to the album almost takes you on a whistle stop tour of the lands across the Atlantic. 'Lost Sally Blues' a lo fi country blues while 'El Gringo' has a calypso beach feel - you can almost taste the rum punch. 'Teresita' takes thing even further down the American path, more Latin influenced and the rum punch becomes more tequila flavoured with the occasional blast of horns adding to the central American vibe. Twangy guitar and banjo and the distinct possibility of what sounds like the noise you get from blowing the strange combination of comb and paper and the 'Stranger In Paris' is obviously Paris, Texas, with a flavour both musically and lyrically of it exotic European namesake. Completing the tour is 'Working On A Building' an acapella and for want of a better label, worksong with a tinge of the sort of feelgood gospel as the Worried Men offer up their sweat and toil to building up a ….erm, building, in the name of their Lord.

Occasionally a bit light, but nothing wrong with that but essentially a great cross cultural promotion from these European high plains drifters.

Mike Ainscoe