The Davey Johnstone Band – Deeper Than My Roots
(Spirit Of Unicorn / Cherry Red Records - 2021)
I have a feeling that the title is kind of a hint where this is going since it has a lovely, warm authentic, positive vibe that makes you think that it could have been recorded recorded a few decades earlier.
Elton John's famed blonde maned, Lead Guitarist & Musical Director does exactly what he pleases on this self-penned release with three family members being part of the band in his Sons, Elliot (All Lead Vocals), Charlie (Keyboards) & Jessie (Drums) with a few notable names on here too that you'll recognise.
There's slight Americana, Country, Contemporary Rock and just utter greatness with the ambience of artists like Eagles & The Band especially on the opening 'Go Easy On My Heart' featuring original Wings drummer, Denny Seiwell who ironically takes care on the sticks on an incredible rendition 'Here There & Everywhere' as a bonus track which I don't know was a deliberate thing to do or a total coincidence.
'One Look In Your Eyes' has a real George Harrison feel about it and I hear other Fab Four frequencies on it too while 'Deeper' (also with that 'Wild Life' percussionist) puts puts me in mind of the aptly named 'Quiet One' too that also encompasses Southern Blues sounds of the early 70's Clapton period.
Nice to hear Drummer, Nigel Olsson take time away from the day job behind Reg Dwight on sad sounding but relaxing 'n' tranquil 'Melting Snow' with an organ line that reminds me something from Rod Stewart's 'Atlantic Crossing' and more blue-eyed soulness as well.
There's the instrumental beauty of 'Walt Dizney' with Bass from the late Bob Birch of the Elton John Band who also puts the deeper notes on the upbeat 'Black Scotland' with its fantastic eastern ending that you are not expecting at all. Keeping on the EJ, Davey even has Ben Babylon (Son of the late Guy Babylon) placing the the strings on the retro fifties country number 'You Lied To Me' who has done his Dad proud – listen out for the fabulous tones of Davey's guitar on here as well.
So much lovely things are happening on here and it totally fits right in with classic albums of the 1st half of the 70's for definite. Davey has completely nailed it and I hope he brings out even more of the same calibre in the years to come. Would love to see him tour this if his busy schedule possibly ever allows it.
This blew my mind and that rarely happens these days.
By Glenn Milligan