Saturday, March 15, 2008

Review -- THE LEGENDARY MILES JOHNSON -- Self Titled

THE LEGENDARY MILES JOHNSON
Self-titled
Independent
8-out-of-10

Here is another of those bands with a weirdly funky name attached. When it first arrived I was expecting a solo act, but nope. The Legendary Miles Johnson is actually Edmonton’s Graham Guest and Toronto’s Raoul Bhaneja. Guest is a pianist and Bhaneja adds vocals, and harmonica. The duo is aided throughout by a number of other musicians who help flesh out the sound.
So what is the sound?
As the name might imply, it's rootsy.
In some cases, such as the opening Last Time I Left New Orleans, the sound is quite bluesy, as is Blues On The Highway, a song where both Guest and Bhaneja chime in with vocals.
Then LMJ switches gears, and goes old style roots on a song such as Happiness Is, a song with Prairie-born lyrics.
This is one CD which reinforces the old adage 'you can't tell a book by its cover'. You might expect something pop/brackish looking at the two musicians on the cover, but these guys have their hearts and soul in a different genre. They definitely carry off roots/blues in a smooth fashion. You will love cuts such Blood On My Hands, a song penned by Bhaneja, and my personal favourite of the CD.
Bacon and Egg, a fun cut, is another that is memorable because Guest's piano come to the forefront in a stronger fashion.
It also impresses me when a band is able to throw some curveballs at the listener, and they leave you smiling from the surprise, and that is the case with LMJ. These guys are well worth searching out at www.raoulandthebigtime.com
-- CALVIN DANIELS

-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Mar. 12, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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