LOOKIN’ AT YOU
On Ramp Records
There is certainly no one more synonymous with Saskatchewan country music than Brad Johner.
For a long-time he was one half of the Johner Brothers, a duo that criss-crossed the province doing shows for several years. If you were a country fan living in the province for much of the ‘90s it’s a sure bet you saw the brothers play.
Today Brad is a solo act. It is a path he embarked on in 2003, and what has followed has been an award winning career as the main man on stage.
Johner launched his solo career with the Juno-nominated Free album. The debut garnered wide acclaim for Johner including a 2003 Western Canadian Music Award for Outstanding Country Album, a win at the 2004 Canadian Independent Music Awards for Favourite Country Artist.
The accolades continued following his sophomore solo release Summertown Road, which earned Johner a Male Artist of the Year Award win at the 2007 Canadian Country Music Awards.
Lookin’ At You continues to show Johner is at the top of the country not just in Saskatchewan, but in Canada.
The latest release has some plain excellent country songs.
High is a beautiful number, which has one of those uplifting messages without being overly preachy. It’s simply about getting high from the everyday joys of life.
The title cut is a radio-friendly effort that works for me.
It should be noted there are a number of cuts here which radio will like. They also manage to maintain a ‘real’ country beat. Johner knows the roots of the music. He certainly tunes up modern country, but you can sense the heart of the music too.
That Wouldn’t Be Me could be the theme song for that country feel. It really speaks to being country, not simply singing it for the sake of finding a gig.
And, for all the parents who want to tear up remembering their daughter leaving home there is She’s Good To Go. Watch this one be a request show favourite.
Now let’s be honest here, you expect something by someone as veteran as Brad Johner to be a polished and professional. Lookin' At You is both of those things. It is also a darned fine collection of new country songs.
Mark this one as a can’t miss.
Check it out at www.bradjohner.com
— CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Dec. 9, 2009 - Yorkton, SK. Canada