We’ve been on the Johnson Crook train for the last 2-plus years, catching live shows, talking to the boys, and waiting for the moment that came on Friday, August 4, 2017 when Noel, Nathan, Trevor, and Jared released their debut full length album, The Album.
The 12 track release (Coalition Music) comes on the heels of Johnson Crook’s self-titled EP release in May of this year, and features the four songs from that disc, including Mr. Nobody, featuring the legendary voice of Canadian Music Hall of Fame member, Tom Cochrane. We caught the release party in May at Toronto’s Dakota Tavern, where the band banged out a monster 23 song set, including all of the tracks heard on the full length record.
In truth, these songs have been part of the Johnson Crook live show for some time now. We know their rhythms, lyrics, and harmonies – and we love them. And while you may not hear them on country radio as much as you hear other Canadian country acts, you will find that their tour calendar is just as full.
Note: Go listen to Feel Some Love (track 5) and listen to the harmonies… then close your eyes and remember what it was like when you heard Alabama singing their best harmonies. Try it.
The Album does a great job of capturing the energy, talent, and feel of Johnson Crook that we’ve come to know in a live setting. The harmonies of all four band members are ever-present, and flow through songs that are both upbeat and slowed down. And don’t sleep on the musicianship that Johnson Crook brings to the table. From the lead guitar work of Nathan Crook, through the rhythms of Trevor Crook on drums and Jared Craig on bass (stand up and electric), and to the acoustic strumming of Noel Johnson as he sings lead, this is a tight outfit from the first song to the last.
Where The Album truly wins is in its mix of ‘sit and listen’ and ‘get up and dance’ tracks. Songs like Mr. Nobody, Shadows, and Hardwired encourage you to let the melody and lyrics wash over you and evoke memories and emotions that only music can bring out. While at the same time, songs like Call Me Home, Canada To Heartbreak, and Old School Rock & Roll ring through the speakers, making your toes tap almost involuntarily, and reminding you that music is also made for a good time and dancing.
Note: Old Crow (track 6) is the typical start to the Johnson Crook live show, and is the instant introduction to the audience that these 4 voices are capable of coming together in some of Canada’s best country music harmonies.
This mix is part of who Johnson Crook is as a band and as songwriters. They explore and embrace the range that is showcased in these songs, and they should be proud of it. Whether you’re looking for songs to put on a kitchen party dance playlist, or you want to sit and drink and remember days gone by, The Album has what you need.
To have seen the band progress from the first time we saw them play at the Gladstone Hotel on Toronto’s Queen Street West in May 2015, to where they are now is special. With this album released and a live show that takes them to festivals, has them opening for rising stars, and impresses music fans at every stop along the way, Johnson Crook have put themselves on a lot of radars, and they’ve earned it.
Hit play on the Spotify playlist here to listen to Johnson Crook’s The Album – and check them out live when you have the chance. Trust us.
Johnson Crook, The Album – Track List
2. Mining For Freedom
3. Call Me Home
4. Mr. Nobody (feat. Tom Cochrane)
5. Feel Some Love
6. Old Crow
7. Down The River
9. Old School Rock & Roll
11. Canada To Heartbreak
12. Desert Rose