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Eric William Johns - 'Smoke In The Sky' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/c0/2b/58/sw-60-1411150892.jpg Hot

Added by Franco     September 19, 2014    
 
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Eric William Johns can be justifiably proud of this solo album

If you've heard of Eric William Johns then you're one up on me. Okay, so he's played with Human Cometh and Simple Aggression but these names mean nothing at chez Fireworks, so I guess I just have to take him on the face value of this, his first solo album.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Considering that some of his band work has been with decidedly Metal influenced acts, it's a bit of a surprise to find that 'Smoke In The Sky' is first and foremost a Blues album. Eleven tracks, each one stuffed full of good old Blues riffs and giveaway titles like 'Bleed The Blues', 'Moonshine Mile' and 'Angel On A String'. For Johns himself, this is the sort of music he grew up with; powerful Blues Rock and bless him for chucking out his own stuff, aided by producer David T Chastain.

The kind of Blues on offer here is not the ten minute eyes-rolling-in-the-sockets guitar marathons that you often get. 'Smoke...' consists of eleven standard length tracks that all draw from the same well of simple, riff heavy Blues. As well as playing the guitar, Johns also provides vocals and it has to be said that he is pretty good but would not be considered for any awards, if you see what I mean. He carries a tune with no problems and fits the music pretty well, so there's no reason for complaint. Guitar wise, the man can certainly play and the album has plenty of cool solos in amongst the rather basic riffage that forms the basis of the songs.

The main problem with this album is that you've heard it all many times before. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the songs or the playing, but if there was a section in the magazine for "just another Blues album" this would be right in there. On one hand, Eric William Johns can be justifiably proud of this solo album, but on the other it's unlikely to make anyone really go "wow".

Alan Holloway

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