|Dimensions||22 × 16 × .50 cm|
Hailing from Santa Fe, New Mexico and now living in New Zealand, John Egenes travels back to his acoustic multi-instrumentalist roots with his latest offering, “Up For Air”.
With performances on guitar, banjo, mandolin, Dobro, and Weissenborn Hawaiian lap guitar, he leads us through a collection of stories and commentaries that come to life with his honest and heartfelt songwriting, supported by a stellar cast of New Zealand musicians.
For those who still think folk music is something played on banjos by bearded men in overalls, this CD just might change their minds. Sophisticated songwriting doesn’t have to be elitist, and quality musicianship doesn’t have to be inaccessible to mere mortals.
CD REVIEW – by Chris Spencer
Egenes is a New Zealander, who has recorded a very country influenced album.
Egenes reminds me of another ex-Pat Kiwi, Brent Parlane. Their vocals are similar and they write songs in a similar vein – they even wear the same type of American baseball cap! On one level this album has the polish of a many other current contemporary Australian country singersongwriters, with sophisticated recording standards, excellent playing and sometimes engaging lyrics.
This cd nudges the boundaries a bit further, particularly with my favourite song on the cd, “Over the Line” that has a reggae beat and mandolin accompaniment.
The title track is a homey country song, which is playful, highlighting the beautiful playing of the guest musicians.
“Ghost of Hollywood” is another song in a similar vein. Another outstanding track on the album, is the medium paced “Lookin’ for a Ride” which relates a story about meeting an interesting character on a freight train in the USA.
The American themes and railroads are continued in “Ghost of Hollywood” and “Railroad’s Callin’ my Name”.
“Southern Girl” features Egene’s playing on banjo – he also plays mandolin, dobro, guitar and accordion.
Other songs exhibit country music cliches, which indicates that John has grasped the skills to write songs in this genre, yet they don’t sound so obvious that you can pick Egenes’ influences.
“The Shore” is written in a folk style rather than country. Egenes mentions on the slick that he supports an organisation called Veterans for Peace. However I can only nominate one song, “Over the Line” tackling the subject of the difficulty of veterans fitting back into society after their war has finished, that reflects his interest in this group’s aims.
10 in stock (can be backordered)