MP3 Johnsons Motorcar - Funky Disco Hardcore
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6 MP3 Songs in this album (21:21) !
Related styles: Rock: Celtic Rock, World: Celtic, Mood: Upbeat
People who are interested in The Dropkick Murphys The Pogues should consider this download.
The bandâs name is a tip oâ the hat to a treasure from the âIrish Rebelâ repertoire. (The
song, âJohnstonâs Motor Car,â is a 1920s legend, relaying the probable IRA carjacking of
an unsuspecting physician. The folk classic was revised by the iconic Clancy Brothers -
- who all but introduced traditional Irish music to the U.S. -- and updated by such bands
as The Dubliners.) The bold story (âBut how are we to reach Dungloe without a Motor
Car?â) resembles a force that has driven JOHNSONS MOTORCAR to this very day:
Determination and synchronicity define the exciting journey, âIrish Style.â
Founded several years ago by vocalist, violinist and multi-instrumentalist Martin Johnson,
JOHNSONS MOTORCAR (JMC) âhad been through about fifteen members, prior to
accepting the likes of meself,â according to Blacko Muiri (guitars, backing vocals, whistles),
who handles much of the groupâs affairs, with bandmate Johnson. Blacko continues the
bandâs history: âThe two of us started busking, and would regularly sell 60-80 CDs in a
couple of hours. It was during this time we met âBeanieâ (Rinamame), an awesome musician
on drums and percussion. Her business card also identified Beanieâs interest in reiki and
aromatherapy healings, which we found both creative and cool.â The now-trio continued to
busk, selling a rather astonishing 11,000 copies of three mini CDs, over a couple of years.
JMC solidified in Tokyo, with the â09 addition of Katsuya (keyboards, vocoder â also an ace
on bass), and Keitaimoâs first JMC gig, as bassist (also a keyboards phenom), during this
yearâs St. Patrickâs Day celebration, JMCâs wildly popular âMother of All Paddys Nightâ (to
become an annual event).
âWe are strengthened by a crew of players, each of whom bring loyalty to his or her
preferred music, plus taste and good will. Serious fusion is the JMC language,â Blacko
explains. Katsuya is all about hip hop; Keitaimo, the jazz connoisseur; Beanie, fearless in any
genre; Martin, the shining, key instrumentalist; and âyou can call me a sucker for a good pop
mix,â adds the adventurous Blacko.
Johnson happens to be a Florida native who traveled the world with a klezmer-based family
band. Muiri, from Dublin, moved to Tokyo several years ago, evolving as rowdy singer,
guitarist, actor and sound designer. âIt was our mutual interest in Irish music that joined
Martin and me (via an introductory email from a mutual friend) -- That we met in Tokyo
(where Johnson had also re-located) is typical of the freakish synchronicity that puts this
puzzle together,â Muiri concludes.
Clearly, JMC are all about global music that matters. But, they are about something else,
as well: celebration. Not a JMC performance exists in which the audience (from toddlers
to grandparents) are seated or the band arenât dancing. In honoring the imperative
Irish-cultural music of yore, JMC manages to evoke joy and passion in real time, for all
concerned. To celebrate is a tradition taken very seriously by these inspired musicians and
their âpeeps,â evidenced on numerous videos.
Propelling the party is Celtic fusion -- the genre known to emigrate to, then emanate
(chiefly) from the American south, blending Irish, Scottish and African American influences
with country, blues and rock. Aside: In the words of Elvis Costello: "I started with
rock ân roll...to take it apart like a child with a toy, and you see there's blues and there's
country...Then you go back from country into American music...and you end up in Scotland
and Ireland eventually." JOHNSONS MOTORCAR join the celebrated roster of Celtic
rockers and fusionists, from Flogging Molly, to Sinead OâConnor, to U2, to Celtic-punk
forerunners, The Pogues.
FUNKY DISCO HARDCORE appropriately kicks off with a song about a journey. âRocky
Road to Dublinâ (traditional, arranged by JMC), is a showcase for Johnsonâs authentically-
ethnic tonality, and the delivery of wildly urgent lyrics: âThe boys of Liverpool, When
we had safely landed, Called meself a fool, I could no longer stand it, Blood began to boil,
Temper I was losin,â Poor old Erin's Isle, They began abusinâ...â Driven by Beanieâs drumming
ascendancy and Johnsonâs flying fiddle, the song demands nothing short of furious footwork
from its witness.
To feel what that âFUNKY DISCO HARDCORE mixâ -- JMCâs signature -- is all about, lend
an ear to âRedcrow/ Tamlins/ Gravelwalkâ (traditional, arranged by JMC), an intensely
structured instrumental, delivering the incredible depth of JMCâs musicality. This is where
the band lights up as a compelling and cohesive unit.
â27 Yearsâ (lyrics by Johnson, music by Johnson and Muiri), introduces pop, country, and
a rhythm section that works it. Its lyrics introduce Johnsonâs creative force, adhering as
they do, to time-honored form, translated to the blues-laden culture of today: âLiving in
your mother's house, For better lack of hope, Got your buyers in your pocket, And you're
living on the ropes! Saving your integrity, From living in a lie, False intentions atrophy,
Bringing bitter clarityâ¦â The only track written by Johnson leads one to clamor for more on
the next CD.
If youâre after a psychedelically tinged, romantic mode, check out âThe Masons Apron/ The
Musical Priestâ (traditional, arranged by JMC). But, hold up; just as Katsuyaâs spiritual,
ambient keys join Muiriâs romantically-rhythmic guitar, JMC does a typically spry mood
switch; with Muiriâs lashing and polished guitar joining Johnsonâs violin delight, Keitaimoâs
righteous bass and Beanieâs high-hat flair.
The original, âBotany Bayâ (traditional, arranged by JMC), is a skillful story, in tribal-homage
genre: âFarewell to your bricks and your mortars, Farewell to your dirty lies, Farewell to
your gangways and your gangplanks, And the hell with your overtime, For the good ship
Ragamuffin, She lies waiting at the kay, For to take old Pat with a shovel on his back, To the
shores of Botany Bayâ¦â (In truth, though related to the taleâs travels, Botany Bay borders
the Sydney, Australia Airport.) Yes, not only does the JMC repertoire step out of Irish
boundaries, it also engages in stunning balladryâ¦ at least until that dancing mood-swing, once
again, kicks in with sweeping abandon.
Rounding out a stellar recording is âThe Star of the County Down,â (traditional, arranged by
JMC et al), featuring the vocals of NâDea Davenport, a perfect match for Johnson. Lead
guitar riffs punctuate the production. Crossing those various âCeltic genres,â the track
promises a welcoming audience at Americana and Freeform radio.
The members of JOHNSONS MOTORCAR are active in all aspects of performing and visual
arts. Muiri recently served as Sound Designer for the iconic Tokyo International Playersâ
production of Shakespeareâs A MIDSUMMER NIGHTâS DREAM, based on the cosmic-
horror works of infamous H.P. Lovecraft. And, each band member contributes to JMCâs art
direction, with Beanie often at the helm. Their concert posters are âkeepers.â
To break it downâ¦ America should consider itself cordially invited to the mother of all
global celebrations, FUNKY DISCO HARDCORE, hosted by JOHNSONS MOTORCAR, Irish Style.
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