Exposé Online banner

Richard Leo Johnson Trio — Poetry of Appliance
(Cuneiform Rune 198, 2004, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2005-03-01

Poetry of Appliance Cover art

Although the American guitarist has a couple previous releases, this is his first in a trio configuration, in this case with violinist Ricardo Ochoa (who also contributes theremin to some of the tracks) and keyboardist Andrew Ripley. Note the absence of a bassist and drums, which makes this a fairly unusual configuration. Known for his unique self-taught picking style and his twin-neck acoustic, Johnson covers a lot of stylistic territory on the eight tracks herein. Almost a one-man band by himself, his playing pulls every last bit of power and passion out of the entire fretboard; having a bassist on board would only amount to unnecessary redundancy. The lack of drums proves an even more important asset as the trio – not anchored by a drum beat, can freely launch into spirited flights that might take them just about anywhere; on the more aggressive pieces Ochoa and Ripley tend to drive the entire melodic end while Johnson handles just about everything else, while on the softer more dreamy cuts like “Charmin’ Carmen” the melodic and support roles are shared. There are no easy comparisons to be made here, Johnson and company cover way too much area to be easily pigeonholed, though folks who appreciated Pat Metheny’s New Chautaqua or As Falls Wichita, the first two Steve Tibbetts albums, or guitarists like Leo Kottke or Michael Hedges will probably find plenty here to get excited about.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 31, 2004 releases

Related artist(s): Richard Leo Johnson

More info
http://cuneiformrecords.bandcamp.com/album/poetry-of-appliance

Latest news

2019-12-11
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Lacrymosa - Joy of the Wrecked Ship – It’s been quite a long time since S. Chihiro (flip through an issue of Marquee, he's the one with the bass and the weird helmets) and company have released a full album – about ten...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues