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

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Lolli Zan - Ancient Girl – Well, you never know what might show up in your mailbox when you write for this magazine. This one was a pleasant surprise. It's fairly ambitious independent rock with a flavor of India, and maybe...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues