Rowdy Johnson - “The Nordic Recording Sessions Vol.2” (2021) by Kody McDowell and Claudio Trezzani
There are artists who well represent the motto "Death Before Pop Country", artists so true and authentically independent that talking to you about them is almost an obligation. Rowdy Johnson is one of these artists. Rowdy is set to follow up his Nordic Recording Sessions Vol.1 with the April release of aptly named Nordic Recording Sessions Vol.2. The new EP was also recorded at Mesa's Nordic Recording Studios in, you guessed it, Mesa, Arizona. Since the previous release of Vol. 1 Rowdy has continued to successfully tour as a true independent artist.
Listening to The Nordic recording Sessions was truly a pleasure, a 6-piece EP of a classic country blast from the past style without the copy and paste feel. This EP stands on it’s own. The tracks are written by Rowdy with the exception of the opening song, It Would Kill Mama, written by “cult of personality” Billy Don Burns. This song is one of my favorites, an immediate intense vintage classic. The collaboration with Dallas Moore adds to the independent artist outlaw way of life vibe. A time machine that takes you to when country was king, an invigorating dip back into the springs of heartfelt music.
The Few The Proud, The spoken words really make the difference after the military flavor introduction. A heartfelt dedication piece. Rowdy's voice is deep and leaves its mark on this epitome of an American story. One of the flagship pieces of the EP really seeps with true feeling.
The rustle of a vinyl, emotions from the past introduce us to Church of Hank. A inspirational foray into the truest country America has ever produced, an auspicious journey through time, without banality. Hank's voice in the distance does not disfigure Johnson's splendid vocal performance, one who has taken up the legacy of the biggest name in the country and is carrying it on with character and pride.
Old School Rodeo gives us a glimpse into the life and end of an old school rodeo hero. We hear this in Rowdy’s stark lyrics “Give him eight more seconds before he takes his final ride”.
Track five of the set is “You Aint No Coe” which once again features one of our many favorite artists, Dallas Moore. This song speaks truth about artists in today’s scene attempting to walk in their old hero's shoes. The prominent pedal steel fits well into the moxie that Rowdy and Dallas portray throughout the track. “It takes more than some gumption and a fake attitude to be like our heroes and walk in their shoes”.
Sweet Jesus, the last song of the EP envelops a smooth, subtle guitar strum that blends well with Rowdy’s beautiful vocals. This song in a sense is a sinner's prayer for help. Johnson’s vocals are really on display when belting the verse, “sweet Jesus lord save my soul”.
Rowdy Johnson will kick off his “It Would Kill Mama Tour” with Billy Don Burns on April 6th, 2020 starting in Arizona and will carry them across the Country.
The official release party of Nordic Recording Sessions Vol.2 will be on April 17th at The Backroom Lounge in Riverton, Illinois with THE Billy Don Burns as a special guest. Rowdy will also be in Oklahoma City at Margarita Island on April17th 2021.