New review of Rhythmland from Mick Rainsford of BLUES IN BRITAIN:
Bay Area slide guitarist, Dennis Johnson, demonstrates his command of the slide guitar combining rhythm and slide phrases fuelled by his mastery of tone and phrasing.
Backed by The Mississippi Ramblers, whose expertise and authenticity in a plethora of blues and roots related styles only serves to enhance Johnson’s musical blueprint, Johnson delivers a fine set in his natural and totally unpretentious vocal style.
Nine of the ten featured numbers are self written – the only cover being that old war-horse ‘Walkin Blues’, which in Johnson’s hands becomes a frantic North Mississippi Hill Country anthem with nods towards RL Burnside and Kenny Brown – a formula that is repeated on ‘Timbale’ wherehis slide moans and wails permeated with a Latin edge.
‘Faith’ is enhanced by soulful keyboards permeating it with a touch of Steve Winwood – Tampa Red comes to mind on ‘Fillmore Street’ with it’s rollicking piano – whilst there are shades of Johnny Cash on the country ballad ‘Valley Of Love’.
Add in the Stones inflected ‘Revolution’ – the melancholy Dylanesque ‘Southbound Train’, and the cakewalking ‘My Love Is Here For You’ that is permeated with the spirit of Leon Redbone, and you have a set that will appeal across the blues and roots divide.