Banner Johnson - Gasoline and Purple Weed - Stereo Stickman

Banner Johnson Gasoline and Purple Weed


Country, Folk and Americana all soulfully united with stories that relate and reflect – Banner Johnson returns, with a full length album of heartfelt gems and outright anthems alike.

Old Friend starts off the Gasoline and Purple Weed journey, an acoustic finger-picked and intimate song, partly familiar and building up to a colourful clap rhythm and chorus of voices; the sort of World and Folk unity promised only by the most organic of songwriters and musicians.

Conceptually we seem quite far from the implications of the album’s titlebut potential metaphors, plus lashings of nostalgia, are clearly threads throughout the project. This quality continues within the notably more Country-kissed I See You, featuring the likable dynamic of Phoebe’s additional singing voice, and also in the shoulder-swaying connection and calm of Hello Stranger.

This album in full is perhaps much more mellow and acoustically rooted than its title seems to imply. Other projects relating to weed and gasoline tend to offer a more explosive instrumental backdrop. For this reason, and many others – the heartfelt writing, the humble voice, the honesty and unplugged warmth – the project appeals increasingly as these 14 tracks roll along.

Annie O’i Dunno is a personal favourite, a soulful and uplifting crescendo of voice and music that’s beautifully intoxicating. Other highlights include the suddenly Americana and Rock-infused boldness and volume of Party Again; the gasoline aspect provocatively piercing through the stillness. And the equally upbeat bounce and beauty of a Folk Rock hit that is Where The Oaks Grow; at almost a quarter of a million streams, this one is clearly working its magic across the board.

Then there’s the compelling story and evocatively passionate sound of Health Camp Road, a beautifully uplifting though heart-breaking walk down memory lane. Plus the stylish blues riffs and striking contemplations of a mellow and profound The Wicked Ways – a memorable musicality and lower toned voice showcasing yet another side to the uninhibited Banner Johnson.

Also appearing is the blues-rock stomp of The Road is Callin’, and the closing live-acoustic sound of an impressive and compelling That Gun.

Featuring a handful of producers: Ariel Delgado, Steven De Smedt, Marty Coolidge, and released on TipJar Records, Gasoline and Purple Weed is a humble yet stunning album. The music is timeless, and brilliantly relevant at present for the re-rise of Country and Americana, even Acoustic Folk, within the mainstream.

Banner Johnson’s songwriting is up there with the best of them, and the professionalism and heart of this record makes it feel something like a great hits collection. An easy joy to let play, and with plenty left to think about once the music has ended.

Check out Banner Johnson on Facebook or visit their Website.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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