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- ‘Lotta ties, lotta ties’
Hawaiian singer-songwriter to tour East Coast this fall
Professional Hawaiian surfer turned acoustic rocker Jack Johnson released his debut record “Brushfire Fairytales” in early 2001, and his sound is comparable to a mix of G. Love and Special Sauce, Sublime and Ben Harper.
“Fairytales,” produced by Harper’s right hand man J.P. Plunier, features Ben Harper as well as Tommy Jordan from Geggy Tah and Merlo from Spain. The album consists of thirteen unique and outstandingly creative lyrical songs, which have been dubbed “engaging folk and blues-inflected pop.”
Born in Oahu, Hawaii, Johnson is a former Quicksilver endorsed surfer and also a film school graduate. He was first introduced into the music scene when he met Garrett Dutton III of G. Love and Special Sauce. Dutton was so impressed with Johnson’s “Rodeo Clowns” that he recorded it to appear on G. Love and Special Sauce’s 1999 album “Phildelphonic,” both sung and penned by Johnson.
“Brushfire Fairytales” has a refreshing new exotic ‘surfer’ sound among mainstream and folk-acoustic rock acts these days. It clearly reinvents itself from earlier surfer music of the 60’s like the Beach Boys.
Johnson’s lyrics are like no other. “Flake” and “Bubble Toes” have outstanding acoustic melodies along with simplistic yet smart lyrics. The recent live video for “Flake” features a swaying sandal-clad Johnson with his band and guest Ben Harper wailing away on his trademark lap steel guitar.
Lamenting in “Flake,” Johnson sings in a folk tone much like acoustic Harper.
“So don’t tell me you might just let it go / And often times we’re lazy / It seems to stand in my way / Cause no one no not no one likes to be let down.”
The practicality and inventiveness of Johnson’s music makes it easily listenable for anyone seeking an alternative to the mainstream radio crackle of popular rock. The accessible lyrics and eclectic folk tone of “Brushfire Fairytales” make it undeniably an album that needs continuous play.
Johnson will be making his way east this season, playing Roseland Ballroom in New York City on Nov. 13, The Orpheum Theater in Boston, Mass., on Nov. 14 and Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel in Providence, R.I., on Nov. 15.