ALBUM REVIEW by Susan Varnes-Newland
(Guest blogger from Grieve The Astronaut) ~ ~
Traveling America, Via Music. That’s what I walked away with, after listening to the new record release “Take This Love”.
Mark Gordon, of Seattle Wave Radio, always sends me the perfect music to listen to and review. I had just returned from spending a week in Nashville when I first listened to Stephanie Anne Johnson & the Hidogs.
-Stephanie Anne Johnson & The Hidogs-
" Take This Love "
Itry not to read up on new artists before I listen to their music. Or even look at photographs of them. I just want listen with a blank canvas. When Stephanie Ann Johnson’s first song, “Never No More” started streaming through my ears I thought “She sounds like Dolly Parton!”. This song truly captured the country soul, and I was delivered back to Nashville. However, when “Talk To Me” began, I was transported to a jazzy blues club. And that’s the way the entire album flowed. I was taken all over our country, hearing different influences, from the various cities I’ve experienced music in.
Stephanie Anne Johnson’s bio describes her as a Seattle based Americana artist, and prior to “Take This Love” Stephanie had been a contestant on The Voice and released solo efforts in pop, gospel, and folk styles. Her music perfectly represents homegrown music from America. “Take This Love” was recorded at Seattle’s iconic Studio Litho ( Pearl Jam) with Floyd Reitsma. “Take This Love” is an album filled with lyrics portraying love, in all of its fascinating and endless forms.
The inclusion of the pedal steel guitar throughout the album, kept the music grounded in the Americana roots. And Stephanie’s powerful voice, kept me traveling around America. Impressively recorded in two days, and featuring several iconic Seattle musicians ( Dan Tyak on Pedal Steel, Jesse Turcotte on bass, Ivan Gunderson on drums and Steveland Swatkins keyboards.
“Take This Love” is that kind of album which continues to preserve Seattle’s legacy as the ‘City of Music’.