That Will Johnson is a powerful and prolific songwriter is not up for debate. His 200+ songs sustain three thriving, simultaneous musical entities: Centro-matic, South San Gabriel and his solo work. Johnsons talent is well documented Centro-matics 2003 release, Love You Just The Same, was the recipient of endless praise in the press, with mentions of Neil Young and the Replacements littering the reviews; South San Gabriels hallucinatory chamber country, especially live, has been noted by such outlets as the New York Times.
After a seemingly endless itinerary of tour dates (including stints with My Morning Jacket, Death Cab For Cutie, Ben Kweller and more), Johnson has opted to strip things down on his second solo album. Vultures Await blends the minimalism of Lennons Plastic Ono Band with the classic Americana of Springsteens Nebraska. It carries the darkness absent in Johnsons other projects, but is not just somber an underlying hopefulness flows through these songs. Stark vocal melodies cut a swath to Appalachia; ghosts of roadhouse barmen backing up against Flannery OConnor are interwoven throughout piano ballads, acoustic elegies and, occasionally, fully fleshed-out pop songs that carry the seamless, rough emotion of a Southern literary genius. Sit back, have a drink and spend a little time with this one. You wont regret it.
"...It's a hootenanny of sweetly weathered proportions, freewheeling clap-alongs and perfectly boozy balladry..." -- Magnet
"Country twang with a pinch of emo...It's hearty, stick-to-your-ribs fare that makes you proud to be an American." -- Rolling Stone Hot List