7/9 Will Johnson Show @ Waterloo

Will Johnson, lead singer of Centro-matic & South San Gabriel, provided an intimate set for the people of Waterloo Records on Wednesday afternoon. The rainy and dreary weather outside fit right in with the slow & soothing sounds of Mr. Johnson. If you’ve never picked up anything by Dallas band Centro-Matic, chances are you haven’t heard the calming sound that is Will Johnson’s voice. I’d be willing to bet it wouldn’t matter what the guy was singing, be it happy birthday or take me out to the ball game, he’d still put you in a trance. Take a few parts Jim James, maybe a few parts of Neil Young’s rawness, throw in a bit of scratchiness, and you have the sound of Will’s voice. Sounds interesting doesn’t it?

Will played two songs “Emma Jane” & “Counting the Scars”, both off the new disk South San Gabriel, on an old electric guitar to start things off. Belting out lines like “I wanna know what you’ve got….. cause I got goodbye” makes you feel the pain of the man’s voice deep down in your bones. Will later took some songs from the back catalog “I feel to Young to Die” off South San Gabriel’s The Carlton Chronicles & “Flashes & Cables” from Centro-Matic’s 2003 release Love You Just the Same. Both songs played with Will singing and only an acoustic guitar in support. The set was closed with a song off the highly anticipated collaboration with Jason Molina of Magnolia Electric Co. Will has confirmed this collaboration was recorded in February and is due out during the early part of next year. Here’s to one of those guys not getting the fame he deserves, Will Johnson. If you’re looking to get into Centro-Matic/Will Johnson, I recommend the previously mentioned Love you Just the Same from 2003 or the new dual disk Centro-Matic/South San Gabriel – Dual Hawks. Below is one of my favorite songs of the year “Emma Jane”. Have a listen, it’ll break your heart.


Download: emmajane.mp3

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