Tag Archive | independent music

A Barefoot Music Group Review- “If Walls Could Talk” by Justin Johnson

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Maestro Justin Johnson’s “If Walls Could Talk” is an intriguing album of engaging instrumental compositions and arrangements with extraordinary layers throughout all 12 dynamic tracks. A must hear that should not be defined by genre alone.
A fellow roots fan first introduced me to Johnson’s music a couple of years ago when he was on tour performing with his Cigar Box Guitars (CBG) in Coos Bay Oregon while also turning his shows into teaching  moments. Educating school children (and parent & teachers) about CBG’s and their relationship to the history of Roots music; keeping an important art alive and thriving with new students thanks to Justin Johnson.  
Whether it be one string or 12, Maestro Johnson is a string virtuoso and he is an ambassador for Roots music.
This newly released CD & DVD combination “If Walls Could Talk” showcases the impeccable string musician that Johnson is; spotlighting the individual layers of who he is as a musician, and who he is as an artist. These 12 tracks speak volumes to how genuine Johnson stayed to his own roots (pun intended) on this project, and how true he stayed to the music that unfolded in the Tennessee Braxton Dixon built house where he lived during the composing and arranging of this album.  
The brilliant nod to the stunning voices of each of the instruments Justin chose to use also feels to this listener that he intentionally also stayed true to his signature sound and roots style.
Justin Johnson has created an archive of music history with this album.
Album producer John Carter Cash says it far more eloquently about Justin and his music; “the very soul of America.” 
If you’re a lyrically driven music fan who’s not typically an instrumental fan Justin Johnson is going to convert you with his introspective melody lines.
If you are a die-hard instrumental fan “If Walls Could Talk” will speak to you on many levels with the dramatic voices of each string instrument that Justin and album producer John Carter Cash obviously put much thought into choosing.
If you are a returning Justin Johnson fan then you will be happily content with this new addition to Johnson’s catalog. 
As is my custom when living listening to a new album I intend to write about I begin compiling snippets of notes. “If Walls Could Talk” struck me right away as being quite special. A repeated note I made throughout the week was referencing the emotional roller coaster this album takes the listener on; each song evoking wonderfully intense feelings of nostalgia, lightness, sadness, mourning and moody
feelings…. just like music is meant to do- just like music should do.
The opening track for me is nostalgia in music, captivating me right away with Johnson’s epic interpretation of “Summertime,”
Justin perfectly sets up the stunning ambiance for the phrasing of the entire album with this classic song with the strikingly beautiful unique voice of the 1923 Gibson Mandolin. It’s fine nuances bring a richness of depth to this classic that makes it Justin’s own. The mandolin ‘singing’ the lyrics is perfectly accompanied by a 1963 Gibson Folksinger and “Magic” an upright bass. This is a treasure to any collection of music, it’s also a fabulous crossover for different categories of collections. 
Though I could easily write about each of the 12 tracks, I’m not. I don’t want to intrude on anyone’s first listen who may have not yet heard the album. Each listener is going to hear something different from these walls as this music will touch a personal chord in each one of us. 
While speaking of personal and again my love for nostalgia in music I want to address one more track.
So many memories are wrapped around music
Track #5 “Wood & Weed” takes me back in time to another phase of my life when traditional country music was what I was being raised on. “Wood & Weed” is definitely not country, nor is it traditional. Great roots music is organic in nature and allows for the listener to hear in the composition that which reaches inside and grabs the individual attention of each of us..I am taken to my childhood with this track.
Throughout the album there is almost a mythical ‘poetic-ness’ – for me it’s all about the instrument voices and the songs they sing. Much like a Museum of Art I find myself associating this album to a dream come true for an audio curator of string instruments.
Audiophiles/musicologists like myself however will find this no dream, instead happily we find a reality in our ears when we hear the brilliance of Maestro Johnson perfectly translating the voice of each incredible instrument that he played on this album.
*Recording Notes*
Mandolin- 1925 Gibson Lloyd Loar F5
Resonator Guitar- 176 Dobro Model 66
Acoustic Guitar- 163 Gibson F-25 Folksinger
Acoustic Guitar-Martin Limited Edition OM-28WRosanne Cash Signature Model #2
Electric Guitar- Little Crow Guitars Custom “Justin Johnson”Corvinho Model
Cigar Box Guitar- Homegrown Strings-4-string
Baritone Ukulele- Willow Glen Guitars
Upright Bass- “Magic”
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the video footage of the recording sessions on the DVD included in the CD/DVD set. I purposely left watching the DVD until I was ready to write and I am glad I did as I wanted to write without any bias; After watching the video I know that would not have been an easy thing to do. 
Following Justin and Nikki for months prior to release they shared so many aspects of this project during the composing and then the recording that their sharing endeared them both to fans,this writer included. Leaving the DVD’ for the last was much like an epilogue to living vicariously through Justin & Nicki over the past several months and  allowed for no bias on this listener/writer’s part.
The music that went on inside those walls is simply brilliant, and that’s no bias. Like blueprints, that’s a fact 
If Walls Could Talk Cd/Dvd available here www.RootsMusicSchool.com
  “If Walls Could Talk” Mp3’s available at all outlets below here: 
More Justin Johnson here http://www.justinjohnsonlive.com/
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Barefoot Rock n Blues Is Now On Podcast For Your Listening Convenience

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As some of Barefoot Baroness’ readers might have been aware my repressed Disc Jockey alter ego was unleashed in June 2014 on Mixstream Radio-a 100 % Independent Net radio where I have had the great honorable pleasure of sharing with my listeners the outstanding Independent music from around the globe. Literally there are no geographic boundaries in where the Music Maker’s hail from, and the music just as diverse.

I invite you to indulge yourself in music that you’re likely not going to hear on terrestrial radio stations such as in your car, there’s no programming director dictating what music I can and cannot spin. What you’ll hear week in week out is music that speaks to and enhances my music intelligence. So shall it yours.

I hope you enjoy and return often. Please feel welcome to say hello and that you were by to have a listen. I love feedback.

~ Yours Truly, Barefoot


Transformations by David C Deal & Company ~ A Journey of Transformations Through Music

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” Sometimes, in the midst of a perfectly ordinary day one is unexpectedly flooded by the magnificence of “what is.”  Perhaps that moment of awesomeness and clarity arrives while watching a storm or absorbing a piece of art or kneeling with intention in a church. If blessed echoes of the past and visions of the future fade from existence as the unknowing silence of the INFINITE PRESENT emerges. With patience and grace one comes to know the incredible richness of “what is” as a revelation of GOD”S face and the mind is forever transformed into a MIRROR OF CREATION. 
~ David C Deal’s Transformations
Intricacies and nuances that go beyond what a listener can hear with just one journey through this album; “Transformations” by composer, musician and producer David C Deal with the contribution of many *talented musicians I found to be wonderfully true.
After several listens its depth of layers still captivates.
Transformations is aptly titled, as the listener is taken through a definite transformation that for this writer resonates deeply within.
A journey of self-revelation through song is a personal quest, yet the genuineness of what musician, songwriter, & producer David C Deal created with this odyssey resonates easily within ones own spirit. With the above quote from the album’s CD cover I think there’s not much more that necessarily needs to be said, but I found myself after many listens feeling compelled to share this album with the world. And there’s no better way for me to share it, save for being within the sound of my stereo, than to write about it, and to spin it on my radio show.
Opening the album with its intro of the first strike on piano keys by David C Deal’s with the addition the beautiful earthiness of the flutes by both musician’s Andrea Bak and Earth Songs (Native American Flute) sets the ambiance for this journey of “Transformations.”  The journey begins to unfold with intrinsic feelings when one’s own spirituality is touched upon, immediately with the organic feel of the instrumentation and the beautiful organic feel to the track “Graceful.” we have begun.

From the first track be ready for this amazing odyssey to begin. As I listen again for countless times the second track “First Contact” creates for this listener an intensity in my spirit that with its cascading piano building the emotions,  it seems to have stay with me even long after I turn my stereo off.

This album and its significant spiritual journey through the music and lyrics composed by David,  each track feels representative  of the ‘phases’ we all might well know personally on our own spiritual quest for transformations.
I’ve been thinking about what I want to accomplish by writing this review, for the many who have heard this album they know first hand the awesome experience this music is. So what I write I decided must not interfere with a new listen for anyone. I thought about expressing what each song brings to one’s heart and soul from my perspective, but in the end decided that if I did that it would be an absolute spoiler for someone’s first journey through this collection of music.

Suffice it to say that because of its spiritual impact on me, which I wasn’t expecting from a progressive rock point of view, I was and still am in awe and blown away. Blown away by the impact on me personally, where my life is today, and how easily each song resonates within myself. Blown away by the complex music compositions, and blown away by the sheer beauty that the musicians execute in every stanza, and in every note. 

 I have been living the album daily for several weeks, added to my daily devotional time, it was while reflecting about what it was I wanted to say in this post here I realized that much beyond remarking on the phenomenal musicianship and talent of each, and the messages of faith and hope, it would deny the new listener the experience of discovering for themselves the messages held in each song. To discover yourself the emotive ministry that comes from these collaborations by these amazing talented people should come first hand in my opinion..

 I will add that I truly believe that your enjoyment and experience would be greatly enhanced with your listen through headphones and zero distractions. I even will go as far to suggest that your first time listen you intentionally set a time of solitude and a quiet environment to listen and experience Transformations. I also suggest that you may be inclined to feel things not felt before, if so; allow yourself the gift of embracing everything this music inspires within your heart and your soul. 
I will simply close with three additional details. 
. * Credits to the masterful musicians:
David C Deal – composer, keyboards,vocals, producer
Kevin Peters – guitar
Tim Vargo -guitar 
Tom Hannah -guitar
Les Brooke- vocals, bass
Cynthia Lugo – vocals 
Ned Clark – vocals 
Andrea Bak- Flute
Earth Songs – Native American Flute
David Coonrod – bass
Andrew Vargo – drums 
 Transformations is available for purchase @ http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/daviddeal
and for more about David C Deal and his music @ http://www.davidcdeal.com/
I believe in sharing forward that which touches me to my core; which is exactly what this beautiful odyssey through music does…over and over…and again.
So significant I find it that with abundant honor I will be sharing David’s “Transformations” in one set to open up my Barefoot Rock n Blues radio show for 2015.
January 4th – Sunday 8pm eastern 
Join David & I in the chatroom during the show.

 ttaylor 2015

Pre-New Year’s Eve Party on Barefoot Rock n Blues >>>>>>This Sunday (12.28.2014)

Let us begin training together for the biggest party of the year.

Join Barefoot Rock n Blues this Sunday evening to help get in shape for ringing out 2014, and for singing in the New Year.

Looking forward to y’all joining the fun…. with bells on!

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A Christmas Gift ~ Live Performance of “The Angel’s Gift” by Siberian Solstice



{posted originally on Barefoot Music Group}

Barefoot Music wishes you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy 2015 with this very generous gift of Siberian Solstice’s performance of The Angel’s Gift –performed at the Defiance Christian Church, Ohio USA – recorded and produced by Ken Richer.

Feel welcome to share with your family & friends.





Band Members:

Dave Coonrod – Bass

Dave deal – Keyboard

Tom Spraque – Main Vocals

Steve Parker – Percussion

Marie Moore – Keyboard

Jeff Montgomery  -Guitar

For more information about the band and their shows: http://http://www.siberiansolstice.com/members.htm


Barefoot Baroness Juke Joint by the TrueVulgarians

You might know I began a radio show called Barefoot Rock n Blues in June, what you might not know is that the community of independent music maker’s and listener’s at Mixstream Radio on http://www.mixposure.com/mix_radio is a close community of friends. The support by everyone involved has continually impressed me. They all welcomed me with warmth that touches my heart, I am in awe by the music and joy they bring to my world.

(Noteworthy for me is that this post is my 550th Barefoot Baroness post)

I’m sharing a proud event in my life, my radio show. I am also with this post sharing a proud and humbling gift I received. I am still truly blown away as well as honored by this song The TrueVulgarians wrote, performed, and recorded for me. What I thought was going to be a 30-40 second promo spot is actually an amazing & awesome song by these talented people.

My deepest gratitude & thanks to Bill & Jackie- The amazing TrueVulgarians. I became a fan immediately the first time I heard their music. *See links below for more music and information about this fantastic brother-sister duo.

For now I just can’t resist the impulse to share here, despite it being pretty self-serving on my part. So I hope y’all will forgive me on that aspect and just enjoy the music, because that is after all what this is all about anyway….. The Music.


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Barefoot Baroness Juke Joint

by The TrueVulgarians



             ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

For more on the TrueVulgarians




Tune in Sunday evenings @ 8pm eastern to Barefoot Rock n Blues for the very best of independent music.



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