Previously informed BLURT that shifting his role from producer to artist was all about the songs.
By Blurt Staff
Singer/songwriter (and Grammy-nominated British producer) Ethan Johns will release his next album ‘The Reckoning’ via Three Crows Records on August 12. It’s the followup to 2012’s acclaimed If Not Now Then When and was produced by longtime collaborator & friend Ryan Adams at Adams’ Los Angeles-based Pax-Am studio. Johns explains that the10-track LP “details the travels of fictional character James Younger as he pursues his wayward older brother Thomas across the ocean, and eventually into 1850’s America’s vast Western frontier.” “The record is truly watching the world burn,” adds Adams. “It’s so fire hot, it will burn your soul, and it feels so good too.”
“The stories all spring from the song ‘The Low Down Ballad of James Younger,’” Johns explains about the album’s concept. “It’s about the choices we make as individuals in life, and the effects that those things can have on us. It’s life on a knife edge.”
Watch Johns and Adams talk about ‘The Reckoning’: http://bit.ly/1uCXn3K
In 2013 Johns spoke extensively to BLURT’s own Lee Zimmerman about his work as a producer (not to mention being the son of a famous producer, Glyn Johns) and why he eventually decided to move over to the other side of the recording console”
“I’ve never approached life with much of a plan. I tend to, as much as possible, go with the flow and go on instinct. I don’t tend to let my head make decisions about opportunities when they come up. The fact is, I’ve written songs for quite a long time. I’ve been playing music pretty much all my life really, and I started writing songs when I was a teenager. But I think what ended up happening is that in apprenticing as a recording engineer to my father — which was between the ages of 10 and 15 — I developed an unholy obsession with the art of recording and record making, even though I continued to play and continued to write.
“When I ended up in Los Angeles in my early twenties, I found that I was able to do what I wanted to do — which was to hang out with musicians and play music. Inevitably we would want to record what we were working on, and by default, I was the guy who would always make those recordings, because I was the best engineer in the room. And I was good at helping people to make their recordings. So one thing led to another and I met some extraordinary artists during that time, and also started getting some incredible offers to play with some legendary musicians. You know, I guess I was just too busy learning and helping other people do their thing. I never felt the desire or the need to make a record of my own because I was having so much fun working with other people. I guess that’s what it was!
“When I look back on what I’ve been up to over the last 25 years, there was nary a dull moment. It’s been a pretty amazing run. So I guess something changed. I think a lot of it has to do with the songs. The songs had a louder voice in my subconscious ultimately.”