Old Lost John “Shape of Man”

Independent, 2021

Swedish Americana that sounds as authentic as it gets.

When you are an artist doing Americana music, but you weren’t either born or live on the North American continent, there are only a few ways your music can sound authentic; as it really belongs within the genre.

Tomas, or Old Lost John, as he calls himself, lives in Sweden. Still, his latest offering, ‘Shape of Man’ sounds like it really belongs, as it grew out and within him somewhere close to Appalachia or banks of the Mississippi.

How? Who really knows. Tomas is not of many words (written or spoken) and tries to convey his Americana feel through his music. It could be also due to the fact, as he says in his very brief bio, that he used to be a woodsman and a horse keeper. Being tied to nature is one of the ever-occurring themes of Americana.

Old Lost John has the voice for it, his guitar and mandolin playing quite exemplary and quite true to the inspiration he draws it from. So is his songwriting, as all of the songs on the album are his. And in most cases, you would think that he just might have taken some traditional compositions and interpreted them. ‘Man from Galilee’ sounds like an old spiritual he might have picked up from some lost sheet music. And ‘Speaking Dead’ like one of John Fahey’s ‘new traditionals,’ with vocals this time around.

Old Lost John and his ’Shape of Man’ just go to prove that Americana can be authentic, no matter where it comes from.


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