A sun-kissed debut.
Australian Ryan Martin John has taken cues from country singer-songwriters and record makers from the late 60’s and early 70’s to create his debut album ‘Goodness Gracious Graceless.’ John recorded and produced the album himself at Wizard Tone Studios in Adelaide. Adelaide’s climate is characterised by hot summers and the passive acceptance of the summer heat has been cleverly captured on the album while the ten songs beguile the listener to don some shorts and crack open a window (if not a beer).
There are Western guitars aplenty and a large dollop of steel on most tracks. It is interesting to note that the pedal steel effect is cleverly done by guitarist Tom Kneebone slide playing and volume swelling.
Lead single ‘INFJ’ came from John taking the Myers Briggs personality test. Being categorised as Introverted he says it explained his reluctance to be a loud voice among the rabble. The song acknowledges this with an extremely catchy tune: “I’m going to stand here on the corner with some other INFJ, And patiently wait for the red lights to change.”
‘Sunburn’ plays with Australians love-hate relationship with the sun while title track ‘Goodness Gracious Graceless’ explores the rise in cancel culture. John symbolises the Concorde jet to reflect on the inevitability of change and growing old and is joined on vocals impressively by Alana Jagt. ‘I’ve Been Waiting‘ brings the sunshine back. John returns to his folk roots with ‘Long Dark Night‘ accompanied by Nancy Bates. ‘Adie’ is a fine toe-tapping song to close with and has some great lines.
John’s musings work well in the country genre. He has a warm singing voice and can come up with an infectious tune no doubt. An album best heard outback in the sunshine.