CD Fairweather Johnson (CD 412602),
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Fairweather Johnson


  • 1. Be the One
    2. Sad Caper
    3. Tucker's Town
    4. She Crawls Away
    5. So Strange
    6. Old Man & Me
    7. Earth Stopped Cold at Dawn
    8. Fairweather Johnson
    9. Honeyscrew
    10. Let It Breathe
    11. Silly Little Pop Song
    12. Fool
    13. Tootie
    14. When I'm Lonely
    Read More...
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 828862

  • Credits
    ProducerDon Gehman
    EngineerDon Gehman

    Hootie & The Blowfish: Darius Rucker (vocals, guitar, dobro); Mark Bryan (guitar, mandolin, piano, background vocals); Jim "Soni" Sonefeld (piano, drums, percussion, background vocals); Dean Felber (bass, background vocals).
    Additional personnel includes: Lili Haydn (violin, viola); Michael Severens (cello); Peter Holsapple (accordion, piano, Hammond organ); John Nau (piano, Fender Rhodes piano, Hammond B-3 organ); Randy Guss (tambourine); Nanci Griffith & Band, Dean Dinning, Glen Phillips & Band (background vocals); Cary.
    Recorded at The Site, Marin County, California. Includes liner notes by Mark Bryan, Dean Felber, Darius Rucker, Jim "Soni" Sonefeld & Paul Graham.
    Personnel: Darius Rucker (vocals, guitar, dobro); Mark Bryan (guitar, mandolin, piano, background vocals); Lili Haydn (viola); Michael Severens (cello); Peter Holsapple (accordion); Jim Sonefeld (piano, drums, percussion, background vocals); John Nau (piano); Randy Guss (tambourine); Dean Felber (background vocals).
    Audio Mixer: Don Gehman.
    Recording information: Site, Marin County, CA.
    Photographers: John Clark ; Ethan Hill.
    An air of melancholy and isolation hangs over Hootie & The Blowfish's second major-label album. A similar air hangs over many follow-ups to whopping commercial succeses like Hootie's CRACKED REAR VIEW. But this South Carolina foursome is both too smart to follow that tired path in which stardom begets ennui, and a few miles on the road beget resentment and resignation. The darkness in their existential-pop love songs derives not from the world without, but from souls within. Meanwhile, they craft R&B-soaked folk-rock with the confidence of a band that's as popular as they wanna be. Propelled both inward and onward by their fame, they continue to cast for sad fish with happyish hooks.
    The prevalent sound of FAIRWEATHER JOHNSON is dark folk-rock, with jangly guitars and melodies rooted in '60s rock. The country-gospel swing of "So Strange," awash in the sound of a Hammond organ, sounds like vintage Rolling Stones; "Silly Little Pop Song," which isn't silly at all, is Beatlesque down to an ooh-la-la-la backing chorus. The song structures themselves are also dizzyingly '60s-ish, many clocking in at three and a half minutes or less. But the band's tangle of Southern roots separates this from any other classic-rock homage. On the gorgeous "Earth Stopped Cold At Dawn," they invite country singer Nanci Griffith to join them in a country-rock ballad that could pass for acoustic R.E.M.; "Fool" is nearly Cajun (with an accordion played by former R.E.M. sideman Peter Holsapple); and "She Crawls Away" bounces to an island beat.
    The arrangements cannily and cleanly incorporate cellos, violins and even a mandolin. They're topped and set off by Darius Rucker's nearly reckless vocal performance. Alternately slurring phrases and spitting them out with venomous love, Rucker's voice abandons reason in favor of pure emotion, as if to parry away the complaints that Hootie's art was based on craft alone.

  • Critic Reviews
    Rolling Stone (5/16/96, p.63) - 3 Stars - Good - "...In addition to hooks and chops, great pop music needs a sense of tension and release; it also must have subtlety and nuance....Fortunately these are lessons that Hootie seems to be learning..."
    Entertainment Weekly (4/26/96, pp.55-57) - "...FAIRWEATHER JOHNSON expands Hootie & the Blowfish's medium but builds a wall around their message."
    - Rating: B
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