Little Johnny, from the 2017 album “Greenbah”, is the peak of slow-rock. It almost qualifies as a “ballad”. I mean, the way the bass and the drums drive the track from start to finish is nothing short of professional standard too. As many of you know from a lot of my previous music/artist reviews, I do tend to lean quite heavily on the quality of the rhythmic aspect. Billy Roberts and the Rough Riders make it sound easy. As all musicians know all too well, it’s so easy to slightly slip out of time, even for the best.
The drummer and the bassist are locked in, tight.
The lead guitarist
Aside from a few short sections (and not including the lead vocals), the lead guitar player is kept fairly busy, over the heavily-tremolo-filtered rhythm guitar part.
Although none of the parts seem overly complicated, the parts are played to a level of true proficiency. Some of the solo section seems slightly “safe” and the only reason I say that is because some of the voicings that the guitarist used to end phrases are repeated. This is basically down to my personal preference as it would otherwise go unnoticed. Otherwise, the guitar parts are played extremely well. I love the way the rhythm guitar part acts like an ornamental track too. The tremolo effect will certainly be assisting in creating that. But just listen to the way the chords are spread across the song each time that rhythm guitar is played!
The production quality
I was never in doubt, beyond the first crash of the cymbals. This band know what they’re doing and so too does the engineer. The production quality on Little Johnny is sublime. My hat’s off to whoever’s responsible!
Each instrument/part finds its own section in the EQ, even though the two lead instruments often sound like they cover similar areas of the EQ, they use a call and response technique, making sure that the two instruments never really cross over one another. Good engineering and good songwriting.
I’ve also grown quite fond of the bass guitar tone. The compression is unnoticeable although there obviously must be some there. It’s so smooth, yet it’s booming! I think I like it more because it’s difficult to determine whether the intention was to make it sound more like a live bass or an edited bass. There’s a beautiful blend, leaving it somewhere between the two. It could almost be a live recording but the tone is too nice to have not been tampered with! 🙂
All in all, Little Johnny is a track that I’ll be adding to my playlist. I suggest you do the same… In fact, here’s the entire GREENBAH album on Spotify!
Keep Playing & Good Luck
Jake McCullough | Creative Director, Content Producer & Social Media Manager
P.S. If you would like your music reviewed by a member of the Buden Bay team, email us at email@example.com
For now, please enjoy the Greenbah album by Billy Roberts and the Rough Riders and please share this artwork!!