- Published on Monday, 13 July 2015 13:47
- Written by Eric Dahl
I had the pleasure of interviewing Ivas John about his participation in the Cross River Blues Festival earlier this year. What I found was a deep appreciation for playing, performing and creating live music and his latest album “Good Days a Comin” certainly exemplifies all of these.
The CD release party was held at his home base of Sparta, Illinois in June at Gordon House, and it’s already creating quite the buzz. Of the twelve tracks on the album John wrote eight of them and in his own words “the others are nods to some of my heroes…Doc Watson, Merle Travis, John Hartford and Tom Paxton.”
Upon my first listen, I was duly impressed with the clean acoustic guitar tones, even supporting instrumentation, strong vocals and lyrics filled with imagery. Every cut on the album is a small gem within itself and makes the listener want the current song to continue while at the same time anticipating what comes next. He takes the listener on an emotional roller coaster with the album, paying homage to traditional blues with each track from his original “Goin’ Back to Arkansas” to his simmering cover of Merle Travis’s song “Dark as a Dungeon.”
John stated, “I wanted to make an all acoustic record that reflected my “unplugged” side. I’ve been performing a lot more as a solo artist and playing more acoustic music, so I wanted to make a recording that expressed my love for this music.” Ivas has built his past reputation on playing blistering electric blues with the Ivas John Band, but I believe his latest effort will open even more doors to acoustic and solo gigs.
The album was recorded at Inside Out Studios in Sparta, Illinois and Gary Gordon was the engineer for the project. John says “I had a blast and learned a lot recording with Gary.” This is the fifth full length album for Ivas John, and having listened to and enjoyed some of his previous recordings I personally feel these songs play to his strengths. It embraces his blues, country, and traditional roots but also sounds modern in that it easily fits into the Americana Music scene that is so popular now. It is refreshing to hear a local artist write, produce and perform such a polished and professional sounding album.
The new additions to his set list from this new album are certain to be popular at his live shows. “Good Days a Comin” is available at CD Baby, iTunes, Pmac Music in Cape Girardeau and on his website www.ivasjohn.com. He will also have them for sale at his live performances. “Good Days a Comin” shows a strong musical maturity for Ivas John and its just plain fun to listen to cranked up loud in your car!