Johnny Chops drops a new album tomorrow, March 23. It’s called Johnny Chops & The Razors. Originally from Lubbock, Texas, Johnny “Chops” Richardson now calls Austin, Texas home.
The album contains an all-star lineup of musicians: Eric “Ebo” Borash on guitar; Aden Bubeck on upright and electric bass; Bukka Allen on piano and keyboards; Chris Compton on drums; and a guest appearance by Brandy Zdan on Willie Dixon’s “I Just Want to Make Love to You.” The album was produced by David Abeyta of Reckless Kelly.
Influenced by the likes of Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, and Robert Johnson, Chops describes his sound as “Blues at heart, rock in mind, and country in the feet.”
Comprising 11 tracks, the album opens with “Believer,” a dark, bluesy tune riding dirty guitars and a quavering organ. A deliciously grimy-colored guitar solo infuses the tune with ragged, squelchy tones. Dixon’s classic “I Just Want to Make Love to You” exudes a thick, bluesy flavor, along with a buff country essence. The duet of Chops and Zdan emanates a reckless, tumescent sensuality that’s primal and seductive. Zdan’s viscous country tones lock the song down.
“When It Comes to You” is singularly attractive, enveloping the old-time country feel of Patsy Cline. The tune drifts and rolls on an evocative piano, while a stridently crying guitar drips and oozes in the background. “Ten Cent Talkers” travels on upbeat Mississippi blues-flavored country tones. I love the tinny, stuttering keyboards and the hoe-down energy of the guitar.
“Rock Bottom” offers a rollicking country rock tune infused with a boogie-woogie feel that gets hips to twitching and feet tapping. The rhythmic component of the drums and bass is hecka-infectious.
Johnny Chops & The Razors is an excellent album, full of cogent melodies and pulsating rhythms, as well as Chops’ easy-to-listen-to tenor. The combination of syrupy, swampy blues and superbly talented musicians gives the music an irresistible tang.