Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Johnny Mac Band - 'Ace'

The Johnny Mac Band - 'Ace'

The Johnny Mac Band is a Long Island, New York/Metro based band that plays Blues, R&B, Funk, and Reggae as well as their own brand of original music. The Band has wracked up hundreds of successful performances since its inception in 2012. As early as the 2nd grade,  Johnny was trying to put together his own band styled after the Jackson Five with fellow students in his class. Soon thereafter, he started guitar lessons.

His musical journey changed forever the day he snuck into his older brother’s room and put on his stereo. His latest full-length album – Ace, comes recommended for its well-earned place in his catalog.

The band come in swinging with “Makin’ Changes” and it’s important to not get too carried away at the beginning because there is a point to the lyrics of this song that steers you in the right direction to get you going. It’s a motivation song that way and the perfect way to open such a great collection of original, organic songs. The wailing guitar solo makes you know this isn’t going to be a boring Blues album, which so many can be. It gets the blood pumping just right for the occasion and lets you know it’s going to be a good album. What better way to open the card game.

“Om Badi” is an instant change of pace and an immediate reason as to why the variety on this album is so strong. You have-to commend the band for going this far right away to widen the musical path with a Reggae song that would even make Bob Marley and Peter Tosh proud. You can’t help but tap your toe and move around to this terrific dance-along number. And it even comes with a Reprise at the end, which swirls right back into your head with a silky-smooth effect. They play in unison and it’s best heard on headphones if you want to really hear how it comes out.  
“Soul Angel” is pretty good too, when it boils down to the better tracks, but it does play things a little safer than some others that dare to go to lengths and do succeed at it. But it’s just not the be all to end all when there’s tracks like “Part Time Man” that essentially outclass it in every way. Now this is more like it, with a completely grand effort that nothing else on the album can surpass.

There are tracks that tend to meet it though, but it’s what the album’s best made of. Everything about it checks out from top to bottom. You don’t hear this every day, so don’t skip this track.

“5 Reasons To Leave” goes over and above the mark at times, but always finds its way back to its good self and makes it easy to see why they kept it on the album. Maybe it’s just displaced among the rest, but nobody’s perfect. These are all great tracks at the end of the day, with some more serious moments to go with the general playfulness that surely dominates it.

Also check out “Waiting,” “Give Me Some Of that Loving” and the wonderful likes of “Goodbye Orlando” with some of the best playing to be heard as well. And if that isn’t enough “Groove Machine” will knock your socks off.

Jeff Turner

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