Johnny Adams, iconic South Australian folk singer and voice of the Adelaide streets has joined the Green South Records family and we couldn’t be happier.
Poignant, direct, unfettered story telling, hard times, good times, sad and crazy. The quality of the songwriting on Johnny’s two albums, Be a Lazy Dog and Burning, are undeniable.
The story is King. There’s no getting caught up between a haze of metaphors and a favourite literary giant from the past. These are the songs that tell you about his life and his experiences in a plain and honest way.
The children’s author Mem Fox was once asked why it takes her six months to write a 250 word book. Her response was, ‘it’s not what you write, it’s what you leave out.’
And this is the case with Johnny’s songs. The economy of words, the story and the narrative all combine to create a compelling body of work.
The recordings themselves are rough and don’t have the spit and polish of a recording studio. Initially, this can come as a bit of a shock to the ears, given what we’ve become accustomed to.
But once engaged by the songs, the quality of the recording is a minor consideration. It’s more like Johnny’s need to record and get his music out was far more important than the polish. And coin would have come into it as well. At the time of writing these songs, Johnny was doing it tough; he spent time living in his car and just didn’t have the means to get into a studio and record.
The first album we’re releasing, Be a Lazy Dog, was recorded into a Dictaphone, totally contravening mores around the ‘right’ way to record. It’s just another reason to love what this guy is about.
Let your ears adapt to the sounds, remove expectation and allow another world to open up. In some respects it feels like a recording that could have been made half a century ago; Woody Guthrie, early Dylan.
There’s a swing and swagger in the jangling acoustic guitar that underpins the journeys and experiences of his home town, travels through dank European streets and stories of mutiny.
This is unpretentious music, written and told by someone who lives right inside the story.
Needless to say we love it and we reckon you will too.