Music Reviews

Five Horse Johnson

The No. 6 Dance

Small Stone

It’s inspiring, to say the least, to see fellow Toledoans Five Horse Johnson starting to make some waves four albums in. Hopefully, with the push of their latest album, The No. 6 Dance, on the up n’ coming Detroit label Small Stone, these four hard-drinkin’ dudes will prove that, music-wise, there’s more to Toledo than merely The Necros and Doghouse Records. More a sum of its many parts than each one separately for any given song, the quartet’s sound is equal measures Humble Pie, Mountain (they’ve got a number called “Mississippi King” here), ’70s Aerosmith, and maybe even pre-majors Jon Spencer or prime Mule and Raging Slab, The No. 6 Dance locking down a bluesy, swampy, just plain whiskey-reeking swagger any way you cut it. And, yeah, it may seem odd that a band from Ohio can devilishly channel the Delta blues into a rock format the way Five Horse Johnson do here, but you can’t really fuck with the mind-_blowing_ harp work of rabble-rousing frontman Eric Oblander (see the otherwise hypnotic 14-minute album-closer “Odella”). Seriously, if there’s any justice in this world, The No. 6 Dance will bowl over rock-starved minions well outside the Midwest. You can bet on it, even.

Small Stone, PO Box 007, Detroit, MI 48202;,

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