Hatteras Night, A Good Luck Charm
Will Johnson, late of Centro-Matic and South San Gabriel shows all his musical sides on his fifth solo record, Hatteras Night, A Good Luck Charm. Be it an ambling, pedal steel-enthused “Childress (To Ogden)” that starts the album, or the fuzzy squall of “Every Single Day of Late”, Johnson makes each of the nine songs here memorable and connected.
“Ruby Shameless” layers electric guitar, pedal steel and a solemn organ part that reminds you of a forgotten children’s verse. Johnson’s band on the record – former Centro-Matic drummer Matt Pence, Britton Beisenherez on keyboards and more, and Ricky Ray Jackson on guitars, pedal steel and bass sound as if they have been playing together for years on cuts such as country-ish “Filled With A Falcon’s Dreams” or throbbing, electric “Heresy and Snakes” which boasts a nice Crazy Horse guitar part.
Johnson hasn’t captured the public eye as much as contemporaries such as Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy or others, instead operating in that niche that includes Giant Sand’s Howie Gelb, makers of intimate, personal music that marches to its own inner reckoning, as the beautiful, languid “Hatteras” that closes the disc. Will Johnson might not be a big star, but that’s more on us, then him. Hatteras Night, A Good Luck Charm continues a career of magnificence. Seek him out.