Music Reviews
Johnny Epperson

Johnny Epperson

Under the Speedway Sky

Seattle-based singer Johnny Epperson delivers basic rock & roll with warmth and invigorating power pop.

Epperson wears his influences on his sleeve, and there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, I get a jolt of nostalgia when I hear the inspirations in the hooks. For the record, there are traces of the Replacements, Soul Asylum, and Emerald City icons the Young Fresh Fellows. Even the dB’s — remember them?

In other words, the ’80s heyday of college radio haunt this record but not in a dated fashion. Specifically, Epperson has that come-as-you-are attitude that Nirvana later took to the top but minus the volume and punk rage.

“Always the Bad Guy” echoes the lovable losers of Paul Westerberg’s regulars. Scorching harmonica fuels the track’s rootsy flavor about a flawed man who comes home late without calling and compares himself to a stalling car.

The catchy “Mr. Lucky” digs deeper into Americana with the country twinge of the guitars. I seriously want to hear this on the radio.

“City Inspector” blends witty songwriting (the Fellows, like I said) with bluesy riffs and jangly guitars. The entire LP is a charming, engaging enterprise.

Johnny Epperson


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