Ady Johnson is artist who wins people over wherever he performs. For many, their introduction to him was through FuzzFace, a band rated as one of the best local acts in recent times. However, it’s as a solo artist where Ady has truly found his voice, style and identity. His debut album ‘Tell The Worry Dolls’ is a highly rated classic, and his new EP ‘Thank You for the Good Things’ is a taste of the quality we can expect from now on in. Ady Johnson will be playing Colchester Arts Centre this Tuesday, 22nd September and tickets are on sale now.
Here are Ady Johnson’s top ten tracks of all time. Enjoy!
10. Young Folks – Peter, Bjorn and John
First heard at Colchester’s Twisters Bar through DJ Gilly’s decks. This song by the Swedish pop/rock trio was always favourite on the dance floor! It’s repetitive use on a certain TV ad for many years has perhaps diluted it’s appeal, but it’s a track which will always remind me of those Twisters Bar days!
9. Not Right – The Stooges
This track never fails to awaken something primal in me. I love the untutored abandon of Ron Ashton’s fuzzed guitar solos. Stephen Foster of BBC Radio Suffolk played this track when my old band FuzzFace were being interviewed on our influences, live on his show. I think Foz may have been a little sceptical about it’s appeal to Radio Suffolk listeners but he played it nether-the-less!
8. So What – Miles Davis
The first track from Miles Davis’ 1959 album Kind of Blue. I bought the record many years back after reading a Jimi Hendrix biography where the author quotes Hendrix listening to it. I played the record whilst on my New York tour last year, the city where Davis recorded the album. It put the spirit of the record in context for me.
7. Sunshine of Your love – Cream
Undoubtedly one of the best rock riffs of all time! Cream were a big influence on the early bands I was in. I used to see the late Jack Bruce around in Sudbury when I lived there. Sadly I did’t get around to meeting Jack properly. I did have the pleasure of playing with his son Malcolm recently however. He sat in on some of my songs which he’d not heard before – but sounded as though he had! He must have his fathers musical genes!
6. River Man – Nick Drake
I had to include a song by Nick Drake on here. This is one of my faves.
5. Girl from the North Country – Bob Dylan
There are so many great Dylan tracks of course but I’ve always loved this song and it’s sentiment. Definitely an influence on my current writing.
4. Just One More Day – Otis Reading
A fantastic performance from one of my favourite soul singers. It was a toss up between These Arms of Mine (also from Otis Reading in Person at the Whiskey a Go Go) and Sitting on the dock of the Bay. I went for this track – there’s a real yearning in Otis Reading’s delivery and I love the horn arrangements.
3. Tin Soldier – The Small Faces
Steve Marriott vocals soar in this classic Small Faces track. I’ve had the privilege of deputising for the lead singer/guitarist of tribute band The Small Fakers on a couple of occasions. FuzzFace fans will remember it featured in many of our sets too. This song, along with a good many of them, really challenge the upper vocal range! I’ve heard no one do it better than Marriott though – “C’mon!”
2. Nocturnal: Passacaglia – Benjamin Britten
I’d like this played at my funeral! When I studying the classical guitar in my mid-teens, my Nan used to record classical guitar music off of the radio. I still have the tapes (somewhere) with pen-circled paper cuttings from the Radio Times stuck inside the case. Britten’s Nocturnal was one of the first pieces she recorded me – performed by Goran Sollcher I think (not Julian Bream). The piece really captured my imagination and still does! I continue to go hear performances of this work when I can.
The Passacaglia is the eighth of nine movements based on the Elizabethan lutenist/composer John Dowland’s song Come, Heavy Sleep. (I quoted these words in my song Faithful Shadow, the final track on my solo debut Tell the Worry Dolls). Each movement is a variation progressively closer to the Dowland song, which concludes the final movement – like sleep (or perhaps death!?) finally arriving itself. Beautiful.
1. You Really Got Me – The Kinks
Returning finally to the dancing theme – If there’s one track that’s sure to get me on the dance floor, this is it! Just over two minutes of classic 60’s Brit riffage!
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