JOHNNY CASINO – Live at the Hanging Tree (LP Off The Hip 2013)

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Recorded live at Hanging Tree Recording Studios in Sydney, the record largely comprises material from Johnny’s excellent catalogue of rock’n’roll. Take Me Down to the River pounds like a motherfucker; Brother Grahame Says is even more the riff-perfect good time rock’n’roll pop tune. There’s a bruising edge to Nothing Left to Hide that leaves you bearing the honourable scars of an encounter with the dirty side of rock; Can’t Be Who You Want Me to Be evolves into the quintessential marriage of Chuck Berry and the Celibate Rifles.

There’s a couple of quieter moments – a truncated version of Jimmy Webb’s Galvaston, and the reflective This Christmas Time – but for the most part, Johnny and his band are firing on all eight cylinders. Many people claim solidarity with the rock’n’roll cause, but few can lay claim to Johnny Casino’s empathy and passion. Somebody make this guy an ambassador for Australian rock’n’roll. BY PATRICK EMERY (Beat Magazine)

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