Pat Johnson

October Moon

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There's a brooding, heavy quality to Pat Johnson's musing at the beginning of October Moon, a mood, no doubt, that matches the reflections of a moon-filled fall night. Johnson's folk-style vocals deliver his lyrics without pretense while small-band arrangements, with a mix of acoustic and electric instruments, provide a full but uncomplicated backdrop appropriate for each song's mood. Unlike too many singer/songwriters, Johnson mixes things up enough to keep everything from running together. The electric guitar work, gentle and melodic, on "Catamaran," strikes a jazzy chord, separating the song from the folk-based "The Clouds in the Sky" and the title cut. "Four Wings," on the other hand, adds a gentle rocking beat, lightening up the mood. This mood continues to lift as the album progresses with Johnson even adding a soulful groove to "C-Note Melody," complete with horns. Lyrically, Johnson carefully weighs his words, which is no more than one would expect from a singer/songwriter. Once again, though, the strength of October Moon is his ability to match lyrics to vocal style and instrumental backdrop, making sure the listener has a nice musical tapestry to go with his poetic renderings. For old fans and anyone who enjoys a well-turned phrase joined to a well-written tune, Johnson's October Moon will prove pleasing.

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