Johnny Chops And The Razors

Johnny Chops And The Razors

Independent release, 2017

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Though he might be better known as the bassist for the Randy Rogers Band, Austin's Johnny “Chops” Richardson is a hell of a songwriter in his own right, which he proved on his 2013 debut album Sticks & Stones. On this sophomore album, Chops assembled an all-star cast of musicians, The Razors, whose credentials include playing alongside John Fogerty, Miranda Lambert and Reckless Kelly.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The first single, “Believer,” starts the album off with a dusty, thick Americana tune where Chops’ husky vocals are complemented by fuzzed-out guitars, strategically placed keys and minimal percussion. “Medicine” follows and is a more anthemic affair with a giant chorus and louder approach, and Brandy Zdan is recruited on “I Just Want To Make Love To You” (originally by Willie Dixon) for a gritty country-rock duet where subtle blues comes in.

By the fourth, “Tombstone Flowers,” we begin to see the diversity Chops manifests with rockabilly influences and an oldies feeling, and “When It Comes To You” brings a piano-heavy ballad. “Ten Cent Talkers” then ramps the pace up to breezy, garage-rock influenced Americana.

The remaining few tracks don’t detract too much from the rest of the pack. “Taking A Chance On Me” brings in The Gospel Starz to help flesh out the soulful rocker, and “Gimme Sugar” is a little more rustic than sweet, but packs a memorable punch. The album highlight, “Rock Bottom,” resides near the end and is a roaring piano rocker with soft backing vocals. “Good Night” closes the listen as Chops channels a Johnny Cash-like solemnity.

Chops cites influences like Tom Petty, Muddy Waters and Social Distortion, though I also hear the rugged Americana of early Wilco in these well-crafted gems. Chops has been at it for a couple of decades now, having been born into a musical family, and it shows in these songs you won’t soon forget.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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