Country : United States Label : Rumble Strip Records Genres and styles : Americana / Country Year : 2024

John Leventhal – Rumble Strip

· by Michel Labrecque

John Leventhal is a guitarist and producer who has played with many people, from Willy Nelson to Donald Fagen (of the duo Steely Dan), including his wife, Rosanne Cash.

However, he would have to wait for the pandemic and the venerable age of seventy-one for him to find the time to make his first solo record.

It was worth the wait.

Rumble Strip is an ode to plural and learned guitars. This is country music and Americana of the highest order. The multiple guitar crossovers are carefully measured, and the sounds are magnificent. All this breathes and embodies the United States, in its deepest tradition, but with extraordinary technical sophistication. As well as with a very above-average sense of melody.

Rumble Strip is overwhelmingly an instrumental album. However, there are two songs sung in a duet with Rosanne Cash, including the splendid “That’s All I Know About Arkansas,’ which immerses us in the world of rural poverty. “If You Only Knew” was composed in collaboration with Matt Berninger of The National. There’s also “The Only Ghost,” co-written with singer Marc Cohn. John Leventhall has many friends in the music world.

Since I had the chance to see the documentary series Country Music, by filmmaker Ken Burns for the American network PBS (2019), I understood that this music goes well beyond the most commercial stereotypes and associated clichés. to this style. Country has been influenced by black music and is not just reserved for white people. Gender is much more complex than it seems.

This opus by John Leventhal is an Americana nugget. We hope that his solo career continues. With acoustic, electric, steel and dobro guitars. It’s a balm for the ear.

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