John Pinamonti
by Johanna J. Bodde

JOHN PINAMONTI   "JP3"   (Self-Released)

John Pinamonti is one of those with the better lyrics. This singer-songwriter grew up in quite distinctive states like California, Texas and Oregon. After four years of touring the U.S.A. and Canada with the African drummer Obo Addy, he settled down in Brooklyn. John wants to play music, that's inspired by "life and travels" and he releases the results himself. "JP3" is the quick to the point title of his -indeed- third album, he also has a very cool website, his "Black n' Red Notebook".
JP went into the studio with his regular band and that's noticeable, the musicians are used to playing perfectly together and there is space for a little experiment here and there, every track has another particular sound, created around John's warm sounding voice and spellbinding story.
Opener "Reason Or Rhyme" typifies in a striking way how people get older, with a manipulated electric guitar and a dulcimer. "Soldier Of Misfortune", lapsteel on a bed of drums, is reminiscent of Warren Zevon, while Mickey Newbury's "Just Dropped In" is fit out with a long psychedelic intro and an organ. A little further dobro and mandolin come along, while John can call himself a multi-instrumentalist: he takes various guitars under his wing, including 12-string and finger-picked electric guitar, besides that dulcimer he also plays 6-string banjo.
Extra attention for two tracks: "Chalino (Sierra Blanca 1987)", with south-of-the-border guitarsounds against an ominous background, tells about the man who smuggles humans and the Mexicans who want to go and earn some money for their families. "That Ain't Bad" is a song about Johnny Cash and makes me assume that JP -just like me- was a fan way before Rick Rubin came to intervene!
Written by Johanna J. Bodde, Dutch original of this review previously published on Real Roots Cafe, The Netherlands.