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John The Conqueror: The Good Life

Reviewed By: Dave Goodwin
Label: Alive Naturalsound
Format: CD

John the Conqueror apparently took its initial beginnings when Pierre Moore was taught to play guitar in the back of his father’s Mississipi repair shop by an old vagrant that he had befriended.

In December 2010, Mike Gardner sold his bass and bought a drum kit. Pierre bought a cheap microphone and plugged it into a practice amp. Within weeks of forming their two-piece juke group, they met Ryan Lynn. The friendship came immediately, and once Ryan picked up the bass the music quickly followed. After three months, they chose the name of the folkloric slave hero, John the Conqueror, and took to the stage playing their own blend of southern rock, punk, blues and soul. Patrick Boisell, the head of Alive Naturalsound Records, signed them after seeing a video of the first song they’d written, ‘Ain’t Comin Home’. Then came their October 2012 self-titled release.

Now the trio have returned with their second album, ‘The Good Life’. Carrying on from where they left off with the last album, the trio have become a little more upbeat with themselves. ‘The Good Life’ has the same stripped down edge and maintains the Fairfield Four low and melancholic harmonies which rewind you to the heat and dusty road of the first album. It is all, however, a little more polished. A perfect example of this is the great slow burner ‘Lets Burn Down the Cornfield’. This is a masterpiece of guitar blues, but also finds the band taking further little steps into unchartered territory. ‘Road to Bayport’ is equally as strong and finds Pierre tempted by another man's girl ("What was I supposed to do?/I got the blues on the Road to Bayport”) ‘You Don’t Know’ is a faster affair with some slower riffs stuck in for good measure. It slows down for ‘John Doe’ and ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’, and finishes with the heavier ‘She Said’.

This magical trio from the Mississippi will hopefully now take to the road and visit every town and city they can. They are a band of exceptional quality.

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