If you have been following the Brooklyn jam scene over the last few years, you might be familiar with the band PEAK. If you follow this blog, you surely are. The force to be reckoned with holding down the keyboard and providing the primary backups and vocal solos is the one and only Johnny Young. A multi-instrumentalist, including piano, guitar, drums and percussion, Johnny Young has played with a ton of artists and toured all over the world. His solo vocal tracks with the band such as, “It Ain’t Over ‘til the Credits Roll” emphasize his prowess as a solo powerhouse on stage and off. Beyond all that, Johnny is just a fantastic human being.
His online bio goes on to say that he has either headlined or opened “…for both the famous and the obscure.” Obviously, I know him best for his work with PEAK but he’s also an Emmy Award winning composer with work in a variety of soaps as well as the Oprah Winfrey Show. He has worked in bands with folks like Giant Flying Turtles and Mick Taylor, just to name a few. At home in Brooklyn, he runs a full studio space doing recording. When it comes to all around accomplished musicians, Johnny is an outstanding example of getting it all done and then some and how good that can sound. It should be no surprise that when it comes to a full length solo record, he is going to throw down with a little bit of everything in the pot – and that is exactly what he has done.
Johnny’s recent solo release, Up All Night, showcases just how well he knows his way around a song, both writing it and laying it all out musically. The album is a wild trip from start to finish, and it’s a trip well worth taking.
The tracks are rocking while still having a hint of ethereal flight with strong lyrics and a solid, every changing groove. You can stay on the ground and move yourself with the beat, or you can sit and think on the sentiment, the mood, and the words. Songs like Law of Gravity kick you with hard hitting drum power and soaring vocals that are laid across a cool, bluesy vibe. Those awesome drums were laid down by Rich Zuckor who can also be heard on three other tracks across the record. In contrast, the track Never Let Go sounds like it could be a movie soundtrack staple with its great vocal overlays and catchy piano. A song like I’m Feeling Alright brings a funky, jazzy pace that is not only fun, but feels like something I need to have in my headphones all day every day for the lyrical inspiration alone. This song is a vibe! My favorite song on the album though is Searching for a Clue with its dirty cool vibe and stop and go tempo that reminds me of something heard in a dark, smoky after hours club, late at night. Totally danceable, totally sing-a-long friendly, and just a really good time. There is fantastic drum assistance on four of the tracks The whole album is a great eclectic mix of styles from pop, and rock to jazz and R&B.
The full album, Up All Night, from Johnny Young is available now on all major streaming platforms. You don’t have to take my word for it, but this album is a unique step into the well rounded, well versed rock and roll world Johnny has spent his life cultivating – and it’s a damn good time!
You can check it out Johnny Young HERE: