So, I like this guy, he’s onto something. The song and video is Shelter.
Lights up, we see him in a lo-tech concrete domicile unit, cement walls, dog, penning the words. It’s how it should be, what I myself was looking for when I moved to New York to be a rock musician. But Johnnie has moved from West New York to LA to do the thing.
Music whirrs in the background, as if headphones were left out on the toaster, then kicks in for real, and there we go. There’s the band, like jamming in the world’s last bomb shelter with a working outlet.
And then with a steely look Johnnie roams the world. He sees the world, meets up with the other band members on the mean streets. Nice dark look to the video, some slo-mo, red filters, some blurriness here and there make it float in time, float in location. Johnny throws a blurry frisbee. This is Anytown, this town has happened before, and now is happening again. What is this place, Anytown, all about? The video isn’t about drama or plot -- it’s having a good time with the attitude that’s the draw here. It is, refreshingly, about viewpoint. It’s mostly Anytown shots, Johnnie’s multihued Mohawk against the sun, the guys in the band, the song.
Cool song. Nice sloppy, bracing groove -- lockstep click-track playing would ruin the fun. Guitar line snakes around like a python, holding the sound together. The drums really do rock out, it all flies by in moments, stays interesting throughout.
Ferro uses his voice well, prompting thoughts of, of course, Eddie Vedder. Nothing against Vedder, but this singer just puts me in a good mood. It‘s a nice anthem, in “gold and green and red and white...”
We end with him writing on and staring at a handwritten paper on the floor. It’s now got “SHELTER” on it. Guess we’ll have to stay tuned. Meanwhile, Shelter, song and video, only get better with repeated plays.
Ferro’s new album, Cockeyed Optimism, is available on iTunes.
Johnnie Ferro--Vocals, Acoustic Guitars, Bass
Kari Ashdown--Backing Vocals
A ParadymePix production. Directed by Robyn August
For more information on Johnnie Ferro please visit www.johnnieferro.com