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Chuck Johnson's pedal steel guitar debut delivers a group of pieces for ambient meditation. Recorded in a single two-week session during late 2015, and subsequently arranged/constructed/treated in the studio in spring of 2016, Balsams is awash in layers of tonal perfection. The album constantly evolves while maintaining a unified approach across both sides. Balsams is a record that lives outside genre and time, one that continues to develop with each successive deep listen. A unique expansion in the VDSQ catalog, Balsams is an album created in the hopes of providing solace and regenerative energies for many years to come.

MP3 $5.94

06/09/2017 655035176710 

VDSQ 021 


FLAC $6.99

06/09/2017 655035176710 

VDSQ 021 


“Chuck Johnson’s impact on the contemporary guitar world continues to be felt. His first two solo records signaled the arrival of a  unique player, steeped in various forms of playing and influence, yet distinctly modern. Johnson eschews a weathered traditionalism for the wide-scope expanse of 21st Century Americana.“On his third album, Blood Moon Boulder, Johnson reaches a compositional peak in a nod to the picturesque naturalism of the American landscape. The dynamics of his range can be felt on this singular record, a soundtrack-like listen that rewards the ear with rich detail. “His precision and tone recall the heights of Ry Cooder’s Paris, Texas on the extended opening track “Corvid Tactics.” Notably, the guitarist duels with a phantom Chinese radio signal that slips through the silences during the recording session. “One can hear the ghostly sounds peek through at moments as Johnson bends his strings. “Medicine Map” delivers a melodic melancholy, with an every-note-perfectly-placed aesthetic. Rather than ramble or evoke some kind of outdated nostalgia, Johnson lets his cinematic  instincts take lead. “Perhaps most evocative of this approach is “Private Violence,” a meditative composition with gorgeous pedal steel played on top of electric six-string, ending in a sustained tonal minimalism that could easily stretch into a whole LP of its own. Blood Moon Boulder  contains a lyricism, an exactitude and emotional arc all its own. And that’s worth playing again and again.” —Steve Lowenthal, author of Dance of Death: The Life of John Fahey, American Guitarist

LP $17.50

02/01/2019 764072748054 

SCTR 029 


MP3 $6.99

06/29/2015 889326307600 

SCTR 029 


FLAC $7.99

06/29/2015 889326307600 

SCTR 029