Pocket Fulla Nasty
Doug Johns’ Second Solo CD Release
In order to resonate within us, songs must be both percussive and melodic, containing the undeniable, indefinable quality of an inner pulse. With soulful songwriting and his unique ability to emulate other instruments with his bass, Doug Johns’ second solo CD, titled Pocket Fulla Nasty, grooves with a serious inner pulse.
With a resume that includes work with Victor Wooten, Buddy Miles, Steve Smith. Dweezil Zappa, and Grammy-winning producer Aaron Lindsey, Doug Johns has that rare combination of innate talent along with a mature sense for arrangement and technique. It’s no surprise that Pocket Fulla Nasty is, first and foremost, musical.
Co-produced with long-time drummer, Chris Ceja, Pocket Fulla Nasty has no shortage of musical talent. Featuring Mark Leach on Hammond, guitarists Oz Noy and Dana Rasch, Otmaro Ruiz on keys, horn greats Joe Miller, Kenny Anderson and Utah Witherspoon, and the percussive genius of Rafael Guzman, Jr., it’s obvious Doug believes in surrounding himself with great talent.
From full screaming horn lines to stripped-down bass and drums, the diversity of Johns’ second solo release is nothing short of amazing. A combination of daring musicality and stunning technique, Doug Johns’ Pocket Fulla Nasty is a funk-charged expedition through style and composition.
You may recall from my review of Doug's previous self-titled CD that I was really impressed with both his playing and writing. Well, I'm happy to report that "Pocket Fulla Nasty" is exactly what is says and blows the first release out of the water! Doug's also recruited some of my favorite players on here (Oz Noy on guitar and Otmaro Ruiz on Keys for example.... whoo!). Doug's playing is very deep and chocked FULL of groove and pocket. He has a hard plucking technique (almost sounds slapped, but I don't believe it is. More of a hybrid with a heavy finger-style plucking) that really is key to his ability to pull a wealth of tone, overtones and sounds out of his bass that only come with great technique and attention to detail. The tunes are heavy with groove, a bit rocking here and there, a little sweet here and there but, for the most part, nothing but great bass work and a stellar band! The tunes are very cool as well. A very heavy lesson in groove-ology is in store with this one... Highly recommended.
Bass Musician magazine.com
Doug Johns had me at hello. And by the time he hit the "nevah, evah touch it" cover of "Stairway to Heaven," I wondered if the studio rats in Far Corporation had heard it. Johns returns to glory with a new slate of funk on Pocket Fulla Nasty -- an 11-track tour de force that suggests if he's not the best bass player in Cleveland, it's only because Stuart Hamm bought a foreclosed home on the east side somewhere (kidding). The nimble, large-band funk carries on from the opening strains of the horn-fortified "Scrumpt" to the one-two pop of "Chump Suey" and "Knutso." The description "Tower of Power with Victor Wooten on bass" couldn't be more apt. Like I said last year, this guy's an absolute monster at his craft. He speaks softly, but carries a big four-string. Keep an eye on the schedules at the Winchester, Wilbert's and Brothers Lounge. Odds are he'll turn up pretty soon.
From Cool Cleveland Managing Editor Peter Chakerian peterATcoolcleveland.com