Andresmusictalk began in January 2014 as a joint venture between myself and Henrique Hopkins. He came up with the notion of re-purposing my Amazon reviews about funk/soul/jazz albums I’d listened to. As well as a weekly song feature. Eventually, this moved into blogging everyday-as musicians from Michael Henderson to Gary Bartz were kind enough to support my work. That work was supplemented by professional writer Ron Wynn and blogger Zach Hoskins-both of whom contributed wonderful things to this blog. As of today however, I am officially stopping future posts on Andresmusictalk.
This decision is something I’ve been mulling over for well over a year. The first (and most vital) reason for suspending work on this blog has to do with too many Facebook jail sentences. A combination of apparent reports from group administrators and site algorithms itself made it impossible for me to share content from this blog on multiple occasions. As my online ventures expanded beyond Andresmusictalk, I decided to limit and curtail the amount of content on the blog itself for 2018. Even still, the Facebook jail sentences from groups continued to occur.
The other reason for suspending my work on this blog relates to difficulties with maintaining partnerships here. One of my partners on this blog disappeared from the internet abruptly. In that case, a combination of seeking a monetized blog for financial gain and family obligations seemed to be a causal factor. Because of the nature of Andresmusictalk, I found myself less and less able to keep up with the demands of writing about songs and albums completely on my own. This led to less and less diverse content here on Andresmusictalk in the past five months.
Have loved music all my life. And this blog reflected those interests in very concrete ways. Am still interesedt in finding a place online that will support a similar venture (perhaps even a revival of Andresmusictalk) in the future. But due to my own and more worldly problems with social media culture today? Have to admit, with a heavy heart, that I no longer possess the resources to sustain Andresmusictalk. . For those such as Henrique Hopkins and Ron Wynn who did the most to help me here? I would like to thank you both (and the artists themselves who supported this blog) for your service.
Jesse Johnson really stood out among the musicians who came in and out of Prince’s purple circle during the early/mid 1980’s. As a matter of fact, he was the only musician on the Minneapolis scene who could be a full on rival to to Prince’s talent. Both were writers, singers,producers and multi instrumentalist performers of their own material. And both were amazing guitar players as well. Feeling quite subordinated in the Time,as if Prince were somehow hogging all the glory he left in 1984 to put together the Jesse Johnson Revue.
His debut album under that name the following year was very much patterned after Prince’s own sound. However his followup in 1986 Shockadelica showcased a harder, more consistently funk oriented sound with horns and a guest appearance from Sly Stone. Again a couple years later,Johnson continued to develop his strong musical talent on this his third solo release. “Love Struck,”So Misunderstood”-with its JB like “good god” chants”,”I’m The One”-the only song featuring another musician in keyboardist Jeff Lorber and “Color Shock” represents half an album of non stop funk of the highest order.
The grooves are thick and strong,the rhythms kick right along and the guitar playing, which commands the listener to be moving to these songs with their romantically desirous yet thought provoking lyrics. The title song is a percussive new jack/hip-hop jam that again deals with interracial romance, which The Time had already covered on their Ice Cream Castles. “I’m Just Wanting You” is a dynamic ballad that otherwise has a more urban contemporary twist- while “Stop-Look-Listen” has new wave era variation of the gospel/funk sound of Graham Central Station with some clever lyrical wordplay.
Ever since I first heard about this album, it was often touted as one of Jesse Johnson’s best albums. And I cannot disagree with that viewpoint. However it was always presented to me as a hard rock album. So of course it was a bit surprising to hear that this album is probably the hardest full on funk release he ever made during the 80’s. The rock element I hear is primarily in some of the Hendrix like,amplified blues guitar solos on some of these songs-a technique Jesse shares with Prince. Difference is Jesse is perfectly willing at all times to cite his guitar influences.
And you can hear them loud and clear on these songs. Overall this is one of the finest examples of strong and live oriented funk being produced during the late 80’s. There is more of a live drum and bass/guitar interaction here. And the synthesizers play more of a harmonic than a leading role instrumentally. That’s pretty amazing for a multi instrumentalist in this era. Though they were sometimes at odds, Jesse and Prince were often following different paths on the same basic road. Every Shade Of Love is a powerful 80’s funk album from an artist who contributed a lot to the grooves of that era.