Johnny and The Mongrels Magnolia and Pine took me completely by surprise - and in a”I Want To Testify”- ”Allelujah”-”Praise the Lord”- kind of way! Would have danced my pants off listening to every track but I was driving at the time and ... well ... that might not have worked out so well.
Johnny Ryan and bassist Jeff Bostic, who both live in Northern Colorado, formed the band years ago, and Ryan said that they both love the sounds of the bayou even though they aren't natives.
This band is known for funk-filled grooves and a backwater bayou soul. What exactly is ”Mongrels Music”? Music that's highly influenced by the rhythm and feel of New Orleans, but the songs tell stories as well, as they are sung and played from the heart, giving them a depth and authenticity of their own.
“With the vocal soul of Otis Redding, and the instrumental chops of the Meters, Johnny and The Mongrels will sonically transform you to another place where you can smell the magnolias and the beignets are warm.” - raves Chris Williams of Shattered Sky Music Group/Chimera Sound Studios.
Magnolia and Pine is built around original material that the band has been performing live since 2015. There are 8 extraordinary tracks on Magnolia and Pine. Johnny Ryan certainly sings with emotion - authentic emotion - not contrived - a soul singer bringing the heat from the depths of his heart.
These are infectious songs guaranteed to make you smile, dance your pants off, and sing along. Magnolia and Pine will certainly put a fire into you. They certainly bring something of themselves into every high-spirited track. Music should make you feel something in your heart, in your body, and in your spirit. Johnny and the Mongrels do that and so much more. This is an instant party just add friends! Great release!
Reviewed by John Muller.
Produced by: Joebaby Michaels, James H. Dumm, and Jeff Bostic
Musicians: Johnny Ryan is unforgettable on vocals, the very definition of sweet soul; Jeff Bostic, bass - vocals on ”Jailhouse Blues”and”Big Screen;” James H. Dumm - guitar; Eddie Christmas - drums / percussion ; Phil Breen - B3, clavinet, grand piano, electric piano. Johnny Sansone on harmonica; Anne harris on violins; Corey Ledet on accordion, keytar, congas and washboard; Brian Sutherland, cellos; Jason Parfait, sax; Ian Smith, trumpet ; and a HUGE host of background vocalists.