BY HANK SFORZINI
The Great Book of John thanks Paste for including us in this list of fantastic Alabama bands, including Duquette Johnston, also out on Communicating Vessels.
BY HANK SFORZINI
by Emily Hayes (aka OldLadyHayes)
Check it out, there is this little -and by little I mean growing and full of freakishly talented musicians- label in Birmingham called Communicating Vessels. Their mission statement? “Revolution of the Mind, Liberation of the Spirit.”
Their roster pretty much covers every bit of jams you would ever want to delight your ears to. Now, as most of us already know, I can ramble on with the best of them. I will get really excited about new tunes and write you pages. However, this time, I really REALLY want yall to check out their mixtapes
by Andy McWhorter
Even in Birmingham, a city where you usually discover local bands by accident, in a dark bar on a Saturday night, there are a few acts that, even if you haven’t seen them, you’ve probably heard of at some point. Occasionally, a band or an artist will grow beyond Birmingham, like Verbena or Wild Sweet Orange, but there’s a space in-between national success and no-name-hood. Many of the artists on local Birmingham label Communicating Vessels fall into this in-between space. The Great Book of John and The Green Seed, both on Communicating Vessels, were among a group of Birmingham bands to visit the annual South by Southwest festival last year. Both acts will be playing Friday, July 6 at The Bottletree Cafe, along with hip-hop duo Shaheed and DJ Supreme, as part of a Communicating Vessels showcase.
Have you ever wondered what Radiohead might sound like if they were a country-rock outfit? Now, sure, Wilco has already been called the American Radiohead, thanks in no large part to the experimental and sonically challenging Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, but they have nothing on Birmingham, Alabama’s the Great Book of John – a band that takes the paranoia and widescreen open spaces of the British group and pushes it directly and convincingly into straight Americana. On this, their self-titled album, the Great Book of John’s Taylor Shaw vocalizes and swoops to the same transcendent heights of Thom Yorke, and it is an absolute beauty to behold. However, the group also brings stellar songs to the table and crafts them into huge sheets of sound, working with Grammy Award winning engineer Darrell Thorp, who has, yes, done time in the trenches with Radiohead. With such comparisons being bandied about, you would think that the Great Book of John is merely a knock-off, a sound-alike, but this album showcases a band that has absorbed a main influence and has fused it with the rarefied sound of old-time country music and, this might sound like a boast, has crafted an album that is just about as engaging as Radiohead’s high water mark, OK Computer. Simply put, The Great Book of John is a stunning record, one without a weak track in sight, and is one of the most consistently enjoyable albums to reach these ears in quite some time. The Great Book of John is unrelentingly stark and brilliant in equal measure, and you simply just cannot. get. enough. of. it.