This Brooklyn-based fingerstyle guitar player’s debut is a study of guitar in the American folk tradition with additional influences from Iberian and Latin music.
J.R. Bohannon, John to his friends, is a native of Louisville, Kentucky. His guitar style has been shaped by rock and post-hardcore scenes of the late 80’s / early 90’s alongside Appalachian folk cultures. He is also part of ongoing ambient project called Ancient Ocean.
The five compositions for 6 and 12-string guitar were initially self-released but, thanks to the Brighton-based label Phantom Limb in the UK, he now has the possibility of reaching a wider audience.
Fado, modinha guitar music as well as Tuareg music and the Hungarian artist Gabor Szabo are among his list of influences. Time spent living in Brazil was also a major inspiration.
Recôncavo is named after a lush, coastal, sugar-growing region in eastern Brazil and the EP opens with Under The Friar’s Ledge which is described a spiritual tour guide through that landscape. Bohannon says . “It’s hard to imagine there isn’t a piece of music I write that doesn’t owe something to this period of my life”.
Frankly you’d need a sixth sense to glean this from the recordings and a track such as Whitfield County puts me more in mind of Ry Cooder’s Paris Texas.
Whatever the sources, the end result is multifaceted, impressive and exotic.
Hear Recôncavo on Bandcamp