Missoula songwriter/guitarist John Floridis has released his seventh album, an audio CD of last summer’s appearance on Montana PBS’s premier musical show, “Live from 11th & Grant with Eric Funk,” taped in Bozeman.
In the episode, which won a Northwest Emmy Award, Floridis was accompanied by two other musicians selected for the show, John Sporman, upright bass, and Ed Stalling, drums. It’s a sparse sound, clean and tight.
The CD is chock-full of Floridis’s own tunes save one by Sting, and he gets the foot tapping at the outset with his up-tempo blues, “Thankful.” His fans will enjoy the comfort with which he plays seamless guitar riffs while he sings, a trademark of his style. It’s an easy groove to identify with.
“Late May Moon” is a jumper as well, as Floridis peppers his percussive and rhythmic chords with wiggly riffs, adding wah-wah effects on the break. His voice has a newfound husky edge, giving it a more mature facet. “In This Place” is mysterious and spooky, with Stalling’s brushes setting the tribal nuance. Floridis plays jazzy and hypnotic chords while Sporman lays down a throbbing bass element.
“Fear No Funk” is raucous. Floridis walks all along the fretboard on throaty bass notes and wispy, slippery high notes. Stalling gets the high-hat into the act on “Spinning Wheel,” while Floridis sings above his seamless playing, and Sporman provides killer bottom.
“Almost 50” is country-rock and movin’. And on “Would You Look for Me in Autumn,” Floridis uses a guitar effect for a sustained, mournful riff that adds atmosphere.
“Walking in Your Footsteps” lets the bass creep and crawl around before Floridis gets down with the electric sound, notes tripping all over the place, while drums kick and knock the tempo. There’s much more on this well-produced effort.
There’s a reason Floridis has been so popular in Missoula, and all over Montana, for so long. If you don’t know why, this CD will make it clear.
– Mariss McTucker