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Johnny Casino / High Stone LP Black Vinyl
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Johnny Casino / High Stone LP Black Vinyl

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Johnny Casino 'High Stone' LP Black Vinyl 

The city of Philadelphia has been good to your old pal Johnny Casino, in between the years of 1997 and 2001 I spent the best part of 3 years living there or being there for extended periods of time, and have returned many times since. I dig the gritty fighting spirit that I believe lives and breathes in Philly and it´s passionate people. The streets feel familiar to me and it feels like home, some of my favorite people live or once lived in Philadelphia, I love the city warts and all.

HIGH STONE was recorded in Philadelphia…….twice!

This album started it´s life in Olde Richmond, Philadelphia, in early March of 2020, then……..well all kinds of ¨road blocks, detours, lost recordings, doubts and distances¨ tried to derail it until we finally finished it in October of 2023 (I recorded and released an album, a singles box set containing 5 singles and bonus tracks, and two other 45’s in between starting and finishing this album!?)

High Stone was recorded by my dear old friend Jamie Mahon (Three 4 Tens, Marah, Mondo Topless, St James and The Apostles) in his studio Greenrock Recorders, with his GREAT band The Apostles as my backing band and Jamie behind the controls. This is not the place to bore you with the ¨how´s and why´s of the stops and starts and lost tapes¨ but we manged to get the recording side of it finished in July 2023

I then took the tracks back home to Spain to have them mixed and Mastered by Mike Mariconda (Raunch Hands, Devil Dogs, 9 Pound Hammer, The New Bomb Turks, Holly Golightly, Jack Oblivian, Barrence Whitfield)

Most of the ideas for these songs were conceived in my home in Spain BUT they most certainly became reborn walking thru my old haunts/streets in Philly, soaking in it's smell, the way it moves, looks and feels, remembering times from more 20 years of frequenting the ¨city of brotherly love¨ and letting those memories and impulses that struck me shape and mold the songs and performances while recording.

The formula for recording these songs was to keep the ideas fresh, I would spend 15 or 20 minutes with the drummer Jeff Castner showing him a loose song structure and accent points, then we would start to roll the tape and make takes, if my memory serves me well we had each song in 3 takes or less, go into the control room have a listen together and decide on if we wanted to do another take, most of the time we didn't!! Jamie would do his ¨mad scientist¨ thing offering up different ideas for sounds and effects to flesh out the songs then Mike Kiker would come in later in the evening and add Bass guitar and keyboard parts and then even later Jill Snarburg would add her vocals and backing vocals to round it all out. The basic tracking took 3 to 4 days which I believe kept the songs open and fresh with a direct feel and energy.

My original idea was that Jamie Mahon would mix the album but he suggested the album would be served well by having a fresh set of ears hearing it and mixing from a slightly different perspective. I was visiting some good friends in Virginia lying in bed wondering who I might ask to mix the album when I got a call from my brother Julian Marco, we got to talking and he suggested I talk to Mike Mariconda who was living in a small town near Valencia, which in turn is not that far away from where I live in Denia.

In the past I had worked only briefly with Mike many years ago when I was asked to play some guitar for my brothers in Los Chicos on a record he was producing. I had listened to Mike's music and producing from a far for many years so I knew that what he might do could very easy be up my alley sonically speaking, I spoke to Mike briefly when I got home from America, sent him a rough mix of a song to see if he might be interested, luckily for me (hopefully you too!) he was up for it! So Mike started doing his thing, the mixers flowed freely and we just went with what we thought best served the song, never trying to overcomplicate the mix or the song. Mike then mastered the recordings and now hopefully you are listening and feeling some of the things we did while making it.

Wishing y´all well - Johnny Casino

Tracklisting:

Twenty Twenty
If We Sow (love will grow)
Mr Fastgun
Postcards
Make Hay While The Sun Shines
Anchor
Love Over Fear
The Ghost Train