It's a little odd to be discussing the Portland duo Johnny and Jason in my "Newborn" series when I've reviewed not one but two albums from half of the duo. But this new band from Johnny Keener (creator of the aforementioned albums) and Jason Greene feels sufficiently new to give it the "Newborn" treatment.
They've just released their first album Go, Go... Go, Go, Go, and it's definitely a contender for one of the year's best debuts. The roots rock sound is somewhat familiar to listeners of Keener's work, but the hooks are hookier and the sound slightly fuller. "I Can Fly" kicks the album off with some country-fried punk, "What's Your Pet's Name" is a dreamy song with a kids' chorus, and "Corn Cob Man" or "Ride Wagon Ride" jangle just enough. And the album closer "Tomatoes and Toast" is a simple but beautiful homage to gardening.
The best part for you is that not only can you stream the album below but, for a limited time, you can download the whole thing. For free.
Portland's reached the tipping point where they're now a serious kids music town. Johnny and Jason are just one symbol of that creative explosion.