CD Review: MIKE FELTON / JOHNNY LUNCHBUCKET – Diamonds and Televisions


Diamonds and Televisions
All Ends Here – Bohunk’s Daughter – Seven Days A Week – Emma’s House –
Gas Station Coffee – Old Dogs And Fools – Pa Kettle’s Bastard Son – Get
Lost – Statue Of Liberty – Mike’s  Last Will And Testament

known Mike Felton for quite a long time as a very expressive, serious
folk singer.  I did not know his previous “life” was as a Bo Diddley
style honky-tonk rocker.  This album was released some time ago, and is
just now getting the serious attention it deserves under a new name,
“Outsider Americana” perhaps tongue in cheek.  It’s definitely good
rock, sort of the Motown sound.  As Johnny Lunchbucket, Mike Felton put
his original folk-like songs in a totally different ballpark.  This one
has full rock backing, including a horn section that is super good. 
It’s the songs though, that still carry the message.  And there’s lots
of messages in these songs.  Sometimes just for entertainment, most
times for serious listening.  “Emma’s House” for instance is definitely
written in the Dylan style and vogue, but the Motown version is really
interesting, especially the piano work.  Another song I find really
interesting is the one about Pa Kettle.  Not a lot of folks today would
even know who Mike is talking about when he mentions Pa Kettle.  But I
do, Ma & Pa Kettle were some of the funniest and life-style black
and white movies ever made.  But, a bastard son?  I can’t possibly
imagine the mild and meek Pa Kettle being guilty of that, BUT one never
knows does one?  There was a ton of children in the Kettle family, but a
bastard son?  The heavy bass on “Pa’s” song sort of drowned out the
lead vocals, so I didn’t understand everything Mike is saying about Pa
Kettle. Whatever it is (was) has to be important.  Lead guitar is very
good on this one.  Mike Felton AKA Johnny Lunchbucket had a whole
‘lifetime’ as a kind of “Outsider Americana” musical
writer/performer/traveler.  Today he is more meekly a solo ‘folk’ singer
act.  Both however, are distinctly original, and both are distinctly
and totally American.  A singer/songwriter on his road discovering who
he is, and why he is, and where he is…..sometimes.  I like Mike’s own
words, far better than I could say about him….. “I like showing up
with just a guitar, sometimes a microphone and amplifier, and doing my
songs.  So it’s kind of a troubadour thing. Hopefully I’m getting better
and better, and trying to get in contact with who I am and explain
myself to the world.”
RECORD REVIEW BY: Bob Everhart, Pres., National Traditional Country Music Assn. for Country Music News International

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