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Trials of the Writer – Johnny Indovina

Album Review

This album may have been three years in the making but the inspiration behind Johnny’s first solo album has been a lifetime. It is an intoxicating and smooth musical journey thru life’s confessions and reflections of Johnny Indovina. Johnny has always been able to create an album with a central theme. The pen he writes with does not lie as he looks back on his life with truthful thoughts of how he cannot escape what he has created and how it will ultimately define him.


 These are beautifully crafted songs played by a band of professional musicians insisting on staying true to their art. Johnny has enlisted some of his friends from Sound of the Blue Heart as well as world class producer and engineer Michael Rozon. He also brought in Brian Stoltz on lead and rhythm guitar that has played with one of Johnny’s favorite artist and inspirations Bob Dylan. Other guest musicians include Marc Ford (Black Crowes) and Paul Allen (Adele and Jewel). The rhythm section of Michael Mallory (bass) and Peter Straub (drums and percussion) fit in well with a constant flow of character.

The songs are sung by Johnny so smooth and clear the listener can take in the lyrics in and absorb them. He takes a narrative approach with a consistency that runs thru each song. You can hear Johnny analyzing himself and asking tough questions like “What else is there that I leave behind, will you know who I was” in the opening track The Writer or “I have lived in speculation, unqualified, unsure armed with metaphor and rhyme” from I Have Wandered. The songs come across with the same feeling he must have experienced while writing them. He explores what he has felt and seen that most of us are afraid to speak of. He gets if off his chest with one of my favorite tracks So Many Beautiful Lies when he says “You gave me truth I do not deny, from the ugly truth I built a beautiful lie”. It is a simple but strong song with just Johnny and his haunting guitar. We have always related to the words Johnny has given us with Human Drama and Sound of the Blue Heart as they explored the common human emotions we all share. But this time this man is looking back to examine and expose with honesty a life of work that he created and has a strong bond with. It’s almost like these songs are family. It could almost be considered a autographical reflection. Just listen to So Far From the Beginning when he sings “We’re so far from the beginning, it’s not over but I can feel it ending.” Lyrically, this is the strongest material Johnny has ever written. Do we really know who this man is behind the shades? Listen to these lyrics closely and you will find secrets reveled. It is not just about time, lies, love and life. It is a bitter declaration of sincerity to himself. The craft of a song writer is to reach an audience and share your songs in a personal way. Johnny has succeeded with Trials of the Writer. This is a brave group of songs that he must have written to cleanse his soul.


He looks back on some of his past like it is still alive on The Suitcase when he sings “ His old friend the waiting hour, his greatest moment, this forgotten love, this tangled web he still weaves, he’s forgotten how to dream”. The album ends with The Last Song which Johnny says may be the most perfect song he has ever written. But what is he really saying here when he sings “Ever tear your cried, I swear I cried them too, when time has passed and I am gone what will you do? Just look into, look into that strangers eyes, cause he is you, you are him, and he is blind”.


Trials of the Writer is for listeners who still care to think while listening to music. It was written by a man who has barred his soul and let music be his only redeemer. Connect with Trials of the Writer and look at what’s inside.


-Craig Hammons


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