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Ethan Johns If Not now Then When (Three Crows)

As a successful young producer – and son of a much revered one, Glyn Johns – there must be occasions (the Kings of Leon have girls to entertain, Paolo Nutini can't get out of his scratcher) when studio time already paid for was there for the asking.

Why not use the chance to get some of your own stuff down on tape, or chip, or whatever it is stores stuff now?

If that's how Ethan Johns's solo disc came about, it rewards increasing familiarity by becoming a more coherent set. This is old-school music-making (probably tape then) that shows a deep love of historic Americana, and, unsurprisingly, a real skill at getting the best guitar sounds – and the most accurate piano and organ tones – in the service of your songs.

They're growers too, if there is nothing resembling a hit single among them and the lyrics lack any particular ear-catching brilliance. Red Rooster Blues (which also includes a Dust My Broom reference) is probably the hookiest, but the rockin' Don't Reach Too Far and the more adventurous The Turning and Willow make this an impressive debut from a man who deserves credit for coming out of the control room to put his own work up for scrutiny.

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