Reviews of John’s Music

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Photo Credit: Janet Baxter

nodepression2Walk Along John, the newest in a string of albums from Reischman - as a solo artist and with his band The Jaybirds – is one of the best bluegrass records I’ve heard in ages.

One of the most enjoyable things about listening to ‘Walk Along John’ is that other than two traditionals – the title track and ‘Little Maggie’ – all of the compositions on the album were written by Reischman.  For as much as I love all of those classic old tunes, it’s such a pleasure to hear Reischman honour the genre by writing songs that reflect his own experiences instead of revisiting paths that have been well worn with time and frequent travel.  Technically, Reischman is one of the best.  He can rip it up on his mandolin like few others can, and he clearly enjoys turning melodies on their head and changing direction at lighting speed, but to my ears, it’s when he brings it down a bit that all of the subtlety and nuance in his playing comes out.  Tunes like the lovely ‘A Prairie Jewel’ and ‘Anisa’s Lullaby’ are heartbreakingly beautiful and deserve to be heard by everyone."
No Depression

bluegrass_today"Like his varied career, the album’s 14 named tracks (with one secret) feature the stylistic mix his many admirers have come to expect. There’s blazing bluegrass, stately old time melodies, and even reckless, seat-of-the-pants improvgrass." – Bluegrass Today

rambles_net"The all-instrumental Walk Along John (from the traditional "Walk Along John to Kansas," included here) features Vancouver, British Columbia-based master John Reischman in the company of a revolving cast of bluegrass and folk musicians from around the continent. Eleven of the 14 cuts are Reischman's tradition-flavored originals, picked with his characteristic precision, charm and accessibility. He has always distinguished himself as an unusually subtle bluegrass performer. While only occasionally delving into straight-ahead 'grass, Walk keeps the focus not just on top-flight picking but on memorable tunes. It can be a challenge for an instrumental album to be so dependent on the work of a single composer, but that's no problem here. The pleasures begin with the first cut and don't end till the record is through. " – Rambles.NET

"What has been created here is a collection of great tunes many of which could become well-worn gems for mandolin players in the future. The album was recorded in several locations with a variety of backup musicians filling in the sound. Not just average musicians, but stars in their own right like fiddler Bruce Molsky, guitarists Kenny Smith and Jim Nunally, mandolinist Chris Thile and many more. John has given them great tunes to work with and Mr. Reischman is no less of a star performer." – FAME

acousticguitar"One of the true tone poets of American acoustic music...always placing the right note in the right place with the right tone and touch...Throughout, Reischman's full throated mandolin never overplays or forces a point on the listener. The music is open, inviting, and engaging on multiple levels at once, telling musical stories without words like the birds in the tall pine trees or the waves upon the dark and roiling sea." – Acoustic Guitar

penguineggs"This collection of 12 Reischman originals and three traditional tunes is sterling from start to finish. With a stellar supporting cast of musicians, including Bruce Molsky, Tony Trischka, members of the Jaybirds and Chris Thile, every track has a slightly different feel, ranging from the old-timey fiddle/mandola duet of Ice on the Dogwater to a burning bluegrass version of Side by Each with a full band called. .....the glue is Reischman's playing and composition.  There are flashier mando players around, but few have the tone and melodic sense of this master."
Penguin Eggs

georgiastraight“Expect to find Walk Along John on a whack of 2013 top 10 lists, including mine.” - The Georgia Straight

countrystandardtime"Walk Along John" is near aural perfection. It is a stellar bluegrass instrumental album..." – Country Standard Time

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