Calvin Johnson & The Sons Of The Soil


Calvin Johnson has always been a huge proponent of community ideals. With K Records, he’s supported and incubated many talented groups in and around his geographical haunt of Olympia, Washington. He’s best known for his staunchly independent ideals, but it’s his fostering and enabling of all that cross his path, that make his influence expand beyond his own music. This pro-community vibe has never seemed more present than it does in his current outing with The Sons Of Soil that is comprised of a K all-star list. Jason Anderson, Kyle Field of Little Wings, and Adam Forkner of Yume Bitsu fill out the Sons line-up. He’s not only part of the music scene he’s had such an impact on, that music scene is now represented in his band. The idea behind this record came from Jason Anderson and Khaela Maricich of The Blow. They wondered what it would be like to assemble a group to play Calvin’s best songs from over the years. The result doesn’t sound like a greatest hits record but more like a collection of old friends knocking around some off-center standards after a night around the campfire. The S.O.S. deftly morph from the jukebox go-go of “Lies Goodbye,” to the café spoken word of “Cattle Call Pt. 1”, from the raw attack of “Tummy Hop,” to the light folk-rock of “Love Travels Faster,” and the indie-funk of “Banana Meltdown.” The Sons Of The Soil version of “Sand” is the most enjoyable re-working of classic Calvin. All these tracks offer something new that make lack that special quality in the character of the originals, but the vibe of friends playing music together comes through in ways that haven’t been present since the days of Beat Happening.

Originally published in Impose Magazine.


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2 Responses to “Calvin Johnson & The Sons Of The Soil”

  1. wallernotweller Says:

    great review, I just finished writing a piece on Calvin Johnson myself:

    • chrisbrunelle Says:

      Hey there Waller Not Weller,

      I enjoyed your Calvin post. He’s quite a fella. I remember one show I saw at this community center in Massachussets. It was him, Khaela, and Phil Evrum. I think that’s it. I think it was called the Paper Moon tour. Something like that. It was one of the most memorable shows I’ve been too. I’ve definitely been similarly enchanted with all things K.

      Thanks for saying hello.


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