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© Tim Mosenfelder/Corbis
The pace is languid but it sucks you right in. Johnson establishes a strong, economical melody, and one can detect faint vocals underpinning each note - it’s almost like scat singing, and it’s a great effect. Graceful piano lines adorn the verses like latticework. But are you ready for another corker of a Johnson solo? How he manages to mix high-level instrumental prowess with pulse-racing emotional depth is what separates him from so many in his field.
“This is a very interesting one. At first it was a vocal tune, and it went through two different attempts where I was singing. For some reason, I wasn’t happy with what I was doing.
“I tried to get Paul Rodgers to sing on it, and for a while it looked like he could do it. But I could never come up with a vocal melody and lyrics that worked - the song just seemed to want to be an instrumental. So, unfortunately, the track that was earmarked for Paul wound up as an instrumental. I’m still hoping to do something with him someday, though, because he‘s one of my favorite all-time singers.
“But there is a bit of a vocal: If you listen to the guitar melody, you can hear me kind of going, ‘doo-doo-doo’ underneath. That was me when I was changing the vocal - I was trying to come up with a different idea. In the end, I left my little vocal part in. It sounds kind of quirky, but in a good way.”