John Inmon

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John Inmon
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Notwithstanding the proud histories of the "Texas Tenors" saxophonists and the twin fiddles of Western Swing, the signature sound of Texas music has always resided in the guitar. From Blind Lemon Jefferson to T-Bone Walker and Charlie Christian, to Eric Johnson, Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan, and ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, the Lone Star State has always been a hot bed of string-bending guitar wizards. Though he is far too self-effacing to ever put himself in such august company, John Inmon fits seamlessly into that six-string continuum. His peers know John as one of the finest guitarists in Austin, Texas (and, considering the competition, that is high praise indeed); his fans know him as the signature guitar style that has propelled the music of Marcia Ball, Omar and the Howlers, the Lost Gonzo Band, Bruce Robison, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Rusty Wier, and, most famously, Jerry Jeff Walker, for over three decades. In addition to performing with those artists, John has also recorded with the cream of Texas' singer-songwriter and country-rock communities. His album credits include work with the aforementioned folks, as well as sessions with Delbert McClinton, Robert Earl Keen, Townes Van Zandt, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Willie Nelson, Joe Ely, and even, God help him, Tom Jones. (The Eighties, as John and many others have noted, was a strange decade). Recently, John has also been trying out the producer's chair. His latest project is Twilight, the debut album by vocalist Caroline Herring. And although he has sung harmony and lead, and written songs for his various ensembles, there is one musical rite of passage John has never essayed: the solo album. At least, not until now. Goodbye Easy Street, a new release on Blue Sugar Records, finally remedies that omission. The album includes songs from across the span of John's career, along with a handful of new tunes. Longtime fans of the Lost Gonzo Band, Jerry Jeff and Rusty Weir might recognize such titles as "Goodbye Easy Street," "The Reason," "Railroad Man," and "Daddy's Money," while listeners new to John's work will undoubtedly find other songs on Goodbye Easy Street that resonate on their personal frequencies. In addition to producing the album, John played acoustic and electric guitars, percussion, bass, and keyboards. A Texas native and military brat, John first picked up the guitar in Heidelberg, Germany. A stint in San Francisco found him playing in a surf band in teen clubs around the Bay Area ("We were terrible, but we had a lot of fun…" he recalled.) Arriving back in Texas in time for the British Invasion, John gigged around for some years until the Texas "progressive country," or "outlaw" country-rock scene began to coalesce in Austin. John and some kindred musical spirits formed the nucleus of Jerry Jeff's famous Seventies ensemble, the Lost Gonzo Band (and, later, its 1990s successor, the Gonzo Compadres), in the process recording such classic Walker albums as Viva Terlingua, Ridin' High and A Man Must Carry On. The Gonzos even managed to record two albums on their own for MCA Records. The tales of those years are legion, and some are even true. But John's musical inspiration and enthusiasm never flagged, and he emerged into the new century relatively unscathed, and ready to begin a new incarnation. Goodbye Easy Street is the most visible manifestation of that evolution.
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Average Rating : 0              Total Reviews: 13

John Inmon  01/23/2002            
Kent DeShazo
I have followed John Inmon's musical career for many years and I must say that he truly is an artist. I've always been impressed with his uncanny ability to mesmerize an audience with the sounds of his guitar. His new solo project, Goodbye Easy Street, showcases his musical talent well beyond guitar playing. It exposes his creativity as a singer, songwriter, and musician. Goodbye Easy Street is a solid studio performance which deserves a spin by music lovers from all walks of life. It is a great piece of work from a great artist. Enjoy.
John Inmon  12/28/2001            
Dennis Williams
I watched for years as John Inmon played lead guitar for Jerry Jeff Walker, and always wondered if there was more talent lurking somewhere beneath the surface. Looks like there is... and plenty of it. In addition to John's inimitable riffs on the guitar, there is song-writing skill and a voice with entertaining variations. "Good Bye Easy Street" is a pleasure to listen to; a cd that sounds better every time you listen. Can't wait to see where this first solo venture takes John. Make sure you get to Track 5 as soon as possible; "San Pedro Town" is fantastic.
John Inmon  12/26/2001            
Gary Ragan
John Inmon is one of the heroes of Texas music. His distinctive guitar sound and flawless licks have graced the recordings and concerts of many of the brightest stars in the Lone Star State. After leaving his longtime gig with Jerry Jeff Walker's Gonzo Compadres he began work on an album of his own, "Goodbye Easy Street". It's a wonderful record of John's own songs as he hears them. Whether the title track is autobiographical or not it's still a strong take on being pushed from the nest. "The Railroad Man" and "Daddy's Money" paint unforgettable portraits of what must be real-life characters of John's acquaintance. But the big attraction is still a whole CD full of that perfect Inmon sound. Not only does he have wonderful technique and a huge range of styles that he is comfortable with, he passes the ultimate "so what" test: he actually has something musical to say. So put it in the CD player and close your eyes and listen. Or put it in the truck and go out driving. Wherever you choose to get familiar with "Goodby Easy Street" and John Inmon, he'll make it memorable. Thanx, Gary
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