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Who the Hell Is John Eddie?

John Eddie

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Album Review

Nearly 15 years after John Eddie fell into major-label limbo following two middling albums for Capitol and a third for Elektra which never saw the light of day, 2003's John Eddie finally gives the guy another chance to be heard outside of his loyal fan following. This album's blend of singer/songwriter smarts and soul and roots rock muscle and attitude adds up to the man's best recorded work to date. On many of the quieter numbers, Eddie sounds like one of the few songwriters who has been influenced by Bruce Springsteen's post-Born in the U.S.A. work, and "Let Me Down Hard," "Place You Go," and "If You're Here When I Get Back" show he shares Springsteen's knack for catching the telling details of broken hearts searching for solace. But Eddie sounds most comfortable when he's rocking out, and that's what he does most and best on John Eddie, showing off a gritty but amiable sense of humor on cuts like the loser's anthem "Low Life"; the pissed-off meditation of getting older in "Forty"; and "Play Some Skynyrd," the all-too-realistic lament of anyone trying to play their own material on the club circuit. Eddie's style and approach isn't startlingly original, but his craft is just fine, and unlike the thousands of "heartland rockers" to emerge in the 1980s and quickly fall into a rut, Eddie has figured out a handful of fresh variations on the theme, and the results are worth a listen. (The strong but unobtrusive production from Jim Dickinson serves Eddie and his material quite well.) Smart, witty, and not afraid to rock out, John Eddie proves this guy's years in the hinterlands have done him a lot of good.

Biography

Born: 09 July 1959

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Born in Richmond, VA, in 1959, John Eddie relocated to New Jersey as an adult to pursue his musical career. A popular live draw on the club scene, he was joined on-stage on occasion by Bruce Springsteen. Signing a record deal with CBS/Sony, his self-titled debut was well-received in 1986 with its blend of bar-room swagger and heartland rock. The infectious single "Jungle Boy" climbed to the middle portion of the Top 100 chart, but his sophomore effort failed to ignite, despite the attention he received...
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Who the Hell Is John Eddie?, John Eddie
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