“I just want to tell a story, man,” he says. “The way I came up, you just told the story just how it was. People wanted to hear the truth. I try to stay in that feel.”
Roland talking to Christian Schaeffer of Riverfront Times in 2016 following his first album.
Set your mind free
Now you’re gone
What to say about Roland Johnsons Set your mind free – if you are reading this and haven’t listened to the track – STOP RIGHT NOW AND HIT THE DAMN PLAYBUTTON!
Then come back and read about Roland.
Roland Johnson is the real deal, bonafide, time served Soul and Blues man. He cut this track at the tender age of 71, having recorded his first album of original material at the age of 68.
Both albums were recorded at Blue Lotus recording studio in St Louis, Missouri and feature the wealth of talent that uses the studio as a creative hub. The studio is owned and run by Paul Niehaus IV, also a talented sound engineer, musician and performer.
This track was picked up by a couple of the upfront DJs and in particular was championed by Cliff Steele in his sets, following his visiting the studio and sourcing copies of the album of the same name.
Roland is aiming for the stars and given the quality of the two tracks on this release we are honoured to be working in partnership with the Blue Lotus studio and Roland to bring this to a 45.
The A side, Set your mind free, has already been flagged as one of the monster spins of 2020. From the minute that rolling drum intro rolls through and the melody flows straight out of the back, being cut through by Rolands voice – dripping soul from every phrase. Beautiful production and composition bring to life a new breed of soul from St Louis, with more than a passing nod to the heritage soul of the area. Look up Arch and Emerge record labels.
Flip it over and get ready to be torn in half by what I think is one of the best modern deep and soulful tracks I have heard in a long long time. You can hear every story of a broken heart that ever existed in Rolands delivery and the backing and instrumentation are just sublime.
So did you read this before listening to the tracks – If you did shame on you! GO and listen now.
If you did listen before reading this – now go back and listen again… to Roland Johnsons Set your mind free backed with Now your gone. Enjoy.
The ability to bring this to you humbles both myself and Des and we are truly astounded by the skill, passion and dedication of artists that can translate life into Soul!