Trail Mix – Eagle Johnson & Clean Machine

Eagle Johnson – given name, Christopher Nanney – is making music with his Clean Machine, a band with a sound that hints at  fuzzed out, guitar and synth driven pop rock and psychedelia. The band is racking up praise from members of Wilco while drawing comparisons to Tom Petty, Neil Young, and Dr. Dog, which is a really wide sonic net and speaks to the varied influences of Eagle Johnson and his mates.

The band will be releasing Tennessee Beach, their first long player, on Friday. For a preview and to figure out what the buzz is all about, take a listen to “Hero” right here on this month’s Trail Mix.

Eagle . . . . or Chris . . . was kind enough to take some time out of the holiday madness and get totally random with me for this week’s blog post!

BRO – First song you ever slow danced to?

EJ – “Roll Out,” by Ludacris.

BRO – Something you always have in your fridge?

EJ – Kale and sweet potatoes.

BRO – Last song you heard that really got you in the gut?

EJ – “Shine On Me,” by Dan Auerbach, or “Whole Wide World,” by Cage The Elephant.

BRO – Deserted Island. You get one instrument. What do you take?

EJ – Kimbra.

BRO – First record you ever bought?

EJ – I persuaded my stepmom into buying me Evil Empire by Rage Against The Machine when I was nine or so. The first one I remember buying myself was a Sublime album around that same time. My mom was pissed that the store solid it to me with the parental advisory sticker.

BRO – Last TV show you binge watched?

EJ – American Playboy on Amazon. It’s really amazing. Hugh Hefner gets a bad rap nowadays, but I learned he was the driving force that told 50s era sexually repressed housewives that it was not only okay, but healthy, beautiful, and natural, for them to be sexual beings. One could argue that there would have been no sexual revolution in the 60s without Hefner and Playboy. He also did a lot for civil rights and Playboy was one of the first magazines to praise jazz as a legitimate art form that deserved respect.

BRO – Favorite song to sing in the shower?

EJ – “Achy Breaky Heart.”

BRO – Favorite whiskey?

EJ – Belle Meade, Woodford Reserve, or Eagle Rare.

BRO – One song I couldn’t pay you to cover?

EJ – “Bad Blood.”

BRO – Song that made you want to learn an instrument?

EJ – “She’s So Heavy,” by The Beatles.

BRO – Week at the mountain or week at the beach?

EJ – Tennessee Beach.

BRO – First time you were ever starstruck?

EJ – I pride myself on not being one of those starstruck people, for the most part, but one time I was working at a coffee shop in Memphis and I looked up and Dane Auerbach was sitting at a table all by himself. It was pretty surreal. There was nobody else in the coffee shop. I didn’t even see him come in. I did the lamest thing ever, though, and gave him a CD. I’ve learned since then that that’s pretty taboo. He hasn’t hit me up about collaborating on those hits yet. I’m hopeful. I’ve heard we’re both jazz cigarette addicts. Maybe that’s our common ground.

Full disclosure. I had no idea what a “Kimbra” was. I assumed it was a stringed instrument. Wrong. She’s a singer. Astute choice, Mr. Johnson. Quite astute.

Eagle Johnson & Clean Machine have a relatively quiet tour schedule for the near future. For more information on the band, to check in on when they will be coming your way, or if you want to grab a copy of Tennessee Beach,  check out the band’s website.

And to listen to “Hero,” along with great new tracks from The Oh Hellos, Lowland Hum, The Marcus King Band, and many more on this month’s Trail Mix.

Places to Go, Things to See: