Roaming Australian currently plying his trade outta Spain, Casino would be known for his consistent releases and the loud guitars and big tunes of the Springsteen nature. or at least his last offering was like that however here he’s softened and moved in a totally different direction for the tone and feel of this record. ‘Vibrations, Yours And Mine’, is something more relaxed and charming, Americana like if you really need to force it into a pigeon hole. But the artwork would allude to the feel of the music if the truth were told.
Knowing how prolific Casino is with his songwriting, he has relied heavily on covers here, with only four out of the eleven songs being penned by his fair hand. Opening with ‘I Hear You Calling’, originally by Bill Fay, could easily be a Casino original such is the delivery and interpretation, Complete with pedal steel (courtesy of Los Deltonos’ Hendrick Rover).
Not being too familiar with the originals I did my homework and compared and contrasted each version and decided that Casinos version of Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks, ‘I Scare Myself’ doesn’t alter greatly from the original, perhaps with the benefits of hindsight brushed up or rather cut up the intro and dropping the acoustics into the mix I think this song sounds better in the hands of Casino.
His quite beautiful rendition of Chris Bailey’s Saints ‘Ghost Ships’ shines and the lap steel is a joy. Not sure this one is as tasty as the original but hey always a nice tip o fthe hat to fellow Australian rockers who should have been huge. His version of The New Christs ‘Dropping Like Flies’ sees Casino flip the rocker into something more somber without doing any harm to such a good song.
Keeping it southern hemisphere heavy and covering bands that Casino clearly holds dear he also tackles more current artists such as the black keys and maybe because the songs aren’t generally seen as big-ticket bands or chart hit staples the flow of the record is excellent and for a late-night listen this is an absolute home run. I didn’t see the gypsy blues of Gordon Lightfoot’s ‘Sundown’ coming, but he still manages to take ownership of arguably the most widely known of the songs here apart from the Campbell classic ‘Wichita Lineman’ which is the only weak one compared to the original on offer here but hey one below par shouldn’t spoil anything.
On Vibrations…, Johnny Casino has pulled all the stops to mix up some of his favourite tunes and taken ownership and done it extremely well. If you’re a fan of his work then its a no brainer if you have a mild interest in any of the bands he’s covered then you should invest some time into this long-player it might just be one of the best discoveries you make all year. Americana, via Australia and Spain, what a great record to toast be it sangria or a tinnie get on it!