Centro-matic is a Texas band led by Will Johnson. Johnson is a folk hero of sorts. He is not like a Arlo Guthrie folk hero, he is more like a Paul Bunyan type folk hero. Centro-matic in many ways is the central ingredient in a small family of bands. Will Johnson has several projects going on simultaneously. Johnson is the lead singer and guitarist for Centro-matic, and the lead singer and guitarist for the more low-fi South San Gabriel. Johnson also tours solo and has released numerous records under his name alone. Johnson’s strangest role may be as drummer for Monsters of Folk. Monsters of Folk is a supergroup made up of Jim James(Yim Yames, My Morning Jacket) Conor Oberst(Desaparecidos, Bright Eyes, Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band) Mike Mogis(Bright Eyes) and M. Ward(M. Ward, She & Him) and of course Will Johnson(Will Johnson, Centro-matic, South San Gabriel)
Here is a great chance to expose yourself to the music of Centro-matic and South San Gabriel; They have generously posted a compilation on their website of 24 songs as a sampling for the bands. The download can be found at:
The band is really a unique talent. The core of the band is Will Johnson and drummer Matt Pence. Johnson is such a unique singer that no other band really sounds anything like them. I have never seen a singer in a band use his proximity to the mike as a weapon as Johnson does. Johnson is also bafflingly prolific. Centro-matic just announced the release of their 10th record, that doesn’t even count Johnson’s many other projects. Do yourself a favor and check out the sampler.
There you go, now LISTEN TO CENTRO-MATIC.