Calvin Johnson & The Sons Of The Soil Calvin Johnson & The Sons Of The Soil

"Sons of the Soil is just a reminder that we are where we came from and where we are going.” This is how Calvin Johnson explained his 2003 backing band during a live rendition of "Cattle Call,” a song featured on this new collection. Here, the Beat Happening vocalist, K Records head honcho and all-around indie rock grandfather documents the studio and live recordings done with the Sons of the Soil, a group of K Records’ elite that joined him nearly four years ago. Composed of Kyle Field (Little Wings), Jason Anderson (Wolf Colonel) and Adam Forkner (Yume Bitsu), the three Pacific North westerners and their label head revisit several songs from Johnson’s post-Beat Happening period. The result is a tighter rock-based feel than that heard in much of Johnson’s work. Even tracks like the Halo Benders’ classic "Love Travels Faster” and the Jon Spencer/Dub Narcotic jam "Banana Meltdown” gain a bit of oomph. However, Johnson stays behind the mic at all times and no collaborations between the songwriters are found on this disc, which seems to be a missed opportunity. Nonetheless, Calvin Johnson & the Sons of the Soil makes for a decent listen but not an absolutely necessary one. (K)