Chuck Johnson Shares "Riga Black" Video - New Album Of Ambient Pedal-Steel Explorations Balsams Out 6/2 on VDSQ

Balsams, Bay Area guitarist Chuck Johnson’s first album dedicated solely to the pedal steel guitar, is an immersive collection of meditations that highlights the instrument’s underutilized capacity for subtlety and beauty. The music is at once ambient and dramatic, swelling with unexpected melodies that emerge from the tonal ether. Earlier today Aquarium Drunkard premiered a new video for “Riga Black,” directed by Zeina Nasr and starring Johnson and Danishta Rivero. Balsams is out June 2nd on VDSQ.

Although I have almost exclusively released instrumental music, to my ears Balsams is the most filmic music I have ever released. Musician/artist Zeina Nasr came to an early performance of this new pedal steel material, and she approached me after the show with an idea for a short film that came to her when she was listening to my set. Story and narrative are always central to Zeina’s work, and I thought it would be interesting and unexpected to have a narrative video for this music instead of something abstract. Although the sound palette is pretty consistent across all the tracks on the record, “Riga Black” is unique in that the melody is very exposed and fragile, so it seemed like a natural fit for Zeina’s idea.
— Chuck Johnson

Chuck Johnson – Balsams

(June 2nd – VDSQ)


Pre-order Balsams from VDSQ:

1.    Calamus

2.    Riga Black

3.    Moonstone

4.    Eye On The Sparrow

5.    Labradorite Eye

6.    Brahmi