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  • Bryon Harris

John Otto Young - 'Timeline'

Review written by Sylvie Marie & Staff

“Timeline” starts off with a grooving, syncopated bass line accompanied by a steady shaker that holds the beat. Soon, the whistling drone of the lead keys act as a pick-up for the entrance of the drums and a rhythmic layer of keys that work tightly with the bass. The blues inspired chord progression makes for a laid-back feel as melodic interjections from the lap steel guitar and keys add energy and movement.

Picking up in the chorus, the bass draws your ear in as it ascends and descends the diatonic whilst switching up the rhythmic dynamic. In addition, a solo section with a reverberate synth sound glistens. The wide range of sonic textures used throughout the song ,via the keys, keeps your ears fully engaged.

John's voice is soulful and down-to-earth, inviting you to listen to each word he sings. The song talks about making the most of your life by using a “timeline” as a metaphor. Throughout the verses, John mentions how there are so many things to see, so many choices to make, but you only have so much time.

“And on that line you'll find an infinite amount of intersections / Some are high and some are low, you’d better make the right selection / in the right direction”

John sends the message that in the end, what matters most is that you have choices and you can choose what makes you happy with the time you have.

"Timeline" is more than worth your time; you will find an infinite amount reasons to add it your playlist from the soulful vocals to the sonic blues textures to the tasteful leads and the grooving vibes that make you forget time and be in the moment.

“Timeline” is just one song from John Otto Young’s Sunset Tour featuring John Young (keys and vocals), Kevin Lillis (bass), Joe Sullivan (drums), and Paul Opalach (lap steel guitar). Make sure to check out John's website and Spotify links below.

Visit John's Website

Listen on Spotify.


About John Otto Young

John Otto Young is a Connecticut keyboardist, musician, and songwriter who has been playing and recording in a number of projects over the last 6 decades. As a weekend music warrior, he co-founded the Center Street Band in 1989. In addition to performing great cover music, they focused their efforts on original songwriting and released two successful albums (both co-produced by John), “Reason for Living” (1993), and “Take You for a Ride” (1996).

Since 2011, John has been the keyboardist with Howard Eldridge (former vocalist with Matt ‘Guitar’ Murphy) and the Soul Potatoes, which also features 2016 BMA award nominee and Connecticut Blues Hall of Fame lifetime award inductee, Paul Gabriel.

In 1999, John had the honor of playing keys with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Hilton Valentine of the Animals and Rick Rivets, founding member of the New York Dolls.

Currently, John devotes most of his time to his music, including songwriting, recording, session work, and playing live with the Soul Potatoes and other acts. As he puts it, “The best part of what I do now is collaborating with others. Music is inspiring, and unlike myself, it never gets old”.

Sunset Tour, released in May 2019, is John’s debut solo album and represents a range of musical styles and influences that have infiltrated his brain for the last 60 plus years.


This music review was brought to you by BWH Music Group.

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