Big Sugar boldly goes forth with their new album “ETERNITY NOW”. Grammy nominated Gordie Johnson at the controls of The SoundShack studio, applies his signature 1970s thump and otherworldly psycho-acoustic dub effects that have made him a much sought out engineer/producer. For the first time there are no outside co-writers and the new lyrics ring true. Uplifting and full of resolve, whether it’s the vow to his real life superhero in “Wonder Woman” or the tale of redemption in “Anything Is Possible”. After a long battle against his personal demons, Johnson and Big Sugar were slammed by band member defections, an aborted album, depression, addiction, a life-threatening illness and even the death of long time band member and Rasta elder Garry Lowe.
Big Sugar not only survives but thrives. With Johnson howling “Time to get back to the land of the living”, he may sing like a man possessed but he is a man sharing what it’s like to be blessed. You can hear magic flying between Johnson and his diverse troupe. A new kind of magic: a shiny alchemy that compliments their hard won transformation. He is joined by his long time friend and bassist Big Ben Richardson and his sexy significant other Alex Johnson on keyboards and percussion, along with new members Rey Arteaga, master of Afro Cuban rhythms on congas and reggae drummer Rich Brown. Whether these 5 are performing brand new songs or their certified hits, the roots rock reggae groove is deep and Gordie Johnson’s guitar always tells a story.
In the 90s Big Sugar emerged clad in Hugo Boss suits as the antithesis to the “grunge” esthetic with an unlikely combination of reggae rhythms, blues tonality and heavy rock aggression. They dominated the airwaves and highways with songs like ‘Diggin A Hole’, ‘The Scene’, ‘Turn The Lights Out’ and ‘Roads Ahead’. After 3 decades Johnson’s guitar playing has influenced a generation of young guitarists as well as peers from Govt Mule and ZZ Top to The Broken Social Scene and Crown Lands.
Based in Austin, Texas Big Sugar re-emerges rejuvenated with a leaner, cleaner sound that swings from Tejano Border Rock to Prog and Psychedelia thanks in part to a guest appearance by Alex Lifeson of Rush on the title track. So with an ear to the future the chorus of the first single says it best:
“The Better It Gets, The Easier It Gets To Get Better.”