DAMON JOHNSON & The Get Ready – Battle Lessons (2021)

DAMON JOHNSON & The Get Ready - Battle Lessons (2021) full

DAMON JOHNSON (Black Star Riders, Thin Lizzy, Alice Cooper) will release his new work, “Battle Lessons’, on the 19th February 2021. The album sees Damon cementing his band line-up as DAMON JOHNSON & The Get Ready – drummer Jarred Pope (Tom Keifer) and bassist Robbie Harrington (Steve Vai) – and is the follow up to the 2019 album “Memoirs Of An Uprising”.
“Battle Lessons” is a stunning collection of nine original songs from the infectious melodies of album opener and title track “Battle Lessons” or the groove riffing of “Shadow Country”, to the driving chorus of “Brace For Impact” and the beautiful acoustic “Love Is All You Left Behind” – this is an album infused with melody and emotion.
Written and recorded throughout 2020, the album was produced and mixed by Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Rush) a connection Damon made whilst working with Nick on Black Star Riders.

Rock fans know Johnson’s name from his years of scorching stages as lead guitarist in the Alice Cooper band, and later with Thin Lizzy and the Lizzy-offshoot Black Star Riders in addition to fronting the potent ‘90s Southern rockers Brother Cane. Johnson’s songs have been recorded and sung by stars like Stevie Nicks and Steven Tyler.

The album sees Johnson returns to his original hard rock roots, feeding that fire he first discovered as a teenager playing Van Halen and AC/DC covers while in garage bands.
“These are as good of songs as I’ve been a part of creating, ever in my whole career,” Johnson says.
”Battle Lessons” is anchored by a searing title track. It casts Johnson’s gutsy vocals and razor riffs over presto grooves by The Get Ready drummer Jarred Pope (Tom Keifer) and bassist Robbie Harrington (Steve Vai). Expectedly, there’s a supersonic guitar solo ripping through the cut.

Next up, please put your hands together for the ludicrously catchy ‘Can’t Clap Any Louder’, complete with a backing of hand claps (of course!) and an ear-worm of a chorus.
‘Talk Yourself Into Anything’ and ‘Shadow Country’ stick firmly to the template, the former with more of a funky groove, whilst the later has drawn comparisons to BSR’s Heavy Fire with its midpoint breakdown and tempo change.
‘Love Is All You Left Behind’ is an acoustic number which resists the power ballad temptation to inject some electricity in the final third.

The nine track album culminates with the defiant and purposeful ‘Casual Beast’, which concludes with the other members of the band stepping back to leave Damon alone with an acoustic guitar, his final line being “You gotta believe in me now”.

Johnson elite six-strings supercharge the entire ”Battle Lessons”. But the guitars always serve the songs and never just for flash, while the rhythm section breath by its own.
A feel-good collection of strong rockers, very well arranged and produced.
Highly Recommended


01 – Battle Lessons
02 – Can’t Clap Any Louder
03 – Talk Yourself Into Anything
04 – Shadow Country
05 – Let The Healing Begin
06 – Brace For Impact
07 – Lightning Bolt (Everything Will Be Alright)
08 – Love Is All You Left Behind
09 – Casual Beast

Damon Johnson – vocals, guitar, keyboards
Jarred Pope (Tom Keifer) – drums
Robbie Harrington (Steve Vai) – bass


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1 Response

  1. Ray V says:

    I didn’t know Damon did anything past the 4 Brother Cane albums. Cool!

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