A guitarist and composer steeped in the sounds of his native North Carolina, Chuck Johnson is closely associated with the Piedmont blues and American primitive styles. His playing is characterised by traditional fingerpicking techniques used in a contemporary, highly personal style. Hard to define but instantly intoxicating, the steady stream of notes sounds like a steam train winding through the Appalachian Mountains.
Johnson’s recent work is more experimental, adding pedal steel, electric guitar and synthesisers to create a moody, atmospheric ambience that recalls the wide-open landscapes of his adopted home of California.
Pike has worn many hats over his career – best known as one third of local heroes PVT, he has also collaborated with legendary jazzman Mike Nock, made ambient jazz in experimental band Triosk and improvised thrillingly with trio Szun Waves, among many others.
Pike’s solo work is compelling and surprising because of the stark contrasts between technology and flesh and blood; the rhythmic precision of drumming performed as improvisation; and the rigour of sampling placed within a free-flowing approach.