Johnny De Courcy: On a Collision Course To the Past

Johnny De Courcy is a rockstar. Johnny De Courcy is the rockstar that we all want to be. Johnny De Courcy is the rockstar that we draw pictures of, that we dream about, that we secular pray about and worship. Johnny De Courcy is like the rockstar you see in movies. He is the rockstar you see in movies. And yet, for all his rockstar-ness, Johnny De Courcy is not a rockstar. Granted, he plays a mean guitar, and his hair is so light it’s almost white – both great rockstar attributes – and his band is named the Death Rangers. But De Courcy is much more Neil Young than Mick Jagger, Axl Rose or Robert Plant. The flared pants and 70s tweed shirt complete the look.

His playing style harkens back to the classic days of rock music: Hendrix, Page, Petty – anyone musician that knows how to give a good, solid lick on six strings. His long, platinum blonde hair creeps down his face. Like many rockers, he is soft-spoken in between and like many folkies of the day has a voice that straddles between speaking and true singing. He would be right at home in Woodstock. (He looks so perfect, I suspect that he may have actually time travelled here from 1967). While officially known as Johnny & The Death Rangers, it is clear that De Courcy is always front and centre.

At times, there was almost a cult-like atmosphere in the room. (Perhaps it was the outfit). A man of few words, De Courcy was able to draw the audience in with his immaculate performance, dry wit, and superb technical skill, he is a being of another world who was sent here to show us all how music should be made. I am choosing to call his music acid-folk (again, probably the outfit – okay maybe the hair) because it just seems appropriate and it fits.

But Johnny doesn’t care what you call him. He’s probably not even paying attention to you. He’s too busy greasing his hair, oiling his guitar, or whatever it is rock gods do. At the end of the day though, it’s the music counts and in that regard, Johnny De Courcy and his Death Ranger army most certainly have taken the lives of those before them, stole their spirits (and talents) and injected themselves with said specimens. I’m just kidding, they’re all just really fucking good

RIYL: Neil Young, Tom Petty, Violent Femmes, Frank Zappa.


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