He’s been busy looking after his bees and working on other projects but October 2017 sees County Antrim’s Junior Johnson release a new three-track EP entitled ‘Coulda Done Better’.

Opening with the rocking ‘Born In The Wrong Time’, the listener is immediately caught up in a fiery country rock tune that features some swirling Hammond sounds from keyboard player John McCullough.

From Junior’s snarling vocal through to the distorted guitar of EP producer Rory Donaghy, the song unfolds and conveys the listener on a tale of regret for missed events and opportunities.

‘Taking Too Long To Leave’ is a gentler country ballad which in the classic fashion tells the tale of a downtrodden character. In this case, the protagonist in the song is the lonely storyteller we all know and have met at parties.

This is the person who constantly lives in the past and relies on former glories and loans from friends just to get along. Always the last leave the pub or the party because ultimately they’ve nothing to go home to. As well as knowing someone like this it’s also more than possible that more than one of us has been that person at one time or another.

‘Kiss The Ones You Love’ is a gentle reminder to us all to appreciate the loved ones that we think will be around forever and often take for granted. Before too long they are gone and then when it’s often too late we find just how much we relied on them.

Those of us familiar with Junior’s recent live shows will know him primarily as a solo acoustic artist whose songs are clever, observational and tinged with humour. This collection featuring a full band not only showcases all those talents in a sharp and concise no-nonsense way, it also shows a capable and confident band leader.

It’s great to see him back in action again and you could do a lot worse than pick up a copy of this delightful collection.