After conceiving the project over a decade ago, former My Morning Jacket guitarist Johnny Quaid is finally releasing the dreamlike, southern-flavored debut effort by The Ravenna Colt. The album, titled, Slight Spell, is now available through Removador Recordings and Solutions, the label Quaid recently co-founded with MMJ frontman Yim Yames.
After six years as a part of MMJ, Louisville, KY native Quaid parted amicably with the band in 2004 and headed off to California. Eventually Quaid headed back east and reacquainting himself with his roots. Fittingly, the music he has written as The Ravenna Colt reflects his style in Americana with a hint of cosmic breeze that emanates from California.
Opening track “South of Ohio,’ points to this when Quaid wonders “I lost my drawl in California / was there ever one at all?” He reveals himself to be an individual who meditates on the deep connection he has with his hometown as well as one interested in venturing outward for new experiences.
The Ravenna Colt currently includes Phil Carlson, J. Brent Stuart and Daniel T. Mohler as members, but the group has always been a shape-shifting entity with the only constant force being Quaid at the helm. This collective-like quality translates to the music as well, which has beautifully amorphous feel. The songs on Slight Spell have definitive cores, but ones that seem capable of adapting to various musicians and arrangements. Quaid has the soul of a troubadour. One can picture him with nothing but an acoustic guitar strapped to his back, traveling from town to town to share his music and his adventures.