Skip to main content

Ethan Johns: Five Essential Albums


Ethan Johns is an acclaimed, Brit Award-winning producer — he's collaborated with Laura Marling, Ryan Adams, Kings of Leon and more — but he's never released his own solo abum until this year. Johns' eclectic debut, If Not Now Then When?, released in the UK over the winter, is finally out in North America this week, July 30, on his own Three Crows Records.

He's marking that auspicious occasion with his first New York show at Rockwood Music Hall on Tuesday night. Dates in Toronto (August 3) and Los Angeles (August 10) are also slated, with a UK tour to follow in September.

On Monday, Johns taped a session for FUV which airs Wednesday, August 14, at 9 p.m. ET on 90.7FM, also streaming online.

The Alternate Side asked Johns to list his Five Esssential Albums and he came up with classic and contemporary mix that shines with deft guitarwork and aching lyrics.

Bob Dylan, Blood on the Tracks
I could pick a few of his records for different reasons. But recently, this one has been getting played a lot. It's just the most incredible piece of writing.

Gilian Welch, The Harrow and the Harvest
These two [Welch and David Rawlings] have been away from the studio for a while. This is such a strong return. You can hear all kinds of peace being made here. Stunning.

Milk Carton Kids,The Ash and the Clay
I saw these two in Rotterdam and then again in London. Both shows floored me. I've been listening to this record A LOT. You must see them live if you get a chance.

Bert Jansch, Bert Jansch
Pivotal mid-'60s new generation British folk. Not just ahead of its time.. Out of time.

Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin
Game changer. Nothing like it before or since.

[Ed. Note: Johns' father, the legendary producer Glyn Johns, engineered Led Zeppelin, released the same year that Ethan was born.]