Friday, January 18, 2019

January 18th, 2019 - Johnny The Fox's Trip To Lava Lake

Hello and happy Friday!  The Meista here today starting off the weekend right with a pairing of the classic "Johnny The Fox" by quintessential Irish rockers Thin Lizzy and a Lava Lake Wit from Crazy Lake Brewing Company!

Album Info:
  • Artist: Thin Lizzy
  • Title: "Johnny The Fox"
  • Recorded: August 1976 at Ramport Studios in London, England
  • Release date: October 16th, 1976 (7th studio album by Thin Lizzy)
  • Record company: Mercury Records
  • Production: John Alcock
  • Album cover art: Jim Fitzpatrick
  • Personnel: Brian Downey (drums and percussion), Scott Gorham (lead and rhythm guitars), Phil Lynott (bass guitar, acoustic guitars, and vocals), and Brian Robertson (lead and rhythm guitars)
  • Additional musicians: Kim Beacon (backing vocals), Phil Collins (percussion), and Fiachra Trench (brass and string arrangements)
  • Musical style: Hark rock, blues rock, and a hint of funk rock
  • Sound: Following up from the huge "Jailbreak" album, "Johnny The Fox" is a bit more melancholy thematically, but still has all those great hooks and licks the band is known for. 
  • Major themes: One of my favorite Thin Lizzy albums, it examines everything from the loss, heartache, religious prejudice, the Irish Potato Famine, war, and the enigmatic character of Johnny.  In fact, guitarist Scott Gorham jokingly once stated the following about Johnny:  "Phil should've been this guy's publicity agent, as he was cropping up everywhere!"  (Along with the songs "Johnny" and "Johnny The Fox Meets Jimmy The Weed" on this album, Johnny is referenced on songs "The Boys Are Back in Town" and "Showdown" from the prior 2 albums.) 
  • Notes: The album was written and recorded when the "Jailbreak" tour was cut short due to bassist/vocalist Phil Lynott suffering a bout of hepatitis.  Sadly, the album would be the last to feature guitarist Brian Robertson as a full member of the band.  Personality clashes and musical differences between Robertson and Lynott resulted in his being fired, then temporarily reinstated, and once again fired.
  • Tracks:   
  1. "Johnny"
  2. "Rocky"
  3. "Borderline"
  4. "Don't Believe A Word"
  5. "Fools Gold"
  6. "Johnny The Fox Meets Jimmy The Weed"
  7. "Old Flame"
  8. "Massacre"
  9. "Sweet Marie"
  10. "Boogie Woogie Dance"
Brew Info:
  • Brewery: Crazy Lake Brewing Company (Denver, Colorado)
  • Website:
  • Brew: Lava Lake Wit
  • Style: Belgian Witbier
  • Serving: 12 ounce can
  • ABV: 5.2% 
  • IBUs: 15
  • Ingredients: "Un-malted wheat, rolled oats, two varieties of classic European hops, chamomile, curacao orange peel, coriander, grains of paradise and a rare yeast strain from the Old Country"
  • Pour: The Lava Lake pours a hazy golden-yellow hue with a thin, bubbly white head that fades fairly quickly and leaves only sparse, soapy lacing.
  • Nose: The nose is grainy, fruity, floral, and slightly spicy.  There are aromas of lemon zest, orange peel, oats, chamomile tea, cracked wheat, soft banana, and a touch of honey and clove. 
  • Taste: The taste follows the nose with lots of fruity, grainy, floral, and spicy flavors.  There are notes of wheat, lemon juice, orange peel, coriander, light banana, and light tea.
  • Mouthfeel: Light-bodied and well-carbonated, the mouthfeel of the Lava Lake is crisp, slightly tart, and smooth with a clean finish.

Overall pairing: The Lava Lake Wit is a crisp, very drinkable, and refreshing brew, which of course goes great with killer rock and roll grooves of Thin Lizzy's amazing and very underrated "Johnny The Fox" album!


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