Footprints Review - Headbangers News

Footprints is a vibrant testament to .... [Hersey's] ability to merge rock, pop, folk, blues and country into a sophisticated sonic tapestry. ”

Headbangers News

Footprints Review - Danel Records

... passionate and visionary, [John Michael Hersey] leaves his heart in all his works ... his music is a kick of dopamine for the mind and a sedative for the soul.”

Danel Records

Footprints Review - Hailtunes

Footprints is a special album that will touch listeners’ hearts and make them think about their own lives and the impact they have on others. ” - Pray

Hailtunes

Footprints Review - End Sessions

Footprints is ... melodious and contagious ... a whole sound cocktail that is refreshing! ” - Eduargo Cruz

End Sessions

Footprints Review (Rockcharts.news.)

In the world of Classic Rock and Singer-Songwriter Bands, finding an act that embodies the spirit of US Culture through Face Melting Guitars and Male Vocals can seem like a rare gem. John Michael Hersey, hailing from Pelham, NY, shines brightly in this domain with his album “Footprints.” This collection of songs weaves a narrative that captures the soul of Rock Pop with every chord and lyric. Hersey stands out as a master storyteller with a guitar prowess that captures the essence of a Classic Sound.”

Rockcharts.news

5.14.24 Footprints Review

John Michael Hersey’s latest musical offering, Footprints, is a journey through the realms of classic rock, showcasing the seasoned talent of an artist who will leave a mark on the music scene. It’s evident from the start that Hersey brings a wealth of experience to the table, crafting a collection of tracks that are as solid as they come. The opening track, “Everybody Wants It Now,” immediately grabs the listener’s attention with its energy. From the pressing drums to the intense guitar riffs, there’s a sense of urgency that permeates through every note. It’s a bold statement of intent, setting the stage for what’s to follow. “I Get Down” continues to ride the wave of energy established by its predecessor, keeping the vibes alive and kicking. Yet, it’s with “Luster” that Hersey begins to unveil the full extent of his musical palette. Here, we’re treated to jazzy nuances that add a layer of sophistication to the album. It’s a refreshing layer from the straight-ahead rock of the opening tracks, revealing another facet of Hersey’s compositional prowess. “Tuesday Is Blues Day” shows this artist’s versatility, offering a glimpse into the world of blues. Hersey’s guitar work truly shines here, painting a vivid picture of the genre’s emotive power. Yet, it’s the more introspective moments on tracks like “Break the Glass” and “Nothing” that truly showcase Hersey’s songwriting chops. Here, stripped-back arrangements allow his lyrics to take center stage, offering a glimpse into the inner workings of the artist’s mind. Throughout Footprints, it’s clear that Hersey is not only a great guitarist but also a skilled songwriter. There’s a sense of authenticity that permeates through every note, inviting the listener to delve deeper into the artist’s world. ”

Edgar Allan Poets

John Michael Hersey’s New Album “Footprints”: Philosophical Reflections on Life Through Country & Blues

Talent knows no bounds, and John Michael Hersey is a proof of that. Widely recognized not just on the country music scene but also esteemed in theater, film, and management, his extensive knowledge of the arts and innate musical sense make him a significant figure in the contemporary creative community. Also a professor of music, John Michael Hersey is committed to sharing his expertise and helping the next generation understand the art. Each of these accomplishments is reflected in his new album, “Footprints.” In the new album there’s an undeniable air of seasoned artistry that can only come from years steeped in musical exploration. Hersey, whose inaugural album graced the airwaves in 1999, has long been a fixture in the music scene, and his newest album underscores his commitment to his craft. “Footprints” features a compelling blend of emotions and a distinct rock-country sound that really pulls you into the stories behind each song. I’d like to highlight the album’s title, “Footprints,” which is quite evocative. This name may symbolize the lasting impacts—those ‘footprints’—that experiences leave on our lives, akin to the enduring influence of music and art. Each track on the album can be viewed as a footprint, marking a significant point in John Michael Hersey’s artistic journey. This title also suggests a sense of legacy, reflecting on the paths we choose and the marks we leave behind, through both challenges and achievements. It’s a thought-provoking title that enhances the narrative depth of the album. From the very first track, “Everybody Wants It Now,” the album presents a stylish and vibrant blend of blues rock with a slight hint of country folk sound. The energetic beginning, featuring rhythmic keyboards and the light yet passionate vocals of John Michael Hersey, creates a perfect atmosphere for complete immersion in the sound. The quality of the music immediately become integral companions throughout the entire release. I love how the mood shifts in “Luster.” Such tender and soft sounds as in this track highlight John Michael Hersey’s music. Light riffs, beautiful solos, give a sense of pure happiness. In the album “Footprints,” you won’t find any tracks that sound alike because each song is filled with a unique sound. “Behave” brings a blues rock groove with heavy guitars and a stronger, harsher vocal from John Michael Hersey. On the other hand, “Break the Glass” highlights romance and dreaminess with its soft drumming and catchy vocal lines. This is one of my favorite tracks, as it features stunning vocals that blend with a light atmosphere, offering a true pop ballad with a touch of nostalgia. Towards the end, “Nothing” appears, showcasing impeccable guitar work that takes center stage. A smooth bass line adds incredible softness, while John Michael Hersey’s sensual vocals become remarkably lyrical. This is the perfect soundtrack for your best evening, one that might stay with you forever. To avoid lingering too long in an atmosphere of romantic melancholy, the tracks “The Time Has Come” and “Without Annette” completely shift the sound towards a carefree and almost theatrical vibe. The waltz rhythm in “Without Annette” is absolutely stunning, showcasing John Michael Hersey as a master of any genre. There’s a strong sense that cinematic is almost synonymous with the music of John Michael Hersey. His music possesses a soul and a living spark that are hard to find. The final track, “Grow Where You’re Planted,” sounds like a brilliant chord as the curtain falls. John Michael Hersey has done an amazing job creating an atmosphere that feels like an audio film, and “Grow Where You’re Planted” only amplifies this feeling. You can hear his soul in every instrument, and Hersey’s voice takes on soft folk-country nuances. This makes the finale filled with joy and light, a perfect ending that leaves you wanting to listen to the album again and enjoy the journey once more. “Footprints” is breathlessly thrilling—personal, beautiful, and completely engulfing. I highly recommend everyone listen to John Michael Hersey’s music. With the album “Footprints,” you can feel sadness and joy, dream, and experience touching stories, but in the end, you will always be happy. It’s a good story, like a classic book you want to flip through, discovering new meanings each time. ” - Gabriel Rivera

Indie Boulevard

Footprints Review - Rock Era Magazine

Seasoned musical veteran John Michael Hersey returns with Footprints, which happens to be his nineteenth album to date. A truly wonderful hidden gem of a musical canon to explore, extending back two and a half decades. Based in Pelham, New York, John Michael Hersey is a singer, songwriter, and actor. Using the guitar as his weapon of choice, Hersey’s music is weighted and elaborate, rooted in classical rock traditions, and steeped in modern, succulent production. The sounds on Footprints are ever so familiar, but exceedingly fresh, immersive, and entertaining. Labeling himself first and foremost as a storyteller, John Michael Hersey’s music is lyrically heavy and contextual, which bodes exceedingly well for his gentle, guitar-based arrangements. The songs, whether they are rock, funk, country, or blues, all sound like delicate and nuanced little nuggets of stories that could be easily digested. Hersey kicks the album off with ‘Everybody Wants It Now’. A classical blues rock piece that sets the tone well with its overdriven, ominous riffs and honky-tonk piano lines. Showcasing his affinity for soul choir oohs and aahs, an element that’s extensively utilized on footprints, Hersey’s choir arrangements help soften his songs, acting as a musical mattress of sorts that wraps the fiery guitars in an aura of soulful sophistication. ‘I Get Down’ showcases Hersey’s funk tendencies. With sleazy poetry, twisting riffs, and delicious organs, ‘I Get Down’ is if Led Zeppelin did funk in 2024. ‘Luster’ is lighthearted and soft, with its easygoing chord structures and clean rhythm guitar, it is the album’s first moment of respite. ‘Tuesday Is Blues Day’ is a jazz blues waltz that’s effervescent, with a pulling quality to the unusual chord changes and Hersey’s nail-biting story. After the hell-raising rock on ‘Behave’, Hersey unleashes his inner Elton John on ‘Break the Glass’, a piano-driven ballad with heartwarming textures and heartbreaking words. ‘Nothing’ starts with one of the album’s nicest guitar solo passages, before its tragic blues start. Clean guitars, restrained piano, melancholic chords, and a slow tempo all help catapult ‘Nothing’ into one of the album’s most tranquil pieces. With its philosophical words and unfamiliar chord changes, it is also one of the album’s most introspective. ‘Without Annette’ is another nailbiter about a trapeze artist in a traveling circus. The song’s subdued waltz and choice of words help spin a mystical atmosphere around the song’s warm and embracing composition. One of the album’s more outstanding pieces. Hersey ends the album on the cheerful reaffirmation of ‘Grow Where You’re Planted’. A reassuring song encouraging listeners to appreciate their lives and what they have going on around them. With gospel-inspired rhythms, melodies, and chord structures, it proves to be a capable closer to a very balanced and mature listen. It shows that John Michael Hersey has nineteen albums under his belt. A mature songwriter who is perfectly comfortable with his craft, Hersey spins songs that are pulling with finely crafted stories, genial musical warmth, and a charisma that’s colorful, easy-going, and easy to love. Footprints is a nice and comforting listen that doesn’t take much effort to fall for. ” - MOATAZ GWAILY

Rock Era Magazine

5.11.24 Footprints Review

A brand-new release from John Michael Hersey just dropped and seeing that we are not strangers to the artist, we've been waiting for this full-length album to come out for quite some time and now that it's here it fulfills and satiates all that we expected and more. The album is called Footprints, and the tracks run the gambit on different tonalities and eclectic songwriting that all revolve around a contemporary rock backbone with some tracks a little harder hitting than others, and some that are softer but tell more personal stories at the same time. The thing about this record is that a lot of these songs seem to serve as chapters in the artist's life so if you listen to the full album the whole way through, which is the way to do it, then you're getting not only the full connective stories and everything that you're meant to soak in, but you're also getting the full range of what the record actually has to offer. Listening to one or two tracks does not give you the spectrum of what the record entails as a whole. There are certainly singles here that stand on their own two feet very well of course, but listening to the whole album gives you more of an experience. One of the things I noticed is that the guitar work across this record is really amazing and everything is performed with a soulful approach especially in the lead guitar work. This is great because you can tell that maybe he started off with guitar and expanded from there which probably sparked the whole songwriting thing in the first place. Now, having said that there's also some outstanding piano work throughout the record, and sometimes the pianos and keys are what serve as the rhythm section of songs but sometimes they also serve as more lead sections as well which also tells me that he's a damn good pianist so perhaps it was the piano that started him off in the first place. This record comes through very lush and the stories behind them are personal, and the way that he describes them and how he's feeling through them with his words and that's something you end up getting yourself attached to as well. John Michael Hersey always seems to write songs with character and persona, so he gives these little pieces of himself and how he feels about certain topics when he writes his music. I find myself enjoying the piano rock and pop songs as much as I do the blues rock feeling tracks as well and he also has different styles in between those so the record comes through very rounded and dynamically balanced. I'm pretty sure John performs most or all of the instruments himself which is something that blows my mind because these are full-band productions so when you think about it it's amazing how someone could have a vision for a song or even a set of songs and then somehow bring those all to fruition alone by himself. You have to have a real love for your craft to be able to do something like that and do it so well. Some of these tracks really groove hard and give these addictive rhythms and danceable tonalities and you can tell blues is at the heart of a lot of these tracks. Even with that being said, the songs have tendency to have a very pop overtone about half the time as well so he keeps these things in mind when he writes his songs and he pays a lot of attention to letting tracks tell stories with great detail and description half the time but also making sure that they can be catchy and have ways to make you move your body. The tracks have heart and soul to them, and it lets John push the envelope when he's doing his thing. This record was incredibly well put together and built and is oozing with charisma, honesty, and a love for performance. Most certainly check this record out when you get a chance and again, try and listen to the whole thing so you're getting the full picture and you're hearing all the different sides of how he writes his music and how he is as a person.” - Ragmag

Footprints Review (The Musical Road)

"Footprints," John Michael Hersey's nineteenth album, is a complex tapestry of rock, pop, folk, blues, and country genres that showcases his skill as a dynamic singer/songwriter and actor. Well-known for his storytelling abilities, Hersey creates an album that sounds like a personal discussion on life's journey. The concept album "Footprints" is like an elderly guy in Grand Central Station thinking back on the roads he has traveled. This metaphor prepares the reader for a profoundly reflective and sentimental examination of life's major turning points. Every song is a footprint, signifying the decisions taken, the goals pursued, and the unavoidable setbacks and victories experienced throughout the journey. Hersey offers evocative and relevant narrative from the first song to the last. His songs explore introspection and vividly depict the emotional landscapes of hope, atonement, and regret. The album's sound is an elegant synthesis that skillfully combines many genres, demonstrating Hersey's adaptability and in-depth knowledge of musical narrative. Notable songs such as "I Get Down" and "Possibility" demonstrate his talent for fusing moving lyrics with catchy melody. Every song has a thoughtfully chosen combination of electric and acoustic components that support the story without taking center stage. Warm and resonant, Hersey's voice carries the listener through each narrative with a feeling of genuineness and nuance. More than merely an album, "Footprints" invites listeners to contemplate their own journeys and the imprints they've left behind as it takes them on a thoughtful trip through the phases of life. "Footprints" is a moving and unforgettable contribution to John Michael Hersey's vast repertoire because of his ability to combine intricate musical components with sincere narration. This album speaks to the universal human condition and delivers a deep, immersive experience, whether you're a longtime fan or a new one. ” - Kamil Bobin

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