Colchester artist Johnno Casson will be known to many of you as 'Snippet' ,the funky folky wonky pop multi instrumentalist ,who working in tandem with ace producer Wim Oudijk have delivered an extremely well received range of vibrant releases in the last few years in the shape of 4 e.p's and an album.
Whilst preparing for a run of Snippet live shows Johnno found time to write an album's worth of new songs with a new acoustically minded sound.
As the sound sits at a different angle from Snippet,it was felt this material should be released as 'Johnno Casson', with new Snippet material due to arrive later in 2012 on Folkwit Records.
Johnno Casson delivers his first release of the new material with the single 'This is Essex' a beautiful psalm to Essex that talks of Johnno's family journey from East London to Essex and all that is good about the County.
Again working alongside Wim Oudijk,the song arrives as a lovely alternative view to the current portrayal of Essex as purely being about Diamond geezers & Bacardi breezers, perma tans & dandy dans.
Although based on Johnno's own local experiences this song has a heartfelt sentiment that could easily be associated with many towns & cities across the world.
This is Essex, the back story:
"I grew up in Hackney, East London and when I was a small boy I used to have a annual holiday in Essex with my family.
In particular we holidayed at Jaywick Sands, each year renting a 'chalet' on the seafront and each time being in wonder at the things we found within the chalet.
For about quite a time we dined on the fact that we once we found that underneath the dining table top was a fully functioning billiard table-Result! as a young child this was what we happily accepted as entertainment.
Of course we also loved the fact that we could spend each and every day on the beach with its golden sands and (when the tide went out) find so many hidden treasures such as crabs and all within easy reach and shouting distance of the chalet. With all the open spaces that the sands and surrounding areas provided we felt a sense of being care free that you just don’t feel in a city.
We absolutely loved it and it helped shape a never-ending love for the Essex coast for me and my brothers & sisters. There is a light in my head that forever stays alight with the vision of the sunset over Jaywick sands.
There is something very mesmerising about the Essex coast and its always held a special place in my heart and when you visit the beaches on the Essex coast you can really appreciate its beauty.
The national view of Essex and how it is often portrayed can be shaped by the media and that is certainly the case at the moment.
I haven't watched one episode of ‘The only way is Essex’, I have no issue with the people or their right to portray themselves as they see fit, its just not the Essex I see when I open my front door so I wanted to write about my view, about the beauty & joy I see all around, about the hard working decent people with Es-Sex appeal.
Its easy to mock things when you are looking at them from outside but to live in a place gives you a full perspective of what its about & its people's worth and this is a place to live in.
I came to live in Colchester with my family 7 years ago after searching for a warm & welcoming place to live, somewhere that didn't pretend to be something it wasn't but somewhere with good people, with good air and good living and we found it here in Essex.
I love that we are within easy reach of the coast and the countryside but also have access to everything a modern Town should provide in its vibrant shops, restaurants, arts & culture.
When I first came to Essex after have lived in London for all my life up until then it was such a shock that people said hello to you as you walked down the street, that people serving you in shops would be polite and share the time of day with you or that complete strangers would talk to you in a friendly way when riding the bus.
I was truly surprised by how many stars you could see in the night sky without the light glow of a city impacting your view.
I have started to play ‘live’ in Colchester and surrounding areas lately and have been greatly touched by the warmth to me by the people of my home county, its truly something to treasure; Essex I salute you.
I love Colchester and am proud to be seen as being from Essex.
This is Essex and this is home."
- Johnno Casson 2012
This is Essex was written and recorded by Johnno Casson (c) 2011
The track also appear's on the forthcoming Johnno Casson album 'Window Shopping' from Folkwit Records
Produced by Wim Oudijk
Cover Photo 'Brightlingsea Beach Huts' by Chris Petty(c) 2007
Johnno Casson AKA Snippet johnnocasson.co.uk
Wim Oudijk wimoudijk.com
Chris Petty Photography www.facebook.com/cjp74
Thanks to Ben Howard @ Cool Publicity www.coolpublicity.co.uk
and Thanks to Nick @ Folkwit