No Second Chance
'You feel a sense of shared experience with this writer... a distinctly Canadian undercurrent...an appreciation of the wild and an unfettered approach to life's obstacles. The variety and stylistic change make for a very listenable CD - one that never tires the ear.' Mizzy McCaskill, Mel Bay Music Publications 'This is a very fine collection of songs from the heart, well-performed and recorded, with some excellent musicians helping out.' Paul Mills, award winning roots producer (Stan Rogers) 'Good honest lyrics, great melodies, and a nice variety of song styles. It'll be on our CD player for a good while yet.' Gord Cole From cozy bars in Tokyo to the jungles of Southeast Asia. From sleazy watering holes in northern Ontario to the coffee houses in his hometown of Toronto. With his energetic stage presence and musical stories, John has delighted audiences in all these venues. Born in Toronto, John was raised in small town Ontario. He studied forestry at University of Toronto, and while working in Norway one summer, broke his leg in a motorcycle accident. During recovery, he took up the guitar. Bitten by the travel bug, he set off after graduation to see the world. He was a door to door salesman in Vancouver; studied aikido, Japanese and played guitar in bars in Tokyo; sold cars and did hydrographic surveying in Vietnam during the war. He hitchhiked throughout Southeast Asia, worked with the aborigines in northern Australia, and lived and climbed in the mountains of New Zealand. Guitar in tow, he then travelled overland from India to Europe, and after 4 years, back home. Big changes were taking place in the 70's and John thought he could change the world more as a teacher than as a forester. He lived in the Therafields community in Toronto where his personal growth and creativity were supported, and his song writing and performing skills flourished. By day, he taught young adolescents, while evenings and weekends were often spent singing and playing guitar in coffee houses and bars in southern Ontario. In '83 he co-founded Quest Alternative School, a small, creative and very popular program for grade 7 and 8. Recently he finished his teaching career to spend time recording some of the songs he's written over the years. These are real songs, about real experiences, as solid and as earthy as his log cabin in the woods near Huntsville. His songs are well-crafted acoustic, country/folk tunes, easy to listen and relate to, and range from gentle folk, through catchy country to wanna-get-up-and-dance blues or bluegrass style. The instrumentation on the album is also varied and guest musicians include Burke Carroll (pedal steel), John Roby (piano), Alyssa Wright (cello), Henry Heillig (upright bass), and Howard Gaul (percussion). John plays several instruments and produced, recorded and mixed the album. Bill Garrett of Borealis Records was mixing consultant and Paul Mills, veteran folk/roots producer, did the mastering.