Notes from Suburbia
John Sheehan is a Composer/Guitarist/Singer/Songwriter from Ringwood, NJ. Two of John's compositions have been used as backdrops for videos: 'Buggy Ride', in a short film on safety called 'The Eddie Adams Tragedy', put out by the Weyerhauser corporation and Rocket- Pictures of Seattle Washington and 'Cliffs of Moher' for a promotional film for the Emily Williston Memorial Library of Easthampton, Massachusetts. 'Landrush', a banjo instrumenal is used to open and close Dave Bryce's 'Rural Delivery' show on 88 Country in Christchurch New Zealand every Sunday evening. Sincere listeners of his music have compared him to such diverse artists as; Leo Kottke, Jorma Kaukonen, Mark Knophler, Michael Hedges, John Prine, Steve Earle, and Jimmy Buffett. John gives credit to J.S.Bach and John Fahey as well as many more . He has opened for, and/or performed with guitar greats Tal Farlow, Jorma, John Renbourne, and Adrian Legge; as well as, singer/songwriters Chris Smithers, Jonathan Edwards and Dave Malett. His Modern Man CD has been nominated three times for indie CD of the year, most recently from Just Plain Folks.com. He has won awards from NomaMusic and Kweevak.com . His third CD,'Notes from Suburbia' is due out in 2003. Robert Hicks, All Music guide/Bergen Record said 'On the Northeastern folk circuit, guitarist John Sheehan establishes himself as an independent thinker and a rugged individualist who champions finger-style techniques. 'His vocal songs show simple humor, yet say something profound about humanity'. His tongue-in-cheek songs such as 'Modern Man', 'Thursday Night Open Mic', 'Beyond Your Means', and 'My Habits Are Killing Me' tell something of his sense of values as well as humor. He mixes compassion, gratitude and wonder into his performances, also, with 'Come Here Friend', 'As I Stand' 'Life Song', 'Self Made Man' and 'Last night in a dream'. John's guitar instrumentals are steeped in the traditions of European classical and American contemporary styles. Most requested are 'Jump into the Fire', 'The Villain', 'Hog Farm' and 'Cliffs of Moher'. As First Place winner of the 1991 Candi-Creek Banjo Works Guitar Competition, he was awarded a new D-16 Martin Guitar, autographed and presented by C.F. Martin, IV. Performing original tunes on the Banjo, he took First Place in the Banjo Contest at the Old Mill Village Music Competitions in August, 1997. Gigging three and four days a week, John also teaches the art and craft of fingerstyle guitar privately in his home. He is the fiqurehead of the New Jersey Fingerstyle Alliance (NJFA), a growing group of professional and amateur musicians sharing their knowledge and appreciation for eclectic fingerstyle guitar. Throughout his dedicated career, fingerstyle guitarist John Sheehan has blazed musical trails in pursuit of excellence and creativity. A major league player and composer, Sheehan has, for the past 20 years, earned himself critical accolades and the respect of his contemporaries and fellow musicians, while influencing a new crop of guitar players with his blazing speed, unerring sense of taste and finesse. At age 16, John started playing guitar to counter act his own adolescent loneliness and hyperactivity. Soon, he found a personal focus in classical music that gave his soul and spirit a new and needed metamorphosis. With guitar in hand, John was able to cope productively as an adult artist . After studying classical guitar at William Paterson College, Sheehan took to the road playing rock, folk and country in bars and restaurants. Although these musical experiences gave John the stage confidence he needed to play in any situation, the music itself was not always fulfilling. By the late 1980's John was ready for a change. Gathering the best musical memories and influences and amalgamating them into a style was not easy. John wrote, produced and played music that would send a clear artistic message to the world. Instrumental Solo Guitar was released in 1995 to favorable critical acclaim. It is a collection of 12 bluegrass/folk/classical tracks demonstrating John's mind boggling guitar 'chops' and propensity for fine melody. 'This collection of musical metaphors,' he explains 'depicts personal traits, habits, strengths and weaknesses spanning the last 15 years of my life. Some were written with the thought in mind of real places and people and some are purely imaginary. Live radio performances include National puplic radios/ WAMC's The Round Table with Paul Elisha and Susan Arbetter, and WFMU's Irene Trudell show. His voice, mandolin playing and guitar appear on five other albums; Picking and Sliding the Blues by Larry Amato, Nice Hat by Bobby Syvarth, Parhelion, Scott Appel (One Man Clapping Records) and Nine of Swords, Scott Appel (School Kid's Records) Barrelhouse, Eclectasy. Compilations; WFMU's 'Pearl Diving Near the Hudson', Crossroads CD Sampler 99, Oasis Acoustic 2000 and Bumpskey.com 'Carry On'. Jim Ankrom.