With Reference To Name
Boxer = The fighter.
John = "The Divine" ; of Revelations.
A Bit of Background
The recent four album Kickstarter campaign: After several years hiatus whereby I was coming to terms with the change of life that follows alcoholism, I began working obsessively on several projects, each with their own ideas, goals and place. The introspection that is a natural by-product of addiction recovery resulted in Delirium Tremens, an album of songs that illustrate the muddled inner-workings of a mind trying to re-establish itself in a reality it had never previously witnessed.
However, the mind must have a sense of place, culturally and geographically, so I turned to an artist that I have admired for a long old time, Bob Dylan, and tried to trace his influences back to their earliest points and in so doing, uncovered a rich tapestry of intertwined musical cultures that lead to the birth of Dylan's earlier works. This research became The Great Folk Heist and illustrates the centuries of musical diversity that established one of the twentieth century's greatest folk icons. The songs, many of which come from England, Scotland, the U.S. and beyond, are often recognisable by their melodic or lyrical content as being used by Dylan for his own creations.
I thought about the people from my own country, England, making the long journey to North America and establishing themselves in the new land. I realised that thoughts, fears, loves, losses are timeless: no matter what the circumstances are or what the time period was, people undergo the same emotional processes as every generation. This lead to the creation of Fifteen Furlongs from the Farm to the Frontier, an album of anglo-American farm and frontier ballads, set to original melodies.
And then my thoughts drifted to the country I left behind, again England, or Blighty as it is sometimes known. I had a history there and I have a fondness for it based on both my own romantic notions and reality. I was trying to understood how far England had drifted from my own naive idealisms and how the countries I've lived in since have followed suite in many ways. Blighty and Beyond was formed one fervent summer. The album could almost be mistaken for protest music in some cases, although that was very far from my intentions. There are equal parts love and hate, roses and bile, and often the music takes on a more personal nature.
"Songwriting has played such a critical role in my personal development so I have always maintained an allegiance to the following two key principles: authenticity and experience.
In order to write songs about life, you must live your life. Songwriting is often an unshakable imperative; the words and the melodies flow from you because they have no where else to go. You write because you must, not simply because you can".