Saturday July 28 — 6:30pm
At a time when national fame, fortune and reputation are often awarded to performers of pedestrian and limited talents and abilities, it is wholly refreshing to encounter an artist whose work – often grossly under-recognised – possesses a genius that cannot be denied, ignored or overlooked. Johnsmith is one such artist; a gifted singer-songwriter, moving performer and roaming troubadour.
Above all else, Johnsmith is a Bard. The role of the Bard in every society is to hold up a mirror to that society, to convey and reveal – through the mysterious alchemy of music and words and performance – the secret inner language of the heart – delivered with that ineffable feeling called ‘Soul’.
John possesses these gifts in abundance. His song-lyrics are finely shaped and powerfully moving (this writer was moved to tears on first hearing – and meeting – John in my home some years back, when he sang ‘Iris Blue’; an unforgettable moment for me!) and voiced with a spirit and soulfulness that is earned through the embracing of the joys and the pains of a life (both physical and spiritual) lived to the full.
Each of John’s albums to date (especially his most recent, the truly superb and to my mind, his finest work, Gravity of Grace) seek to explore and develop his unique vision as a wordsmith and his undeniable talent as a musician. As always, John’s musical journey takes the listener in to the heart of what matters to him as an artist.
As always, his songs deliver an honest and sensitive account of the way-moments of a keenly observed life-journey and his inner impulse to reflect upon and celebrate the mystery of that journey with fierce truth, great sensitivity and tenderness, and, above all, ( to quote the title song of his latest album) the ‘gravity of grace’.
- Pj Curtis (Author/Musicologist/Record Producer.) May ’09.