“John Shannon makes beautiful, minimalistic compositions. It’s the musical equivalent of staring out at a very still, very lovely lake. We suggest you drink it in.” –
“It’s as if he’s holding a stethoscope to the ground, channeling what he hears through eons of nature’s voices, running it all through his heart, and then out through his fingers. The sum of the parts ultimately ends up being hypnotic, timeless, mesmerizing and mystical. This is soul music in the purest sense of the word.” –
Coming from another source, those words might not raise eyebrows, but Shannon’s desert-influenced, mystical-leaning folk-pop is more rustic than Rust Belt; more likely to conjure images of campfires and canyons than dingy basements and speakeasys.
Then again, a conversation with Shannon reveals a fascinating and complex individual – one equally at home embarking on solo vision quests in the Southwest desert as he is playing the guitars and writing music for the “Louie” show or playing a residency at the hip singer/songwriter hub of the Rockwood Music Hall in New York City; a true-blue denizen of NYC who’s equally at ease hanging with hipsters or kicking it with coyotes.
While that juxtaposition might be jarring to some, it’s second nature to Shannon – who goes on to describe an adolescence spent steeping in Pittsburgh’s underground music scene. Indie-rock house shows and jazz gigs influenced him as much as an American Indian survival school. Spend a little time digging, and it’s apparent that Shannon’s organic aesthetic isn’t at odds with his status as a city-dweller as much as an extension of it. He sees nature in everything – including Manhattan.
“They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder – well, nature is in the eye of the beholder”, he explains. “One way to see it is that art is nature and New York is a city full of art. Everywhere you go in the city there is art – whether it’s street art or someone’s take on a new restauraunt and bar, or the way people dress and do up their cars or the way tree roots break through the cement. It’s all art to me, and that’s all music to me because that is creation. That’s what nature is, creation.”
Good Cop Public Relations
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