John’s songwriting journey started in 2003 when he attended a week-long workshop at the home of Martyn Wyndham Read in the Mayenne region of France, under the guidance of acclaimed songwriter, Harvey Andrews.
John had long been an admirer of Harvey since the 1970s and was keen to discover through him if he had any talent for writing songs.
In subsequent years, (2004-7), John attended further workshops in the same idyllic French location and learned more songwriting skills from Eric Bogle, John Munro, Stan Graham, and Martyn Wyndham-Read himself.
In 2004 John started to perform his own compositions on singers’ nights at the famed Black Swan Folk Club in York. Here, encouraged by resident Songwriter Stan Graham, and other Black Swan regulars, John developed his performing skills to go with his own compositions.
In 2006 John and others, including Stan Graham, David Swann, Tony Jawando, Paula Ryan and Sarah Dean, formed York Songwriting Circle, a monthly forum to discuss and critique constructively new material written by the group. The group still performs this activity.
In the ensuing years John has written many fine songs, sometimes serious, sometimes humorous, they usually reflect his observations around the Yorkshire area, together with songs of a biographical nature. Each song is carefully crafted with intelligent lyrics, tells a story and has an easy going catchy melody. John provides pleasant guitar accompaniment to his songs often with easily learned choruses aimed at audience participation.
Several of John’s songs have been recorded by other artists, including the following:
Stan Graham: Laid to Rest
David Swann: A Love So Free
Eddie Affleck: Ewan McColl and me
John’s first CD: Love, Lives and Landscape was launched in 2008 which was followed in 2010 by a second CD: Storey Lines. Tracks from John’s 3rd CD, “More Storey Lines” released in 2013 are available as a download from Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby and his 2015 album “Storey’s in Song” and 2018 album ‘Follow Me’, can be obtained from John via this website contact page. John is working on a 6th studio album to be completed in mid 2021. As yet untitled but will include his popular “Alice only ever went to Blackpool”
John now performs regularly around Yorkshire, in Folk Clubs, singarounds, at Festivals, and for various charities.