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BACK ALLEY JOHN

FOR NEARLY 25 YEARS BLUESMAN BACK ALLEY JOHN HAS WORKED THE LENGTH AND BREADTH OF NORTH AMERICA, DEDICATING HIMSELF TO THE CRAFT OF PERFORMING THE OLDEST PURELY NEW WORLD ART FORM. WITH UTMOST RESPECT FOR THE TRADITIONS AND HISTORY OF THE BLUES, JOHN HAS ARRIVED AT A SOUND THAT IS AT ONCE FAMILIAR AND UNIQUE.

BACK ALLEY JOHN SPENT HIS FORMATIVE YEARS IN OTTAWA, WHERE HE FORMED THE "BACK ALLEY JOHN REVUE", HONING HIS SKILLS AS A SONGWRITER, SINGER, GUITARIST AND HAMONICA PLAYER. IN THE EARLY 80'S HE WON THE HARMONICA COMPETITION AT THE OTTAWA BLUES FESTIVAL. THE COMPETITION JURY INCLUDED MUDDY WATERS AND JOHN HAMMOND, WHO INVITED JOHN TO PERFORM WITH THEM AT THE NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE. SINCE 1988 JOHN HAS RESIDED IN CALGARY, ALBERTA.

BACK ALLEY JOHN HAS RELEASED THREE CDs TO DATE, EACH TO CRITICAL ACCLAIM, HOLGER PETERSON OF CBC RADIO PRONOUNCED 1992's "OUT ON THE HIGHWAY" AS EXCELLENT, AND THE CALGARY HERALD PRONOUNCED IT TO BE "EASILY ONE OF THE BEST BLUES OFFERINGS TO COME OUT OF CANADA IN A WHILE". 1995's "MORE A FEELING THAN A LIVING" WAS AWARDED FIVE STARS OUT OF FIVE BY THE CALGARY HERALD, WHILE THE WESTCOAST BLUES REVIEW WROTE SIMPLY THAT, "POSSESSES ENOUGH TALENT TO BE CONSIDERED AS ONE OF THE BEST NATIONAL TREASURES IN ANY GENRE."

WITH HIS CURRENT RELEASE, "ONE WAY TO PALOOKAVILLE", JOHN'S HAUNTING VOICE, HARMONICA AND GUITAR ARE FEATURED IN A VARIETY OF ROOTSY BLUES TUNES, FROM BACK ALLEY'S ORIGINALS TO TRADITIONAL BLUES TO "OLD" COUNTRY STANDARDS BY SUCH WRITERS AS MERLE HAGGARD AND WILLIE NELSON. PRODUCED BY VETERAN BLUESMAN TIM WILLIAMS, THE "PALOOKAVILLE PROJECT" FEATURES A HOST OF WESTERN CANADA'S FINEST MUSICIANS, INCLUDING AMOS GARRETT AND EMERGING SONGWRITER AND GUITARIST STEVE PINEO.

OF HIS DEPARTURE FROM MORE TRADITIONAL BLUES PASTURES, JOHN COMMENTS "I TRIED TO QUIT WORRYING ABOUT HOW COUNTRY OR FOLKSY OR BLUESY THE SONGS WERE. I JUST HOPED THAT IF I DID SONGS I LIKED, OTHER PEOPLE WOULD LIKE THEM TOO. THE WORDS OF THESE SONGS SOUND LIKE THEY WERE WRITTEN FOR ME BY SOMEONE WHO REALLY KNOWS ME". INDEED, WHETHER THESE SONGS HAVE COME FROM BACK ALLEY JOHN'S PEN, OR WHETHER THEY WERE HANDED DOWN THROUGH ORAL TRADITION OF BLUESMEN, OR WERE POPULARIZED THROUGH THE COUNTRY MUSIC TRADITION, THE ALBUM IS UNIFIED BY A SPARE AND UNFLINCHING COMMENTARY ON PAIN, TOUGH LIVING AND LOVE. THE ALBUM LEAVES ONE FEELING AS THOUGH A RARE CONVERSATION HAS TAKEN PLACE BETWEEN THE ARTIST AND THE LISTENER.

ALTHOUGH JOHN KNOWS THOUSANDS OF BLUES SONGS, NEARLY HALF OF HIS RECORDED OUTPUT CONSISTS OF ORIGINAL MATERIAL. HIS WRITING HAS BEEN STRONGLY INFLUENCED BY HIS TRAVELS THROUGH THE VARIED REGIONS OF CANADA, FLAVOURED BY THE RHYTHMS OF MARITIME REELS AND THE TWANGS OF PRAIRIE FOLK TUNES. HIS INSPIRATIONS INCLUDE ROBERT JOHNSON, LEADBELLY, MUDDY WATERS, LITTLE WALTER, CARRIE BELL, JOHNNY WINTER, JOHN HAMMOND, NORM CLARK AND DUTCH MASON.

BACK ALLEY JOHN'S RELEASES ARE DISTRIBUTED NATIONALLY BY FESTIVAL RECORDS.

DISCOGRAPHY:

CLICK ON THE ALBUM TO SEE THE PLAYLIST AND WHAT THE CRITICS SAY

FOR BOOKINGS AND INFORMATION CONTACT:

MAIL:

JOHN WILSON

#3-921 19TH AVE.

CALGARY, ALBERTA, CANADA

T2T-0H8

PHONE:

(403) 244-9879

FAX:

(403) 282-0829

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