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artist John Southworth

Toronto, ON, CANADA
Sud de Valeur

biographical info

John Southworth is one of Canada’s most distinctive and iconoclastic music artists, respected for forging ahead with his own unique brand of music-making, while garnering high praise for his inimitable contribution.  In the last five years John has traveled a rogue whirlwind, releasing the cassette-only SPIRITUAL WAR cassette tape - a collection of modern peasant songs recorded on a shoebox-size Sony cassette corder model TCM-939, an anti-record of actual rejected jingles (Failed Jingles for Bank of America & other U.S. Corporations), the grave and austere synth-rock of 2009’s Mama Tevatron quickly followed by Human Cry's stunning, elegiac balladry, the grand delusional showtunes of West Coast Persona 98 EP, and Easterween, a surreal cabaret-operetta featuring the Klezmer-Stravinskyesque arrangements of Juno-winning composer-bassist-cellist Andrew Downing, hailed as “undoubtedly the most ambitious thing Southworth – or, for that matter, any other Toronto singer songwriter in recent memory - has done” (Michael Barclay, The Record).  Other notorious and distinctly Southworthian albums preceding the aforementioned, include the miniature, dream-soaked songs of The Pillowmaker, the child hymned Yosemite, and his orchestral debut Mars Pennsylvania, considered ”the most original Canadian debut record since Mary Margaret O’Hara’s ‘Miss America’” - Exclaim Magazine.  His songs have been covered by or written for Canadian artists Sarah Slean, Buck 65, Martin Tielli (Rheostatics), Veda Hille, Hawksley Workman and Jully Black.  John has authored a children’s book in the realm of Edward Gory and Lewis Carroll, with illustrations by New York artist David Ouimet, to be published in winter 2014. A key collaborator with Toronto’s Art of Time Ensemble, John performs regularly with his band ‘The South Seas’, featuring some of Toronto’s top avant-improv musicians including Jean Martin (drums), Andrew Downing (bass), Thom Gill (guitar), Justin Haynes (guitar), Craig Harley (piano), Felicity Williams (vocal).  


John Southworth Singer / Songwriter


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johann sebastion bach
john denver
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john sebastion
Failed Jingles for Bank of America & other U.S Corporations
Sud de Valeur
October, 2012
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West Coast Persona - EP
Sud de Valeur
July, 2012
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Sud de Valeur
April, 2012
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Human Cry
Barnyard Records
November, 2010
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Outside Music
October, 2009
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The Pillowmaker
Sud de Valeur
June, 2006
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MapleMusic Recordings
May, 2005
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Rose Milk Appalachia
October, 2001
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Banff Springs Transylvania
Perimeter Records
October, 2000
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Sedona Arizona
Water Street Records
January, 1999
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Mars Pennsylvania
Water Street Records
November, 1996
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John Southworth

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