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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