2019 - Year in Review

Hi Friends, 

Happy Holidays! Happy New Year! Hope your 2019 was fantastic. 

With the year coming to a close and 2020 scheming in full swing, I'm feeling all kinds of things about the last twelve months - my first full year as a full time musician. I've been thinking a lot about the highs and the lows, the lessons, the losses, the wins, the tours, the long drives. Here's some highlights from 2019: 

Winter 2019: Head Stays Down + Tours 

Shows, shows, shows. In 2019 I hit the ground running, booking myself solid with shows across Ontario with Charlie Weber and Ben Heffernan, a couple of real gems. Touring in winter can be very unpredictable, but we made it to all of our shows safely, and played to some really great crowds. A big thank you to everyone who offered us a warm place to sleep, a meal, a place to park, etc. Means the world. 

On February 22, I released my third EP, Head Stays Down. I'm really proud of this project and I'm very grateful for the love it received. At the time of writing this the EP has over 30,000 streams on Spotify which is blowing my mind - that's crazy! 

Spring 2019: Across Canada 

             Union Station, Winnipeg MB 

Spring took me across the country as an "Artist on Board" for VIA Rail, along with some West Coast tour dates. I'll never forget the beautiful sights from across this magnificent country - the dense forest of Northern Ontario, the seemingly endless prairie horizon, the towering rocky mountains. I'm hoping to do this trip again sometime soon, as it was a highlight of my life. 

Summer 2019: East Coast Adventures, Festival Season 

                                   All smiles at Winnipeg Folk Festival <3 

The summer took me to the East Coast, one of my favourite places in the whole world to play music. I hopped back on the good ol' VIA Rail and played my way to Halifax, where I hung out for a few days with Ben and Sara, a couple of really cool couchsurfing hosts. I played live on Global News, then rented a car and drove around for a couple of weeks, taking in the sights, the sounds, and the seafood. 

After a couple weeks of East Coast meandering, I hopped on a plane to Winnipeg, MB to play at Winnipeg Folk Festival and take part in their "Young Performers Program". I was mentored by one of my all-time songwriting heroes, John K Samson. It was as amazing as I expected. I spent another couple of days in Winnipeg with my cousin Brian and his lovely family, played a ripper of a show at The Handsome Daughter, then flew right back home for some Ontario festivals and shows, including one of my all-time favourites at Sawdust City Music Festival. 

 

            Opening for Joel Plaskett in Truro, NS - Canada Day 

Fall 2019 - NERFA, Album, Crowdfunding 

By September I was ready to settle in at home for a while and work on debut full-length album. Slowly but surely we're making progress on this record, and I'm sure it'll be the best album I can possibly make. I'm so excited for you to hear it. 

In October, I launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the production of this album. I'm pleased to say that it was a huge success, raising about 140% of my original goal. If you're a supporter, thank you infinitely - and please wear your merch to the next show! 

            Limited Edition Vinyl from Crowdfunding Campaign 

In November, I was lucky enough to showcase at the annual Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference (NERFA) in Stamford, CT. I had a BLAST driving down with Piper, Carson, and Saffron, and when I arrived I was blown away by the talent and the community at this conference. I will definitely be there next year. Highlight of the weekend was an epic Canadian jam in the wee hours of the morning (pictured below) 

What's in store for 2020? 

I'm excited to be kicking off 2020 with more performances and more touring, including a trip to NEW ORLEANS for this year's Folk Alliance. Can't wait! 

I'd love to see you at one of the following shows: 

January 2: Furnace Room Brewery - Georgetown, ON* 
January 3: Second Wedge - Uxbridge, ON* 
January 4: Painted Lady - Toronto, ON* 
January 11: London Music Club - London, ON^ 
January 22-26: Folk Alliance International - New Orleans, LA 

*w/Braden Lam and Brooklyn Doran 
^w/ Safe as Houses 

I will be working hard to release my new album into the world this summer, with a slew of Canadian and US tour dates. Be sure to follow me on social channels below to stay up to date! 

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As always, a HUGE thank you for your support. Whether it's a simple "like" on one of my pages, showing a song to a friend, coming to a show, or buying merch, it does not go unnoticed, and it's the reason I do what I do. 

All the best in the new year! 

John

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