At a time when national fame, fortune and reputation are often awarded to performers of pedestrian and limited talents and abilities, it is wholly refreshing to encounter an artist whose work â€“ often grossly under-recognised â€“ possesses a genius that cannot be denied, ignored or overlooked. Johnsmith is one such artist; a gifted singer-songwriter, moving performer and roaming troubadour.
Above all else, Johnsmith is a Bard. The role of the Bard in every society is to hold up a mirror to that society, to convey and reveal - through the mysterious alchemy of music and words and performance â€“ the secret inner language of the heart - delivered with that ineffable feeling called â€˜Soulâ€™.
John possesses these gifts in abundance. His song-lyrics are a finely shaped and powerfully moving (this writer was moved to tears on first hearing â€“ and meeting - John in my home some years back, when he sang â€˜Iris Blueâ€™; an unforgettable moment for me!) and voiced with a spirit and soulfulness that is earned through the embracing of the joys and the pains of a life (both physical and spiritual) lived to the full.
Each of Johnâ€™s albums to date (especially his most recent, the truly superb and to my mind, his finest work, Gravity of Grace) seek to explore and develop his unique vision as a wordsmith and his undeniably talent as a musician. As always, Johnâ€™s musical journey takes the listener in to the heart of what matters to him as an artist.
As always, his songs deliver an honest and sensitive account of the way-moments of a keenly observed life-journey and his inner impulse to reflect upon and celebrate the mystery of that journey with fierce truth, great sensitivity and tenderness, and, above all, ( to quote the title song of his latest album) the â€˜gravity of graceâ€™.
Pj Curtis (Author/Musicologist/Record Producer.)