Five Questions With Son Of John

Country-Roots father/son duo, Son of John has released a brand new single, “Country Pure” ahead of their debut album.

“When you see the title ‘Country Pure’ you might think of cowboy culture or certain stereotypes of country music – farms, trucks, beer, blue jeans,” says Javan. “But the song is more about those people that wear boots and jeans in the middle of downtown Vancouver. They may have left the country for whatever reason but they’re authentic in the way the dress and act – their heart is still where they’re from – and that’s really the essence of the song.”

“(The song) is written about real people who lived in (Outlook, SK) that I knew and grew up knowing,” Johnny adds. “It’s not about one person per se, but of many individuals that make up the fabric of the community.

Check out the lyric video below and find out more about Johnny and Javan in our Five Questions With segment.

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Johnny – Of course!  We are Johnny P. Johnson and Javan Johnson, and we are a father and son country/roots duo from the Interior of British Columbia. After playing music together on and off for 15 years more or less, both casually and while supporting my solo albums, we formed Son of John as a natural progression to make our collaboration as individual musicians and songwriters official, so to speak. We really liked what we had going on and it just felt right to make music together. There’s not many father/son acts out there, so it’s pretty cool to be able to share this experience with my son.   

Tell us a bit about your music and writing style.

Javan – We are both songwriters first and foremost, but most of our tunes come from Johnny’s unique style of storytelling that is inspired from the simple things in life, those “that’s a song” lines he hears people say, and from people he encounters along the way. My dad is originally from Saskatchewan and he still farms his land every year, so his prairie roots influence much of our songs. My songwriting draws from experiences that are so much different than his, so when we write together, we get a blend of new meets old, which we think helps our songs appeal to such a wide range of people. Musically, our sound is very acoustically driven with strong elements of folk, roots, blues, and bluegrass. Our country music blurs genres that can only be described as original and definitely pulsing in the vein of Americana.

Do you have any upcoming shows? For someone who has yet to see you live, how would you explain your live performance?

Johnny – We just came off a weekend playing three shows at the Calgary Stampede, and next we have some local shows in the Kootenays, and then we’re in Vancouver on August 10th playing at the Railway Stage and Beer Cafe with a bunch of other great BC country acts. On August 17th we have a hometown show at The Dam Restaurant and Bar, with one of our good friends Ben Klick. And then in September, we’re really excited to be playing on the Diamond in the Rough stage at the CCMA’s this year in Calgary. Our live performance is usually just the two of us on stage. We both play acoustic guitar, Javan plays fiddle and mandolin and I also play harmonica, so our songs hold a lot of diversity. We have tunes that might make you want to dance, and lyrical ballads with harmonies that make people stop and listen. If you catch us with a band, expect a kit and upright bass, maybe a banjo or dobro to fill out our sound.

If you were asked to suggest only one of your songs for someone to hear, which would it be?

Javan – Our debut single, “Country Pure.” When you see the title Country Pure you might think of cowboy culture or certain stereotypes of country music – farms, trucks, beer, blue jeans. But the song is more about those people that wear boots and jeans in the middle of downtown Vancouver. They may have left the country for whatever reason but they’re authentic in the way the dress and act – their heart is still where they’re from – and that’s really the essence of the song. We went into the studio wanting a sound that we could easily replicate live. And our producer John Ellis (Ridley Bent, Blake Berglund) was adamant about keeping it that way – which was great. Nothing fancy so even if it was just the two of us on stage, you’d instantly be able to recognize the song. We’re an acoustic band – neither of us play electric guitar – so why have it on our recording? We have a very rootsy sound, which is exactly what we wanted. Plus, I got to play some bad-ass fiddle, so I’ve been told.  

Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favourite Canadian bands/ artists?

Johnny – I listen and like a lot of new music, but I’m old school. So Blue Rodeo, Neil Young, Fred Eaglesmith, Gordon Lightfoot are all artists that have had a lot of influence on me, especially when it comes to my music.

Javan – I listen to a lot of country music on playlists and the radio. My favourite band right now is High Valley, and I’m looking forward to meeting those guys someday. Some other Canadian guys I really like are James Barker Band, and Dan Davidson. I got to meet Brett Kissel last year playing fiddle for his opening act, and the guy is truly a Canadian country music icon with a music career I really admire. He’s honestly one of the nicest humans on the planet too. He’s only a couple years older than me but I definitely look up to the guy.

Upcoming Tour Dates:
July 17 @ Music in the Park, Nakusp BC
August 10 @ Railway Stage & Beer Cafe, Vancouver, BC
August 17 @ The Dam Restaurant & Bar, South Slocan, BC

Connect with Son of John:
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