Venture into the heart of British Columbia’s southern interior, and you’ll find Son of John, a duo that purposefully shatters the mold in the realm of Alternative Country Americana/Roots. Their music, steeped in the rich traditions of country music, refuses to conform, embodying a truly authentic and genre-defying spirit.
On November 3rd, Javan and Johnny are bringing to the world their album Lucky, a compelling ten-song album, offering a captivating journey through a range of emotions. From the lively, toe-tapping bluegrass-folk-alternative country tunes to the soul-stirring ballads, this album covers the entire spectrum of feelings. Its meticulously crafted lyrics delve into life’s complex issues, sparking deep introspection.
The final track is a heartfelt cover of “When You Come Back Down,” originally performed by the award-winning bluegrass band Nickel Creek, a significant source of inspiration for Javan. Penned by the talented duo of Tim O’Brien and Danny O’Keefe, the lyrics resonate with the theme of a profound relationship, where the narrator lovingly encourages their dearest one to spread their wings and embark on their own journey.
‘Your memory’s the sunshine every new day brings
I know the sky is calling
Angel, let me help you with your wings
When you’re soarin’ through the air
I’ll be your solid ground
Take every chance you dare
I’ll still be there
When you come back down’
“The first time I heard the song – I fell in love with it, especially the instrumentation. But it was truly the melody that captured my attention, and it was probably also the first song I learned to analyze the lyrics of. When recording the album, it was a no-brainer that we’d record this one to put it on the album”, tells Javan about his passion for the track. Another incredible fact on this track is that, although Johnny does most of the singing on the album, Javan sings this one.
In “That Feels Right,” Son of John explores the age-old concept that opposites attract, offering a refreshingly simple take on the idea of two people with differing interests finding love in each other. “Money Tree” originates from Johnny’s poignant observation of a homeless person collecting bottles, evolving into a commentary on the daily struggles faced by individuals from various walks of life, be they well-educated or hardworking blue-collar citizens. Track number 5, “Lonely Door,” speaks to the profound experience of those who have lost a loved one, navigating life through a metaphorical “Lonely Door” and adjusting to a new reality without their cherished companions.
The birth of Son of John can be traced back to June 2019 when they unveiled their debut single, “Country Pure.” This unique duo features Javan Johnson, a four-time nominee for BC Country Music Assocation Fiddle/Mandolin Player of the Year, and Johnny P. Johnson, a music veteran with a remarkable 25-year career as a solo artist, songwriter, and frontman.
Rooted in rich storytelling and an ensemble of traditional instruments like fiddles, mandolins, steel guitars, banjos, dobros, and harps, Son of John’s music is a testament to a family’s musical journey spanning almost two decades. With their official collaboration beginning in 2017, the duo’s unmistakable harmonies, born from the same bloodline, breathe life into the name ‘Son of John.’
“It’s a common thread and technically misconception that the name Son of John is a reference to me, as I’m quite literally the son of John. But the literal translation of the Johnson last name is Son of John, therefore becoming the duo’s official band name after years of playing together”, says Javan Johson.
The duo, a 3x BC Country Music Association Gaylord Wood Traditional Country/Roots Artist of the Year nominee has appeared at multiple venues across Western Canada with notable performances at the iconic Dream Cafe in Penticton, BC, the Roxy Cabaret in Vancouver, Gabby’s Country Cabaret in Langley, The OK Corral in Kelowna, and the Calgary Stampede.
The deep melody and storytelling in each of Son of John’s songs is a testament to their genuine connection with the stories they tell. Johnny’s hands-on farming experience in the Saskatchewan prairies, where he was born and raised, and Javan’s upbringing on a family farm in rural BC, situated along a river in the mountains, are the foundations upon which their authentic country sound is built.
Their music is a reflection of their roots, and there’s no pretense in it. Drawing inspiration from iconic artists like Blue Rodeo, Neil Young, and Ian Tyson, Johnny P. Johnson, the primary songwriter, weaves tales of love, life, and loss that capture raw emotions through the lives of his song’s characters.
Their debut album, “Lucky,” featuring ten carefully crafted tracks, produced by John Ellis, is set to be released on November 3rd, 2023. Son of John beautifully marries two generations of country music, creating a timeless and honest musical journey.