About John

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About John

An accomplished and critically acclaimed California based singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist, John McGaraghan has been playing original music for twenty-five years, both alone and with various ensembles. John's bands include San Diego's premeire psychedelic bluegrass rock band Oversoul, and San Francisco Americana roots rock icon King Harvest. John's work as the lead guitarist, singer and primary songwriter for Oversoul, has been praised as "vibrant, expansive sounds...featur[ing] splendid lead guitar work and absolutely breathtaking vocals" by Relix Magazine (Vol. 25, no. 3; pg. 64). After Oversoul's breakup in July of 1997, John began concentrating on solo performance, playing an engaging and unique blend of folk, country/bluegrass, pop and rock. In 1999, John co-founded King Harvest in San Francisco, contributing acoustic, electric, and steel guitars, mandolin, vocals and songwriting to the Americana rock and roll outfit. After leaving King Harvest in September of 2001, John moved back to San Diego where he performed solo and with a variety of small combos. Most recently, John has made yet another swing up the west coast, relocating to Berkeley, California in the San Francisco Bay Area, and continues to play as a solo artist. Being back in the bay has the benefit of bringing John closer to old friends like Hot Buttered Rum, Chris Haugen, and Lee Simpson, making it easier to participate in some other collaborations. Keep your eyes on the schedule!

John's slant on acoustic songwriting revitalizes the classic sound of Americana music, and provides listeners with lyrics that go straight to the heart and mind and melodies to stir the soul. A combination of energy and intensity with simplicity and harmony helps John's songs acheive a transcendence of traditional musical boundaries, and a nearly universal appeal. Drawing on varied influences such as bluegrass greats Bill Monroe, Doc Watson, and David Grisman, folk artists such as Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and James Taylor, alternative country pioneers like Lucinda Williams, Son Volt, and Richard Buckner, as well as experimentalists including the Grateful Dead, Phish, and Zero, John crafts songs that run the stylistic gamut yet retain a consistent identity.

John's arsenal of instrumental abilities can be heard shining through on a host of recordings and performance associations, from countrified rock riffs and table steel guitar textures with King Harvest, to blistering rock guitar solos and acoustic country/bluegrass picking in Oversoul, to slinky lap steel sessions with San Diego's Pure Noodle, to singing and playing backup for groove and pop songs with the Redwood Project to shimmering mandolin, smooth keys, and heartwrenching vocals on his own solo recordings. Along the way this diverse set of talents has led John to share studios and stages with such artists as Lucinda Williams, Merl Saunders, Train, eastmountainsouth, Zero, the Greyboy Allstars, Stroke 9, Chris Haugen, Hot Buttered Rum, New Monsoon, Tea Leaf Green, Matt Butler, Fishbone, Elvin Bishop, Train, Vince Welnick, 311, The Pharcyde, The Untouchables, Ekhoostik Hookah, Matt Eakle, Robin Sylvester, Pete and Alejandro Escovedo, Jambay, Nat Keefe, Zac Matthews, Poor Man's Whiskey, Nicki Bluhm, Calobo, Forest Sun, Jeff Berkley, Matt Curreri, The Seventh Day Buskers, The B-Side Players, Clyde's Ride, Pure Noodle, and many, many more.

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