Life Drawing


Life Drawing (2019)
Recorded over the last year in Suffolk, the CD has been mastered in London and includes an 8-page booklet with photos, sleeve notes and full lyrics.  ‘Life Drawing’ follows John’s acclaimed 2016 album, ‘Sargasso’, and features his excellent band and some favourite guest musicians.  Drawing on the lives of people he has met on his travels, his own family and the testing times in which we live, the album explores themes such as the language of love through music and art, hope overcoming adversity, the solace of singing together, escape from entrapment and the triumph of love, amongst other subjects.

  • Watching Old Face Grow Young
  • The Stanford Arms
  • Jack the Lad
  • Love's Eternal Triangle/Black is the Colour
  • Human Statue
  • Carla Stranded on the Cape
  • I'me Ready When You Are
  • When at Last the War was Done
  • Beyond the Waterline
  • Free World Market Place
  • Celebrity
  • I See Land
  • Here Comes Hope




 Sargasso (2016)

John’s 7th album features his regular live band throughout playing songs that are drawn from his concert repertoire. The styles, as ever, are diverse but are glued together by that band sound and the subject matter ranges through; oceans, mountains and soil, children, parents, the present and the good old days, injustice, gold miners, climate change and stewardship.  A strong feature are the harmonies from the four singers and the instrumentation is wide; Stephen Mynott - guitar, Les Woodley – double bass, mandolin, Andy Marr, cajon, percussion, Lynne Ward – recorder, whistles  and John on a variety of instruments.  Guests; Mario Price, violin, Ian Sainsbury piano, Richard Hubbard, squeezebox. Full Review Here >>

  • Hammer And A Saw
  • Pass It On
  • Adrift
  • The Right Hon. MP for Self-Interest...
  • Pull the Ladder Up
  • The Good Old Days Are Here
  • Careless Days
  • Miners
  • How High the Tide
  • Hard Times
  • A Long Way Home
  • Let Me Be Your Ship

East of the Sunrise

 East of the Sunrise (2011)

John’s 6th album released in the spring of 2011 as a collection of songs inspired by and from John’s home area; the Waveney, Yare and Blyth Valleys. This eastern fringe of England is both naturally beautiful and industrial at the same time and the songs here, mostly original but with some traditional, aim to capture the atmosphere and some of the characters of the area.

Probably his most folky album, simpler in its arrangements, never the less still features the violin excellence of Mario Price and other guest musicians on some of the tracks, most notably, Ian Sainsbury on piano and John’s wife Lynne on harmonies.

The fourteen tracks include live favourites such as; Stornoway to Lowestoft, Dunwich (the lost city), Yarmouth Town and Ashore. The eight page booklet contains all the lyrics.

  • Waiting for the Wind
  • Dunwich (the lost city)
  • Stonoway to Lowestoft (On Youtube)
  • Windy Old Weather /Joe at the Tavern
  • Ashore
  • Yarmouth Town
  • Yarmouth Hornpipes (On Youtube)
  • The Days Slip Away
  • The Ebb and the Flow
  • So the Seasons Change
  • The Lowestoft Ness Monster
  • The Worst Old Ship
  • Station Square (On Youtube)
  • The Last Resort

Praying for the Alien

 Praying for the Alien (2008)

Recorded in gradual stages between late 2006 and early 2008 it contains fourteen songs written by John that touch on a mixture of themes. From his travels in America and Europe, fatherhood and his experiences as a gigging musician. 'Bound Together' concerns the fragility of our unique planet, while 'Praying For The Alien' is a wry comment on the humanity that binds us not what sets us apart. Mario Price plays oustanding violin as ever and Ian Sainsbury's piano is once again stunning and subtle.

Other fine musicians contribute to the very acoustic, slightly simplier sound than the previous album 'Common Ground'. There is also a Hungarian instrumental which has become a strong favourite of John and Mario's live performances.

  • Praying For The Alien
  • Waiting For The Rain
  • Bound Together
  • Fall Like A Child
  • It's Not Dark
  • Frame Around My Heart
  • Czardas (Instrumental)

Common Ground

 Common Ground (2005)

Common Ground, released in 2005 is John’s fourth album and contains thirteen original songs plus two of his foot -stomping instrumentals. John plays many of the instruments himself but his regular musical partner Mario Price also features on violin as well as a select band of other musicians including Ian Sainsbury (piano) who co-wrote two of the songs. The album is full of the variety of musical styles (folk rock, eastern European, country) textures and tempos his audience have come to expect with sophisticated arrangements and great playing from the band.

  • Big Ships
  • Something's Got To Give
  • Old Habits Die Hard
  • Dead Wood Down (On Youtube)
  • Love's Greatest Adventure
  • Love's Moment Untaken
  • Songs Of Teenage Angst And Love Written By Middle Ages Men (On Youtube)
  • Sacred Places
  • Common Ground (On Youtube)
  • If You Want To Know About War (Ask A Soldier)
  • Leaving Without Leaving
  • Too Much Month At The End Of The Money
  • Spring (In Spite Of Everything)
  • Melting Pot (Instrumental)
  • Caught By The Cossaks (Instrumental)
Waking Dreams

 Waking Dreams (1998)

Waking Dreams was recorded between April and October 1998, and has a much more mainstream feel than the previous two albums, while still maintaining a strong acoustic sound. Many of the tracks feature an outstanding band of musicians established in their own right. The songs were written over a number of years and were selected for their popularity at gigs, and for their ability to enhance the general thread of the album. The album has a very wide variety of styles and moods, and is therefore difficult to categorise.

  • Intro
  • Roll Away The Stone (On Youtube)
  • Mountains Turned To Mist
  • The Spirit Of The Times
  • The Great Spirit
  • The Silver Thread And The Thin Green Line
  • The Long Small Hours (On Youtube)
  • Home Town Fame
  • Spread The Load Out
  • Lay Me Low
  • What Have You Got (If You Ain't Got Time)
  • Born For Better Things (On Youtube)
  • Monica Javis
  • The Glass Ark
  • You Got Me (And All I've Got Is You)
  • Making Up For Lost Time
Water on the Stone

 Water on the Stone (1992)

Water On The Stone was released in 1992 and was recorded using entirely acoustic instrumentation and sounds featuring Guitars, Double Bass, Violin, Hurdy Gurdy, Bodhran and Piano. While maintaining some of the simplicity of The Shrinking World its arrangements are nevertheless more complex. Several of the songs are still favourites of John's live set.

  • Water On The Stone
  • The Free World Market Place (On Youtube)
  • The Paper Chase
  • Stoney Ground (On Youtube)
  • Heart Of The Town
  • Statue
  • I Want To See Your Face/Banks Of Ireland
  • The Leakin' Minister (Re) Shuffle
  • Rural Vandals
  • Must I Go Bound
  • Way Of The World
  • The Only Treasure
  • The Binding Light
The Shrinking World

 The Shrinking World (1988)

John's first album, released in 1988, has a very folky feel. Several of the songs feature just John and his acoustic guitar and are journalistic in content dealing with the issues of the time. Other tracks have Piano, Percussion and John on Bass Guitar. It is currently only available on vinyl (???whats that???)."

  • Man Of Destiny
  • How Many Ships
  • The Shrinking World
  • Dallastry Brookenders Street Blues
  • My Love Lies A Thousand Miles Away
  • Dogs On The Rocks? (On Youtube)
  • When Will The Circle Be Broken?
  • Blood Of The World
  • Eve
  • The Fields Of Youth
  • I Won't Be Blinded To The Beauty
Various Artists - Wake Up

 Various Artists - Wake Up

The song that John contributed to this compilation album was written about the demise of the Shipyards in his hometown and based on the experiences of an acquaintance who used to work in them. The track features John and Mario Price and all proceeds of the sales of the album go to the Liverpool Dockers Hardship Fund.

  • Levi Stubbs' Tear - The Redskins
  • A Change Is Gonna Come - Billy Bragg
  • This Fragile Life - The Neurotics
  • Garageland - Billy Bragg With Wiggy, The Neurotics and Attila The Stockbroker
  • All Smiles - Kevin Seisay
  • 40 Years - Attila The Stockbroker
  • The Line - The Men They Couldn't Hang
  • Barricades - Robb Johnson
  • Island - Wob
  • The Days Slip Away - John Ward
  • Problem - Clownhouse

MP3 Audio File
Windy Old Weather/Joe at the Tavern - Excerpt from The Iron Bridge. Taken from the album East of the Sunrise.

The Iron Bridge from Nick Murray Brown on Vimeo.

The Iron Bridge

Over nearly twenty years John has written an epic poem entitled ‘The Iron Bridge’ based the life times and characters his home town. At over 9000 words the book takes the reader on a journey through various periods in the town’s history. Drawing on real events as well as imagination it weaves characters and landscapes from different ages together to form a magical vision of the town’s present and its past.

John’s text is supported by internationally acclaimed local artist Mark Burrell who has painted the cover and created ten stunning illustrations to accompany John’s text.

The book was released in June 2004 with three performances by actor Nick Murray Brown, at the Ferini gallery in Lowestoft, with music, written by John, played by harpist Xenia Horne. The performances proved very popular and more were subsequently booked and are intended to continue in the future so keep an eye on the news page.

Creative workshops for community and schools, built around the book are currently being planned and are bookable.

The Iron Bridge is available from John for £9.00 (including UK shipping).

or from bookshops at £12.99.

Reviews So far...

Nick Murray Brown's performance of The Iron Bridge was phenomenal. Nick is a professional actor with many stage appearances to his name, but, he was clearly challenged and pushed to the limits with the complex detail of John's work.

He cleverly took us on a journey through time ancient settlements, the Saxons, Vikings, the Scottish girls of the fishing glory days, Second World War and modern day. But don't draw any assumptions, the clever twisting and turning of the story had you hiding quietly in the audience in case the overhead bombers heard you stir, running as fast as your terrified legs would carry you while escaping the violent raids of the approaching Vikings, and remembering buildings from days gone by where you shared your first kiss with a childhood sweetheart.

I was a wreck by the time Nick had completed his 80-minute performance. I had tensed my body so much, and lived every powerful moment I felt light-headed from holding my breath for so long. I was rendered completely speechless when I tried to tell John how much I enjoyed his masterpiece.

What ever you do, beg, borrow and steal a ticket. But make sure you go, this is a fantastically powerful piece of work that is going to reach the dizzy heights. Watch out for future performances and make sure you go, you won't be disappointed.

Lowestoft Journal and Radio Suffolk Website.

© 2011 ION Music UK. All rights reserved.