News: Current News
- 7/16/20: "Emmanuel!" has been selected as one of three Grand Finalists for Best Song of the Year for all of West Coast Songwriters' Association! I'll be performing at the annual conference on September 12th (virtually), and the final winner will be announced there.
- 7/13/20: "Emmanuel!" has been selected as the Best Song of the Year by the Menlo Park chapter of West Coast Songwriters' Association.
- 4/1/20: Live Stream Concert Series! In the "New Normal" of shelter in place and quarantine situation, I'll be spinning up a series of live streaming shows through Facebook. Visit Facebook.com/CACountry for details.
- 2/11/20: "Wester!" has been selected as the Best Song of the Month by the Palo Alto chapter of West Coast Songwriters' Association. The contest took place in the Mid Peninsula Media Center's TV studio for broadcast on local cable -- video of my performance is available on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtkHG8YFF_o
- 1/28/20: "Emmanuel!" has been selected as the Best Song of the Month by the Menlo Park chapter of West Coast Songwriters' Association.
- 4/29/11: Half Belly, Half Heart, debut album by Berkeley, CA based band The Skinny (my brother Mike's band) was released to a sold out release party crowd at Annie's Hall. Not quite bluegrass and hardly strictly folk, The Skinny plays a mean mix of crooning and upbeat tunes that keeps fans on their toes, swaying, stomping and singing along. The three principals juggle instruments (including banjo, guitar, fiddle, dobro, ukulele) and swapping vocal duties, their sweet harmonies grace original tunes and old favorites alike. The CD features contributions by the likes of Mike Permutter (horns: Zoyres Eastern European Wild Fermen), Dave Lockhart (Bass: Dead Winter Carpenters, Montana Slim), Zac Matthews (Mandolin: Hot Buttered Rum, Oversoul), and yours truly (Mandolin and Vocals). You can purchase a copy from CDBaby.
- 10/17/08: Summertime In California During the 4th of July week in 2006, I got together with former King Harvest band mate Lee Simpson and recorded a bunch of new and old music, including a couple of tracks written over the course of the week. Ostensibly pre-production work for an album we'd been meaning to record for ages, these rough cuts turned out to be keepers! No recording seems to ever sound better than the sound of a couple of guys playing the songs together acoustically, and this recording -- recorded almost entirely live in front of a few mics -- captured exactly that sound. It's raw, naked, and honest, and it sounds incredible. After a couple years of lollygagging, we finally released the CD. You can purchase a copy from CDBaby. While you're there, pick up a copy of Oversoul, Grow.
- 12/20/07: Medical Leave After struggling with a chronic shoulder problem for over a decade, John is going under the knife to have it surgically fixed today. The doctors expect a full recovery, but it will require several months of convalescence to heal fully. John will be struggling to maintain his sanity during these several months of forced respite from playing music. See you again in the Spring!
- 1/01/07: Happy New Year! We have decided to make Lead Sheets (used to teach fellow musicians songs before gigs and studio sessions) available to the public. They outline the lyrics and chord changes, and provide musical direction on how the tune comes together, all on one page. Together with the recordings available free on the downloads page, you should be able to learn the songs yourself in no time! There are about 40 posted so far, and more will come as I make them, so come back soon. In the meantime, feel free to request a particular one using the Contact page.
- 9/07/06: I'm Not Easy is a brand new song, and one of the best yet. You can hear a rough recording of it on the downloads page, and recordings of two more new songs, The Spaces Between and California Country should be coming along shortly. In the meantime check out the lyrics, which are also posted on the downloads page.
- 7/10/06: Summertime In California During the 4th of July week, I got together with former King Harvest band mate Lee Simpson and recorded a bunch of new and old music, including a couple of tracks written over the course of the week. Ostensibly pre-production work for an album we've been meaning to record for ages, these rough cuts turned out to be keepers! recorded almost entirely live in front of a few mics -- . No recording seems to ever sound better than the sound of a couple of guys playing the songs together acoustically, and this recording -- recorded almost entirely live in front of a few mics -- captured exactly that sound. It's raw, naked, and honest, and it sounds incredible. You can listen to Summertime In California for free.
- 1/04/06: Recording Sessions! Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be in the recording studio with a variety of different collaborators. First on the agenda is to work with my brother Mike McGaraghan to record Mike's song "North Country Fall." Other suprises to be announced later, so keep your eyes on the site, both in the news and downloads pages.
- 11/21/05: Web Site Updates! The lyrics / downloads page has added a number of new downloadable songs, and the discography section has added new playlists to listen to whole albums easily. Please enjoy all this great free music!!
- 11/08/05: Nov. 16 San Francisco gig announced with former King Harvest band-mate Lee Simpson. We'll be doing some of each of our solo material, and some old King Harvest favorites. Check the schedule for more info.
- 10/23/05: John's entire catalog is available for free! Over the past several months, we've been creating a database of all John's recorded material, and the database is finally ready, so we're exposing it. FOR FREE!! The catalog includes material from Unbroken Chain, Oversoul, and King Harvest, as well songs from all John's solo albums, and a whole ton of previously unreleased material. Enjoy downloading, streaming, creating playlists, and view lyrics of every song and recording we could find.
- 10/16/05: You can now support the music without buying anything! We have deployed Google Ad Words all over the site (and on SongWood and DownsideUp sites). The ads should show you links to a lot of content that relates spcifically to the content on the page you're doing. Keep your eye out for interesting links, and click through when you see something you like!
- 8/31/05: John is back in the San Francisco Bay Area and hitting the local open mic scene, particularly Berkeley's Starry Plough! Come on out on Tuesday night to see, and keep your eye on the schedule for other local shows.
- 9/17/2005: We have live video footage available! Idynomite was on the scene taping the Acoustic Alliance 6 show (you can purchase the DVD's of AA6 and AA7 here), and did an awesome job with capturing and editing the performance. See John playing My Kind of Girl and Double Down on the video page.
- 7/22/2005: After nearly five years in San Diego, John will has relocated back to Northern California (Berkeley, to be precise). Keep your eyes on the schedule for upcoming Northern California preformance dates. In the meantime, keep your eyes on the local open mic calendars, and you just might catch a song or two here and there. The Starry Plough's Tuesday night is an old favorite...
3/26/05: L.A. AND SAN DIEGO SHOWS WITH LEE SIMPSON ANNOUNCED:
- Saturday May 14th, 10:30pm at famed West Hollywood hotspot, The Gig.
Saturday's show is a CD release party for Lee's self titled debut album, and Friday night will be a warm-up. Lee and John will be playing acoustically with sideman extraordinaire Bruce MacMillan. The set will be a mix of solo material by both Lee and John and King Harvest songs from back in the day. These acoustic shows will be followed up with some electric engagements later in June, so keep your eyes on the site for an announcement of those dates. $10 cover charge.
- Tuesday May 24th, 8pm at Canes in Mission Beach, San Diego. John will be performing at "Acoustic Alliance", a night of singer songwriters taking the stage together in "storytellers" style. $5 cover charge.
1/6/05: After many years out of circulation, Oversoul's groundbreaking Grow album is available for purchase from CD Baby. Visit www.cdbaby.com/cd/oversoulmusic to purchase your copy of Grow while supplies last!