Venture into the heart of British Columbia’s southern interior, and you’ll find Son of John, a duo that shatters the mold in the realm of Americana.
On Nov. 3, Javan and Johnny released their album Lucky, a compelling 10-song collection, offering a captivating journey through a range of emotions. There are lively, toe-tapping bluegrass-folk tunes and soul-stirring ballads, and meticulously crafted lyrics that spark deep introspection.
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.
Drawing inspiration from artists like Blue Rodeo, Neil Young, and Ian Tyson, Johnny P. Johnson, the primary songwriter, captures raw emotions through the lives of his song’s characters.
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.
“The first time I heard the song, I fell in love with it, especially the instrumentation,” said Javan, who sings on the track.
“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.”
On “That Feels Right,” Son of John explores the old concept that opposites attract. “Money Tree” originates from Johnny’s observation of a homeless person collecting bottles. And “Lonely Door,” speaks to the profound experience of those who have lost a loved one.
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.
Thrice nominated for the BC Country Music Association Gaylord Wood Traditional Country/Roots Artist of the Year award, the duo 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.
Their debut album, Lucky, was produced by John Ellis.