A Talent That Took 30 Years to Develop

John Fairhurst has been plying his trade as a blues guitarist for over 30 years. In that time he has traveled far and wide, exposing himself to range of truly global influences. It's important to notice that even in his middle age he still trots the globe, and still infuses his music with the best of what crosses his path.

John's father encouraged him to learn slide blues as a child. Even as a youngster John was passionate about music. He considers his introduction to Indian Classical to be a turning point in his life. It was an experience that opened his eyes to the variety and depth on international rhythms. This passion and appreciation of what he had experienced carried him on to become the master musician he is today.

Alongside young John's growing appreciation of music grew his love of travel. John traveled not to relax, or to get away, but to learn. He submerges himself in his host culture, and tries to use the experience to give himself a deeper, richer perspective. This is how he plays his internationally influenced compositions with such soul. He knows where the music comes from.

This is an approach he has maintained his whole life. It's probably impossible to pin down what genre this musician feels most comfortable in, he subscribes to a wide range of stylistic influences. Listen to his music, and you can hear shades of continental folk, American bluegrass, and Indian Raga. No matter what genre his fingers wander into, it's obvious you're listening to a master guitarist.

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John has enjoyed some recent critical acclaim for his debut album "Joys of Spring," released on CD in 2008. It's an album that covers some serious cultural territory. His acoustic song "OBNOX Stomp" crosses from Australian blues to a fast paced gypsy folk, and try though you might, you can't listen to it without tapping your feet. That's a promise.

The second solo track on "Joys of Spring," drops the tempo into something light, but a little bit sad. Here's where his classical training shines through. It's hard to make one instrument do what John makes it do, but in his practiced hands, the guitar hums. When he plays, his brow furrows in concentration. He forgets he has an audience, and he lives in his instrument.

You'll wish "Joys of Spring" had more than 11 tracks. This is the type of artist that gets popular late in their career, the type who works long and hard to earn their audience. John has spent his life exploring other cultures, trying to tease out their treasures. Now he is a treasure.

 

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