Album Capsules

Earth Wind and Fire - That’s the Way of the World: Alive in ‘75
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Mostly John - Self titled
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Drowning Pool - Sinner
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X-It - Tony’s Angels
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Eden - The Power Garden
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Countershaft - 2K1 EP
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Special Book Review - Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy by Susan Masino
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Scott Turner's Song Publisher's Perspective -
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Music Biz Opportunities -
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Music Industry Marketing Showcase -
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Unsigned Artist Spotlight:

by Mark E. Waterbury

John Gregory of Mostly John
Acoustic rock
Houston, TX
Nashville, TN
Approx. 1,000
400 on e-mailing list

MM: What had you done musically before you joined John Griffin?

JG: I had been working on my songwriting and trying to pin that down. I wrote with some different people here in (Nashville) and tried to learn the craft of it. And I found that I loved doing it. I love sitting down and coming up with something and trying to create the whole idea, and then painting the picture, so to speak.

MM: When you met John Griffin, did you decide right away that you wanted to do a collaborative effort?

JG: Not right away. We were friends. We had met several years ago at church and we just hung out together and did a little writing together. We both had our own projects going at that time and we both write different styles. Then after a time, with my band it became hard to travel with five or six people, coordinating each others schedules with their full time jobs and all. And once I started to make a little name for myself here, it just seemed natural to get together with John and try the acoustic route. We started a couple of years ago and got more serious about it, focusing in on traveling together. We also came from two different songwriting approaches, but in that aspect we helped balance each other out.

MM: When you started seriously writing together did everything click right away?

JG: We fit together pretty well. I grew up in south Texas so I had a lot of influences in folk rock and acoustic music as well as the Spanish heritage. John’s a songwriter more in the ballad sense. I tend to put in a little more blues and drive, and he tends to add more subtlety. Our friendship helps us really cook together.

MM: Are you both lyricists as well?

JG: Yes.

MM: Are a lot of the lyrics on your CD from life experiences or subjects that are dear to you?

JG: There is definitely some of that substance to the lyrics. A lot of the lyrics that I write come from my experiences of traveling and studying other cultures.

MM: Is there any one song that stands out as a favorite of yours?

JG: Probably “The Highway”. It’s about a kid who is frustrated and decides he wants to just pack up and take off. And he runs into someone who has done that for years who basically tells him that it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be

MM: When you sat down and listened to the CD after it was completely finished, what were your thoughts on it?

JG: Very excited. When I first came to town both of us had actually ventured into the publishing realm because in Nashville you feel like you have to follow a certain criteria and have to do things in a certain order, and that starts with publishing. And the first time I went into a studio with Nashville session musicians, I was totally amazed. So when John and I went into the studio to do our project we had our own band, it wasn’t studio musicians. They were mostly friends of ours so we had a lot more input on the production side of it and the musical directions we wanted to take. So we were very excited about how it came out. I couldn’t stop playing it.

MM: Have you been trying to build your fan base mainly through CD sales or through playing out live or both?

JG: It’s a combination. We do a lot of word of mouth work. The Atlanta market has actually been very good for us. We were playing the Borders’ stores in Atlanta and that kind of set us up to do the whole acoustic tour; playing cafes and coffee shops and the like mostly in the Southeast. When you’re playing at a Borders and you get into about your third or fourth song, you notice people in the store stopping and listening, and then they start filtering over to the cafe area. You can read a lot into what is going on just by watching their reactions to the music. And after the show we get out and talk to as many people as we can to try to push the CD sales.

MM: Obviously Nashville is a tough music market to break into. What are some of the things you had to do to get out and get noticed in that type of market?

JG: Nashville is such a funny place. Sometimes you get the feeling that people are standing in the back watching you play with that “Impress me” look on their faces. There’s such an incredible talent pool here. We talk to a lot of people and stay in contact with people that we know and work on as many projects as we can with other musicians as well as going out and supporting our friends who are doing the same thing. We have also noticed in the past couple of years here that the acoustic music thing has really taken a jump. It was around back in the 70’s and then went away due to overproduction, but it is leaning back that way and people are more in tune to the bare-bones approach to acoustic music.

MM: What level of success would you be happy with for Mostly John and what do you feel it will take to get to that point?

JG: I’m happy that I have been able to do what I do without being broke. (Laughs) I would certainly like to have a name in the Southeast that would push us more in Nashville. At first, everyone wants that national success, but then your logic takes over and you realize that music is about so many other things. There are so many people we get to meet and so many great musicians we get to hang out with. As far as continuing to push it is concerned, we always do posters, we maintain a web-site and have someone working on a higher quality graphic web-site. And we’re now back in the studio and looking to get another CD out this summer. John and I interact real well both on the CDs and on stage, and people really like our music and get into it in different ways - whether they are dancing to it or sitting and thinking about a song. :->