Onstage with Art Rock Circus circa 1996 Heavens Cafe Live in Las Vegas
John Miner is an American rock guitarist.
Composer John Miner may be best known for his rock opera Heavens Cafe, which was staged at the Flamingo Theater in Las Vegas 1996, the Charleston Performing Arts Center in 1997, and later at Insurgo Theater in Los Angeles in 2004. Miner formed the progressive rock group Art Rock Circus to perform the music with a live band on stage alongside the singers and actors. Investor Mike Lewis was instrumental in financing and staging Heavens Cafe. The Tributary Music Label released a live CD of Heavens Cafe to the progressive rock community in 2000.
Previously, Miner co-founded the California based art rock band Mantra Sunrise in 1992 with singer-bassist Joel Bissing and drummer Wayne Garabedian. The band produced the self titled album "Mantra Sunrise" in 1994.
In 2001 "A Passage to Clear" was released by Miner's Art Rock Circus, also being conceptual in nature. The album featured two female vocalists, Karyn Anderson, and Karen Marquart. The album was not as well received as Heavens Cafe'.
Collaborating with drummer and composer Nolan Stolz, Miner rebuilt the Art Rock Circus from the ground up, and in 2005 released a double CD Tell a Vision. The extensive keyboard palate in addition to Miner's eclectic guitar stylings found an accepting progressive rock audience.
Musically, Miner is known for his use of several alternate guitar tunings, and this is evident in nearly all his compositions. The use of a double necked guitar has enabled the performer to switch from one tuning to another within the same song in a live situation.
His use of odd time signatures is apparent in the majority of his work as a composer, particularly in Heavens Cafe, in which the majority of the album features unorthodox metering. Other distinct characteristics of the composer include the absence of repeating choruses. Drum and bass parts are usually hinting toward melody, rather than standard rock fare. As a producer, Miner's analog recording techniques have been the discussion of much debate in the modern digital world.
-  Variations on a Dream/ Art Rock Circus
-  Tell A Vision/ Art Rock Circus
-  Book of the Dead/ K2
-  A Passage To Clear/ Art Rock Circus
-  Heavens Cafe' Live/ Art Rock Circus
-  Heavens Cafe'/ John Miner
-  Lost My Way/ Mantra Sunset
-  Mantra Sunrise/ Mantra Sunrise
Discussions and Critical Analysis
- Progressor- Russia: The merits of Heavens Cafe as a significant contribution to the historical genre of rock opera
- Progressive World-Mexico: Las Vegas as a venue/ unorthodox rock opera/Psychedelic influences
- Russian Musicologist Vitaly Menshikov analysis of Tell a Vision
- Prog Freaks critical review of Heavens Cafe
- Prognose- Art Rock Circus methodology/ pros and cons of analog recording
- Euphonia- Spanish review of Tell a Vision
- European Progressive Rock Reviews/ Tell a Vision retrospective relevance
- Music Street Journal- Critical of Editing Tell a Vision/ Uniqueness
- Rock Reviews- Heavens Cafe Live shows in LA/ Sharing Guitar duties with Allan Holdsworth K2
- Hairless Heart Herald UK- Passage to Clear/ Complexity of arrangements
- Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock- Miner as Art Rock Circus Ringleader/ Odd meters/ Alternate tunings/ HC studio vs. HC Live
- Sea of Tranquility- Assessment of Miner's guitar playing on Heavens Cafe' Live/ critique of analog production values
- Expose Magazine- assessment of the bands musicianship within the framework of Tell a Vision
- Rock Progressivo Brazil- Reviews of three of Miner's works in Portuguese
- Arlequins Italy- Review of "A Passage to Clear" in Italian
- DPRP Netherlands- Rock Opera unique in the 1990s
- Prognosis- Review of Tell a Vision
- Expose Magazine USA
- Prog Archives