John Southworth (musician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
John Southworth
Southworth at the Hillside Festival in 1998
Background information
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Years active 1996–present

John Southworth is an English-Canadian singer-songwriter.

His indefinable, singular style encompasses a diverse range of popular song genres, from AM oldies-radio to traditional folk balladry, 80’s pop to art song and cabaret. New York Press wrote that his "capacity for a wide range of antiquated styles seems to have emerged out of a time vacuum”.[1] His orchestral debut record Mars Pennsylvania was released on Bar None Records in 1998. He has since released a number of genre-defying albums on small Canadian labels, each stylistically varied from the other, including Sedona Arizona (1999), Banff Springs Transylvania (2000 featuring Mary Margaret O'Hara) Yosemite (2005) and The Pillowmaker (2007), performed with his longtime band The South Seas, featuring members from Toronto's avant-jazz-improv community. The South Seas also backed John on the elegiac Human Cry (2010).

In 2011 Southworth released Spiritual War Cassette Tape, recorded in part on a Sony Cassette Corder Model TCM-939 and the following year he debuted the surreal cabaret song cycle Easterween featuring arrangements by Toronto arranger Andrew Downing at the Lower Ossington Theatre in Toronto. A collection of actual rejected jingles appeared later in the same year on Failed Jingles for Bank of America & other U.S. Corporations (2012).

In July 2014 it was announced that Southworth would be releasing a double record on UK label Tin Angel Records called Niagara, featuring nine songs on the Canadian side and eleven on the American side. Co-produced by Jean Martin (Tanya Tagaq) and again featuring The South Seas, Niagara was named Album of the Year 2014 by Rolling Stone Germany and Canada's National Post.[2] On September 2, 2016, Small Town Water Tower LP was announced, set for an October release.[3]

His songs have been covered by or written for such Canadian artists as Sarah Slean, Buck 65, Hawksley Workman, Jully Black, Martin Tielli and Veda Hille. A former film student, he directs his own videos.

He is the son of Peter Shelley, the British 1970s pop singer and songwriter, later a producer and record executive.[4]


  • Small Town Water Tower (2016)
  • Niagara (2014)
  • Failed Jingles for Bank of America & other U.S Corporations (2012)
  • West Coast Persona (EP 1998 & 2012)
  • Easterween (with Andrew Downing 2012)
  • SPIRITUAL WAR cassette tape (2011)
  • Human Cry (2010)
  • Mama Tevatron (2009)
  • The Pillowmaker (2006)
  • Yosemite (2005)
  • Rose Milk Appalachia (EP 2001)
  • Banff Springs Transylvania (2000)
  • Sedona Arizona (1999)
  • Mars Pennsylvania (1997)


External links[edit]