John Southworth, Musician, Hillside Festival, 1998
John Southworth is an English-Canadian singer-songwriter. His singular style encompasses a diverse range of popular song genres, from AM oldies-radio to traditional folk balladry, 80’s pop to cabaret. New York Press wrote that his "capacity for a wide range of antiquated styles seems to have emerged out of a time vacuum”.Rich Terfry of CBC Radio 2 said, “John is to music what Guy Maddin is to film." 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 John 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 cylce Easterween featuring arrangements by Toronto arranger Andrew Downing at the Lower Ossington Theatre in Toronto. A collection of actual rejected jingles appeared on Failed Jingles for Bank of America & other U.S. Corporations (2012). 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. He directs his own videos.
In July 2014 it was announced that John 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. The album was released September 30 in North America and September 29 in Europe. Niagara was named Album of the Year 2014 by Rolling Stone Germany and Canada's National Post.