Jon Lindsay (musician)

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Jon Lindsay
Jon Lindsay on soundstage, Los Angeles 2013.jpg
Jon Lindsay
Background information
Birth name Jonathan Lindsay Phillips
Origin Portland, Oregon, United States
Genres Pop, rock, alternative, folk, baroque pop, powerpop, indie, experimental, protest music
Occupation(s) Recording artist, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, music director, progressive activist
Instruments Vocals, piano, organ, synthesizer, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass, percussion, drums, trumpet, lap steel
Years active 2007—present
Labels File 13, Bear Hearts Fox, Chocolate Lab, No More Fake Labels, North Star Media (Publisher), Heron Bay, Redeye Distribution, Love Army Records
Associated acts Benji Hughes, Django Haskins, The Young Sons, The Catch Fire, Quells, Twelve Thousand Armies, Raised By Wolves, NC Music Love Army, Caitlin Cary, Amigo, The Motel Beds, American Aquarium, Eston and the Outs, Machine Theatre, Rhiannon Giddens, The Farm Theatre

Jon Lindsay is an American recording artist born in Portland, Oregon, now residing in New York City.

Lindsay is best known as the singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer of his own solo rock and pop albums, and for his work in film, television and theatre as a writer and composer. He regularly collaborates with other artists - contributing performances and production both live and in the studio - and has been a founding member of many bands and groups. In 2013, Lindsay gained notoriety in the American political sphere for his work as producer and music director of North Carolina Music Love Army - a collective of prominent NC-based artists he co-founded in 2013 with Caitlin Cary of Whiskeytown. Lindsay is also the head of Love Army Records, the label arm of the NCMLA.

Music career[edit]

Lindsay founded the band The Young Sons in June 2007 and produced its debut LP Hearts Inc.[1][2] In 2008, Lindsay joined the band Benji Hughes (New West Records) on keyboards and vocals.[3][4][5] In 2009, he independently released his debut as a solo artist, the EP Magic Winter & the Dirty South[6] which showcased folk-tinged, literary pop songs, earning Lindsay positive notices in the indie press.[7] Also in 2009, Lindsay co-founded Charlotte's Machine Theatre, serving as music director and company composer. He sound-designed an adaptation of Ionesco's The Bald Soprano[8] and composed an original score for the company-created absurdist musical ThomThom; If That Bird Won't Sing.[9][10][11][12]

Jon Lindsay, West Los Angeles, 2012

Lindsay made his official debut on Chicago-based label Chocolate Lab Records, who released his 15-song solo LP, Escape From Plaza-Midwood on August 17, 2010.[13][14][15] Concurrent with the album release was the 7" EP Coping Strategies, which features four songs from Escape From Plaza-Midwood.[16] Three free-download singles debuted with the album launch: "Frequent Flyer" at Magnet Magazine, "My Blue Angels"[17] at Fuse.TV, and "Futuretown" at AOL Spinner.[18][19][20] The album received high critical marks, gaining Lindsay some prominence in the US indie scene, bolstered by both solo and full-band tours, television appearances, Daytrotter and Ardent Studios sessions.[21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31] The Independent Weekly wrote that the album is "a sprawling opus of pop rock splendor", and Charlotte Magazine, regarding Lindsay's album and title, wrote "What Sufjan Stevens did for Chicago, Lindsay might just pull off for Charlotte."[32] In December 2010, Performer Magazine called Escape From Plaza-Midwood "One of the best records to come out of the Southeast over the course of the decade",[33] Shuffle Magazine's album review wrote that the album "comes as close as any regional record in recent memory to rendering what it means to be alive"[34] and NPR praised the song "During The Beauty Shortage" as showing the mastery of composer Aaron Copland.[35]

Following Escape, Lindsay toured the USA heavily for most of 2011, both solo and with his backing band. He also signed a music publishing deal with North Star Media,[36] performed at several festivals, and began preparations for his next releases: the EP Could It Be Christmas?, which has a loose holiday theme (November 29, 2011); Rumormill, the debut LP of Lindsay's side project The Catch Fire (No More Fake Labels, December 6, 2011); and Lindsay's second solo LP Summer Wilderness Program (Bear Hearts Fox Records, June 26, 2012). Summer Wilderness Program featured three singles each accompanied by music videos from directors of note: Colin Rich ("After Dark"), Michael Arthur ("Margot") and Mortimer Jones ("Oceans More"). All of Lindsay's 2011 and 2012 releases were met with critical praise for continued originality and imagination in American pop music.[37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46][47]

Early in 2013, Lindsay began cutting a large amount of demos, and revealed that he was working on two new full-length albums simultaneously - one entitled Cities & Schools, the other, Letters To Randy Newman. He performed a two-night stand in April 2013 at Rockwood Music Hall, debuting much of the new material.[48] Lindsay opened 2014 with festival appearances at Chicago's Deep Freeze Music Fest, then returned home for a month-long residency in Charlotte. At SXSW 2014 he performed solo, sang with The Motel Beds at the Misra Showcase and played keys for American Aquarium at multiple showcases. In the Fall, Lindsay performed at Hopscotch Music Festival, CMJ, Fall For Greenville Festival and made more frequent appearances guesting with NC band, Amigo.

On October 26, 2015, The Indy Weekly premiered "All Them Houses", the first single from Lindsay's forthcoming Cities & Schools LP, calling it "a sugar rush of infectious beats, gleaming keyboards and Lindsay’s bell-bright tenor vocals. It is catchy to the extreme" .[49] The track was released digitally on November 6, 2015. On November 24, 2015, Paste Magazine premiered "Lifer", the second single from the Cities LP, and wrote that the track [and Lindsay's approach in general] is "smart, empathetic, and endlessly interesting excellent new single." [50] On May 5, 2016 Paste Magazine debuted "When They Broke The World", the third single from the album, and also premiered the album trailer. They wrote "as usual, Jon Lindsay brings his impressive talent for melody and lyrics in his latest single, which only heightens anticipation for Cities & Schools, out June 10 on File 13 Records." [51]

Cities & Schools LP was released to a positive reception in the music press on June 10, 2016. The record received the support of both full-band and solo US and European tour dates. In late August, 2016, it was announced that Lindsay began work on a 6-track EP called Happy Old Pictures in October 2016.[52]

The NC Music Love Army[edit]

In July 2013, Lindsay and close friend Caitlin Cary of Whiskeytown co-founded the North Carolina Music Love Army – a non-profit collective consisting of 50+ musical luminaries from or based in NC, conceived to oppose sweeping legislative actions by a GOP supermajority that emerged after Pat McCrory was elected Governor. The initial scope of the project included a 10-track album, released November 26, 2013 via Redeye Distribution, and several concert events in the Carolinas. Lindsay contributed original songs to the project and record, serves as the group's Music Director, and produced the group's debut LP, entitled, We Are Not For Sale: Songs of Protest. Members of the NCMLA who perform on the album include Lindsay, Cary, The Love Language, Hiss Golden Messenger, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Django Haskins, The Old Ceremony, Snüzz (of Ben Folds), Audley Freed, American Aquarium, The Connells, Chris Stamey, Chatham County Line, Charly Lowry, Rhiannon Giddens and many more artists. Members of the NCMLA, including Lindsay, Cary, Haskins, Laurleyn Dossett and others have performed at Moral Monday rallies at the North Carolina General Assembly and in Charlotte. The events, which often draw over 5000 participants, are part of the greater "Forward Together" Movement engineered by the NC chapter or the NAACP, under the leadership of Reverend William Barber II.[53][54][55][56]

Mountain Moral Monday - Asheville, NC

The NCMLA had a large output of 8 official releases in 2014, the bulk of which arrived via Love Army Records - its own label founded in the same year. Much of the new material reflected efforts toward stylistic expansion thru a remix project, finding the group incorporating elements of EDM, Pop-Punk, Hip-Hop and other genres into its sonic arsenal. Other 2014 highlights included a collaboration with Chicago's Bloodshot Records on the single "Stick to The Plan" (featuring members of Whiskeytown, The Backsliders, and 6-String Drag), released on the commemorative triple LP, While No One Was Looking: Toasting 20 Years of Bloodshot Records; and the single "Dear Mr. McCrory", featuring American Aquarium and Caitlin Cary guesting once again on another Lindsay-penned and produced tune. The song directly confronts Governor Pat McCrory by name, comparing him to notorious segregationist George Wallace, and makes the case that the GOP's new Voter ID legislation constitutes nothing more than a blatant attempt at voter suppression.[57]

Lindsay announced that the first NCMLA release of 2015 would be a song he wrote about Lennon Lacy: a seventeen-year-old African American youth from Bladenboro, NC, who was found dead by hanging in August 2014. Though the federal investigation of the crime is still pending, the NC NAACP has concluded its independent investigation, and has stated that they believe the crime to be a lynching. Lindsay and Caitlin Cary took part in an NAACP press conference at the NCGA on Feb. 10th, where they performed to the media alongside fellow artists and William Barber II in celebration of the Moral March later in the week in Raleigh, NC. The event wasn't a planned civil disobedience exercise; however, under an unexpected threat of eminent arrest, the artists and press left the building earlier than planned, subsequently concluding the event in front of the Legislature in temperatures well below freezing. On Valentine's Day, 2015, Lindsay performed in front of the state capitol for 30,000 people at the annual civil rights rally hosted by the NC NAACP, known as "HK on J"."The Ballad of Lennon Lacy" arrived on Love Army Records via Redeye Distribution on August 21; guesting on the track alongside Lindsay is Grammy award-winning solo artist Rhiannon Giddens, as well as many other members of the NCMLA.[58][59]

TV and film work[edit]

In 2015 "Rumormill" by The Catch Fire was used for High Life TV commercials.[60]

Jon Lindsay in NC

In January 2014, "My Body Politic" was featured on MSNBC's the Melissa Harris-Perry show. Lindsay's song "New English Magazines" appears in season 4, episode 2 of the SyFy network show Haven, which aired in Fall, 2013. In 2012, Lindsay's song "Frequent Flyer" made regular appearances on MTV Cribs. Also in 2012 his song "Tiny Violins" was featured on Nylon TV in a profile of Glee star, Lea Michele.[61] In 2009, Lindsay's partnership with former The Young Sons bassist and fellow member in The Catch Fire, Mike Mitschele (Jolene, Alternative Champs) resulted in the co-creation of compositions for broadcast media, with recent work including original jingles for Jeep and Sheetz commercials,[62] Cree LED Lighting,[63] Honda, and in films such as Employee of the Month and The Hollywood Dream.

Personal life[edit]

Jon Lindsay live in New York, New York

Lindsay currently resides in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Greenpoint. This relocation followed a two-year stint in Raleigh, NC. From 2005-2015, he was based in Charlotte, North Carolina. He attended West Charlotte High School (class of 1998), then Queens University of Charlotte, earning a B.A. in English in 2003. While a student at Queens he participated in the International Experience Program, studying art in Italy in the summer of 2002. In 2005, he received an MFA in fiction writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago after completing the two-year program, studying under the fiction writers James McManus, Carol Anshaw, Beth Nugent and others. His father, Wendell Phillips, is a trained organist and Episcopalian minister, and his mother, Linda Vigen Phillips, is a retired teacher and award-winning children's book author. Lindsay has one sibling, a fraternal twin brother, Thomas, who is also an ordained Episcopalian priest. Lindsay's childhood was spent between Oregon, Montana and North Carolina. On May 28, 2016 at the Visulite Theater in Charlotte, NC, Lindsay married the poet Erin Rose Coffin.

Lindsay accompanying Nicole Atkins, Peace Center, Greenville, SC, c.2008


  • In 2002, Lindsay won Queens University of Charlotte's Marjorie Blankenship Melton Award for his poem "Francis The Cabbie."
  • In 2004, Lindsay was nominated for Best Musical Director, Best Composer (Original Score), and Newcomer of The Year at Creative Loafing's Theatre Awards for his work on The Farm Theatre's adaptation of Mac Wellman's Description Beggared or the Allegory of WHITENESS.[64]
  • In 2010, Lindsay won Creative Loafing Charlotte's categories for Best Male Vocalist and Best Songwriter.[65]
  • In 2010, Lindsay's song "Bring the Old You Back" was included in the "Top 10 Tracks of the Year" by[66]
  • On February 9, 2011, Lindsay's Album Escape From Plaza-Midwood was included in Goldmine Magazine's "Top 20 CD's of 2010".[67]
  • On May 10, 2011, Lindsay was nominated for Best Musical Director and Best Composer for his work on ThomThom, by Machine Theatre. Lindsay composed an original score for the piece, which was also nominated for Theatre Event of The Year.[68]



Magic Winter & the Dirty South EP (released in 2009; re-issued February 2011 on Chocolate Lab Records)
Escape From Plaza-Midwood LP (August 17, 2010, Chocolate Lab Records)
Coping Strategies 7-inch EP (August 17, 2010, Chocolate Lab Records)
Could It Be Christmas? EP (November 29, 2011, Bear Hearts Fox)
After Dark single (June 19, 2012, Bear Hearts Fox)
Summer Wilderness Program LP (June 26, 2012, Bear Hearts Fox)
Is This Here What Jesus Would Do? single (November 26, 2013, Redeye Distribution)
Dear Mr. McCrory single featuring American Aquarium & Caitlin Cary (September 2, 2014, Redeye Distribution)
Ballad of Lennon Lacy single with Rhiannon Giddens and NC Music Love Army (August 21, 2015, Redeye Distribution)
All Them Houses single (November 6, 2015, File 13 Records)
Lifer single (December 11, 2015, File 13 Records)
Cities & Schools LP (June 10, 2016, File 13 Records)
Zebulon single (December 22, 2017, File 13 Records)

The Young Sons[edit]

Hearts Inc. LP (2008, independently released)

The Catch Fire[edit]

Rumormill LP (December 6, 2011 No More Fake Labels)

NC Music Love Army[edit]

We Are Not For Sale: Songs of Protest LP (November 26, 2013, Redeye Distribution)
We Rise: Remix Army Volume 1 EP (June 23, 2014, Love Army Records)
Dear Mr. McCrory single featuring American Aquarium & Caitlin Cary (September 2, 2014, Redeye Distribution)
You Can't Tear Us Down EP (October 7, 2014, Love Army Records)
My Body Politic EP (October 14, 2014, Love Army Records)
The Senator's Lament EP (October 21, 2014, Love Army Records)
Train Comin' EP (October 28, 2014, Love Army Records)
Stick To The Plan (single contributed to While No One Was Looking: Toasting 20 Years of Bloodshot Records, 11/18/14 via Bloodshot Records)
Ballad of Lennon Lacy single (August 21, 2015, Love Army Records)
When You Were A Young Man single (June 14, 2016, Love Army Records)
NCGOP single (October 20, 2016, Love Army Records)


Raised By Wolves – Return to the House of Ill Repute LP (2009, Giant Panda)[69]
Stephen Warwick & the Secondhand Stories – Talking Machine LP (2010)[70]
Twelve Thousand Armies – North Carolina LP (2011)[71]
Twelve Thousand Armies – Tiger Beat LP (2013)
Old Milwaukee – Hide A Light EP (2011)[72]
Eston and the Outs - AM Gold LP (2015)
Antique Hearts - Heartbreaks and Hangovers EP (2016)

Original musical theatre scores composed[edit]

Description Beggared: The Allegory of Whiteness – 2003 (for The Farm Theatre, Charlotte, NC)
ThomThom (If That Bird Won't Sing) – 2010 (for Machine Theatre, Charlotte, NC)


  1. ^ Hahne, Jeff (March 3, 2009). "Creative Loafing: Young Sons Songs See Light of Day". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  2. ^ "''Hearts Inc''. by The Young Sons on Itunes". July 15, 2008. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  3. ^ Hahne, Jeff (December 12, 2007). "Benji Hughes and Band back in studio". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  4. ^ Lawson, Kimberly. "Creative Loafing: Benji Hughes and Band". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Jon Lindsay (Benji Hughes/The Young Sons/Carlisle/Nicole Atkins)". May 24, 2010. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  6. ^ "''Magic Winter & the Dirty South'' on itunes". January 1, 2009. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  7. ^ Argyrakis, Andy. "Wallet Pop on Jon Lindsay". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Press". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  9. ^ Schreiber, Barbara (September 22, 2009). "Creative Loafing: ThomThom Open Workshop Review CL Charlotte". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  10. ^ Schreiber, Barbara (July 13, 2010). "ThomThom Duke Energy Theatre Performances Reivew". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Arts a la Mode Review of ThomThom". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  12. ^ Charlotte Viewpoint on Machine Theatre
  13. ^ Hahne, Jeff (May 17, 2010). "Creative Loafing: Jon Lindsay Signs to Chocolate Lab Records (May 2010)". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Rhythm Online UK: Jon Lindsay's Debut Album". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  15. ^ Consequence Of Sound Review of Escape From Plaza-Midwood
  16. ^ Magazine, Roctober (February 13, 2011). "Coping Strategies/Escape From Plaza-Midwood Review at RocktoberReviews". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Jon Lindsay at". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Frequent Flyer" Free MP3 at Magnet Magazine
  19. ^ Archived from the original on December 15, 2010. Retrieved February 3, 2011.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. ^ ""Futuretown" Free MP3 at AOL Spinner". July 31, 2010. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  21. ^ Jon Lindsay Daytrotter Session
  22. ^ "Blurt review of Escape From Plaza-Midwood". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Blogcritics review of Escape From Plaza-Midwood". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  24. ^ Devores, Courtney (October 1, 2010). "Jon Lindsay Charlotte Observer Sunday Arts Feature". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Jon Lindsay TV appearance on Chica-go-go". Youtube. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  26. ^ Oeur, Freeden. "Pop Matters Reviews Escape From Plaza-Midwood: 8 of 10 stars". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  27. ^ Powerpopaholic 8.0 Review of Escape From Plaza-Midwood Archived October 17, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  28. ^ "Shuffle Magazine Feature: Jon Lindsay's Escape From Plaza-Midwood". July 9, 2010. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  29. ^ "Jon Lindsay's Escape From Plaza-Midwood: 7.6 Review". Surviving the Golden Age. August 19, 2010. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  30. ^ Griffith, Spencer. "Jon Lindsay's Escape From Plaza-Midwood: Independent Weekly Review". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  31. ^ Cohen, Anne (October 7, 2010). "The Rock And Roll Report Reviews Escape From Plaza-Midwood by Jon Lindsay". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  32. ^ "Jon Lindsay Visulite Theatre show preview in Charlotte Magazine". August 28, 2010. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  33. ^ Performer Magazine Review of Escape From Plaza-Midwood
  34. ^ "Shuffle Magazine #8: Escape From Plaza-Midwood Review". July 9, 2010. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  35. ^ Door Jon Lindsay (December 16, 2011). "During The Beauty Shortage by Jon Lindsay". Youtube. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  36. ^ Jon Lindsay signs music publishing deal with North Star Media
  37. ^ Parker, Chris (November 23, 2011). "Jon Lindsay live at Tin Roof show preview (staff pick) and new album feature story". Charleston City Paper. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  38. ^ "AND THE HITS JUST KEEP ON..." Retrieved January 27, 2013. 
  39. ^ Devores, Courtney (December 13, 2011). "Charlotte Observer "Could It Be Christmas?". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  40. ^ "The Blue Indian features "Castles in France" by Jon Lindsay, from his COULD IT BE CHRISTMAS? EP". December 14, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  41. ^ "Free Download of Could It Be Christmas? By Jon Lindsay". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  42. ^ Oeur, Freeden. "Partner FREE DOWNLOAD in Pop Matters". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  43. ^ Hahne, Jeff (January 3, 2012). "Creative Loafing ''Rumormill'' Review". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  44. ^ The Catch Fire Best of 2011 Charlotte Viewpoint
  45. ^ "Rumormill by The Catch Fire: Editor's Pick, Shuffle Magazine". January 13, 2012. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  46. ^ Devores, Courtney (December 27, 2011). "Rumormill by The Catch Fire: Best of 2011, The Charlotte Observer". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  47. ^ "Best Albums of 2011 by Niner Online". December 6, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  48. ^ Jon Lindsay at Joe's Pub NYC
  49. ^ All Them Houses Premiere at Indy Weekly
  50. ^ Lifer premiere and feature story at Paste Magazine
  51. ^ Paste debuts Cities & Schools album trailer and 3rd single "[ When They Broke The World]"
  52. ^ Happy Old Pictures EP Announcement via Creative Loafing
  53. ^ NCMLA Indy Week Feature Story
  54. ^ NCMLA News and Observer Feature Story
  55. ^ NCMLA Television Feature on ABC
  56. ^ Herald Sun Feature Story
  57. ^ Rolling Stone on Bloodshot Records Compilation
  58. ^ Democracy Now Feature: HKonJ Moral March
  59. ^ Jon Lindsay Charlotte Observer feature, 2015
  60. ^ High Life Campaign
  61. ^ Jon Lindsay/Lea Michele NYLONG TV
  62. ^ "Sheetz Commercial on Youtube". Youtube. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  63. ^ "Cree Lures Beautiful People". Adrants. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  64. ^ Schreiber, Barbara (February 18, 2004). "Creative Loafing Theatre Awards, Best of Charlotte Nominations 2004". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  65. ^ Hahne, Jeff. "Creative Loafing: Best of Charlotte 2010". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  66. ^ "Blog Critics Top 10 Songs of 2010". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  67. ^ in Blogs, Power Pop PlusComments (1) (February 9, 2011). "Goldmine Magazine's Top 20 CD's of 2010". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  68. ^ Schreiber, Barbara (May 10, 2011). "2011 Charlotte Theatre Award Nominations". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  69. ^ Hahne, Jeff (October 28, 2008). "Raised By Wolves Album Preview". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  70. ^ "Shuffle Magazine: Stephen Warwick Story". April 14, 2010. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  71. ^ Griffith, Spencer. "Jon Lindsay Indy Weekly Review". Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  72. ^ "Hide A Light by Old Milwaukee". September 21, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 

External links[edit]