Jon Lindsay (musician)

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Jon Lindsay
Jon Lindsay
Jon Lindsay
Background information
Birth nameJonathan Lindsay Phillips
OriginPortland, Oregon, United States
GenresPop, rock, alternative, powerpop, indie, experimental, protest music
Occupation(s)singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, music director
Instrumentsvocals, piano, organ, synthesizer, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass, percussion, drums
Years active2007—present
LabelsFile 13, Bear Hearts Fox, Chocolate Lab, No More Fake Labels, North Star Media (Publisher), Heron Bay, Redeye Distribution, Love Army Records
Associated actsBenji 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.

He is best known as the performer/producer of his own solo albums, and for his work in television and theater as a writer and composer. Lindsay regularly collaborates with other artists - contributing performances and production - and has founded several groups, including the North Carolina Music Love Army, with Caitlin Cary of Whiskeytown.

Music career[edit]

Lindsay co-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 him 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][17][18][19][20] The album received high critical marks, gaining Lindsay some attention 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 wrote, "comes as close as any regional record in recent memory to rendering what it means to be alive."[34]

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,[35] 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"). Lindsay's 2011 and 2012 releases were largely met with critical praise for continued originality and imagination in American pop music.[36][37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46]

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".[47] 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 is "smart, empathetic, and endlessly interesting excellent new single."[48] 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."[49]

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.[50]

On December 22, 2017, File 13 released "Zebulon", a single from Lindsay which features a horn arrangement written and performed by Matt Douglas of The Mountain Goats. The song's narrative is delivered from the point-of-view of a racist southern farmer. Lindsay described the song as "psychedelic gospel pop".[51][52][53]

In 2018, Lindsay began work on his fourth LP (expected in 2020), with recording sessions taking place in NC, NYC, and LA.

The NC Music Love Army[edit]

In July 2013, Lindsay and Caitlin Cary of Whiskeytown co-founded the North Carolina Music Love Army – a non-profit collective consisting of artists 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, served as the group's music director, and produced the debut LP, We Are Not For Sale: Songs of Protest. Members of the NCMLA who perform on the album include 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 others. Members of the NCMLA performed at Moral Monday rallies at the North Carolina General Assembly and in Charlotte. The events, which at times drew up to 5000 participants, were part of the "Forward Together" Movement engineered by the NC chapter or the NAACP, under the leadership of Reverend William Barber II.[54][55][56][57]

Mountain Moral Monday - Asheville, NC

The NCMLA had 8 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 releases. Other 2014 highlights included a collaboration with 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 Lindsay's single "Dear Mr. McCrory" (featuring American Aquarium and Caitlin Cary), which compares the former governor to segregationist George Wallace.[58]

In 2015, Lindsay was introduced to the case of Lennon Lacy, a seventeen-year-old African American youth from Bladenboro, NC, found dead by hanging in August 2014. The NC NAACP's independent investigation declared the death a lynching. Lindsay's "The Ballad of Lennon Lacy" arrived on Love Army Records via Redeye Distribution on August 21. Guesting on the track is Grammy award-winning solo artist Rhiannon Giddens, as well as many other members of the NCMLA.[59][60]

TV and film work[edit]

In 2015 "Rumormill" by The Catch Fire was used for High Life TV commercials.[61]

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.[62] 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 Jeep and Sheetz commercials,[63] Cree LED Lighting,[64] Honda.

Personal life[edit]

Jon Lindsay live in New York, New York

Lindsay lives in Brooklyn. From 2005-2015, he was based in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Raleigh, North Carolina from 2015-2017. He attended West Charlotte High School, then Queens University of Charlotte, earning a B.A. in English in 2003. In 2005, he received an MFA in fiction writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His father, Wendell Phillips, is a trained organist and Episcopalian minister, and his mother, Linda Vigen Phillips, is a retired teacher and children's book author. Lindsay has one sibling, a fraternal twin brother, Thomas, who is also an Episcopalian priest. Lindsay's childhood was spent between Oregon, Montana and North Carolina.

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.[65]
  • In 2010, Lindsay won Creative Loafing Charlotte's categories for Best Male Vocalist and Best Songwriter.[66]
  • In 2010, Lindsay's song "Bring the Old You Back" was included in the "Top 10 Tracks of the Year" by[67]
  • On February 9, 2011, Lindsay's Album Escape From Plaza-Midwood was included in Goldmine Magazine's "Top 20 CD's of 2010".[68]
  • 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.[69]



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)[70]
Stephen Warwick & the Secondhand Stories – Talking Machine LP (2010)[71]
Twelve Thousand Armies – North Carolina LP (2011)[72]
Twelve Thousand Armies – Tiger Beat LP (2013)
Old Milwaukee – Hide A Light EP (2011)[73]
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)


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  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". Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. 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". Archived from the original on March 20, 2012. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  9. ^ Schreiber, Barbara (September 22, 2009). "Creative Loafing: ThomThom Open Workshop Review CL Charlotte". Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  10. ^ Schreiber, Barbara (July 13, 2010). "ThomThom Duke Energy Theatre Performances Review". Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. 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)". Archived from the original on April 10, 2013. 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". Archived from the original on October 6, 2011. 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[permanent dead link]
  34. ^ "Shuffle Magazine #8: Escape From Plaza-Midwood Review". July 9, 2010. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  35. ^ Jon Lindsay signs music publishing deal with North Star Media
  36. ^ 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.
  37. ^ "AND THE HITS JUST KEEP ON..." Retrieved January 27, 2013.
  38. ^ Devores, Courtney (December 13, 2011). "Charlotte Observer "Could It Be Christmas?". Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  39. ^ "The Blue Indian features "Castles in France" by Jon Lindsay, from his COULD IT BE CHRISTMAS? EP". December 14, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  40. ^ "Free Download of Could It Be Christmas? By Jon Lindsay". Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  41. ^ Oeur, Freeden. "Partner FREE DOWNLOAD in Pop Matters". Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  42. ^ Hahne, Jeff (January 3, 2012). "Creative Loafing Rumormill Review". Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  43. ^ The Catch Fire Best of 2011 Charlotte Viewpoint
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  45. ^ Devores, Courtney (December 27, 2011). "Rumormill by The Catch Fire: Best of 2011, The Charlotte Observer". Retrieved January 17, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  46. ^ "Best Albums of 2011 by Niner Online". December 6, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  47. ^ All Them Houses Premiere at Indy Weekly
  48. ^ Lifer premiere and feature story at Paste Magazine
  49. ^ Paste debuts Cities & Schools album trailer and 3rd single "[ When They Broke The World]"
  50. ^ Happy Old Pictures EP Announcement via Creative Loafing
  51. ^ Zebulon Premier
  52. ^ Charlotte Magazine "Songs We Can't Stop Playing
  53. ^ "SPILL MUSIC PREMIERE: JON LINDSAY - "ZEBULON"". The Spill Magazine. December 19, 2017. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  54. ^ NCMLA Indy Week Feature Story
  55. ^ NCMLA News and Observer Feature Story
  56. ^ NCMLA Television Feature on ABC
  57. ^ "Herald Sun Feature Story". Archived from the original on July 12, 2013. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  58. ^ Rolling Stone on Bloodshot Records Compilation
  59. ^ Democracy Now Feature: HKonJ Moral March
  60. ^ Jon Lindsay Charlotte Observer feature, 2015
  61. ^ High Life Campaign
  62. ^ "Jon Lindsay/Lea Michele NYLONG TV". Archived from the original on September 15, 2012. Retrieved November 5, 2012.
  63. ^ "Sheetz Commercial on Youtube". Youtube. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  64. ^ "Cree Lures Beautiful People". Adrants. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  65. ^ Schreiber, Barbara (February 18, 2004). "Creative Loafing Theatre Awards, Best of Charlotte Nominations 2004". Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  66. ^ Hahne, Jeff. "Creative Loafing: Best of Charlotte 2010". Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  67. ^ "Blog Critics Top 10 Songs of 2010". Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  68. ^ in Blogs, Power Pop PlusComments (1) (February 9, 2011). "Goldmine Magazine's Top 20 CD's of 2010". Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  69. ^ Schreiber, Barbara (May 10, 2011). "2011 Charlotte Theatre Award Nominations". Archived from the original on May 15, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  70. ^ Hahne, Jeff (October 28, 2008). "Raised By Wolves Album Preview". Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  71. ^ "Shuffle Magazine: Stephen Warwick Story". April 14, 2010. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  72. ^ Griffith, Spencer. "Jon Lindsay Indy Weekly Review". Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  73. ^ "Hide A Light by Old Milwaukee". September 21, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2012.

External links[edit]