Since that fateful day, he’s been playing music with the likes of Blues Traveler front man John Popper, metal band Guns and Roses, and country legend Hank Williams, Jr. In addition, he’s entertained world leaders at the 2004 White House Christmas party, which was just one of eight times that he’s performed for the President of the United States, his former boss when he was serving his country in the US Army. “It was really good being invited to both the White House at Christmas and the Republican National Headquarters on election night,” John says excitedly. “It was interesting seeing all the press agencies that were represented from around the world. It was also kinda cool to see a lot of the security such as the Secret Service and SWAT working behind the scenes.”
While John might get excited about national politics, he’s not so excited about the politics surrounding the country music industry. John has been very forthright about his feelings regarding the politics of the music industry, which he states, is one of the biggest obstacles both new and established artists face in their careers. “There are so many networks in place that, if you are not a part of those networks, it’s hard to get around them since they’ve been in place for many years,” John says. “I’m in a good spot to really do something, but it just takes a little time. Nashville is not a town that lets you come in and own it right off the bat.”
It won’t be long, however, before you will hear John on the airwaves. He’s been working hard in the studio on an album that will be coming out soon. “I’m hoping to have a new single on the radio not too long from now. We’re shopping around for a new record deal. We want the fans and everybody to be looking for some new music ‘cause it’s on the way.”
John, himself writes the majority of the music you’ll hear on this new album. “I write most of my own stuff, but I’m always looking for a good songwriter. Good music can come from anywhere. It could come from someone I’ve met, a phrase I’ve heard or something I’ve been through in my life.”
One of John’s earliest influences was his father. When John was young, his father would drive him around in an old pickup truck that had no radio. “My daddy knew the words to about a thousand songs and we’d just drive around singing songs together,” he reminisces. “We also used to have these get-togethers on the weekend, cook something on the grill and play music for two days. That’s what really sparked the fire, I guess.”
John draws from different genres and different artists for inspiration, from Merle Haggard to Prince. “The first cassette tape I ever owned was the Purple Rain soundtrack,” he laughs. “I’m a fan of the old school country, but, I also like some of the new country artists like Montgomery Gentry and Keith Urban.”
John says he would love to someday write with Garth Brooks, Merle Haggard, and Willie Nelson. When asked about other future goals, John jokes, “I want to be filthy rich in the music business!” All joking aside, John says he’s just a regular guy lucky enough to do something he loves and get paid for it. He focuses on working toward having hit records and a strong enough radio presence so he can make his living touring. “Doing the live stuff is where it’s at. My favorite thing is getting on stage in front of a live audience and traveling the country. I want to play as many live shows as I can.”
John is banking on hard work to get him further down the road to success. “I’m a very observant individual and I don’t quit; I’m going to see it through to the end, no matter what the outcome may be.” John advises other rising stars in music to keep a positive attitude. He says if you believe in yourself, there is nothing you can’t do. We can’t wait to see what he’s going to do next!