John Rutherford is a singer/songwriter based in Calgary Alberta who's work, laced with the tonality, phrasing and spirit of the blues, fuses a broad and eclectic range of influences creating a sound distinctly his own.
Amidst a long and storied career Rutherford released his debut solo recording in 2010 called Echo Broadcast. Pulling together the various strands of his musical experience and artistic vision, Rutherford's recent work skillfully dove tails a roots/blues/folk/rock vibe with an imaginative and modern songwriters take on the stories, the legends, the vintage instruments and the soul and feel of the blues.
Echo Broadcast charted at campus and public radio across Canada reaching #1 on the Alberta wide CKUA Radio Network’s Top 30 Music Chart, #2 on the CKDU Top 30 in Halifax and #8 on the national Earshot Folk, Roots and Blues Music Chart. Echo Broadcast has received glowing reviews at press and radio both in Canada and the UK. The CD showed up on the CKUA Radio Network's Top 100 for 2010.
Produced by fellow Calgary musician and record producer Lorrie Matheson, Echo Broadcast features Calgary rhythm section Scott Munro on bass and Chris Dadge on drums. Cedric Blary makes an appearance on several tracks playing clarinet as does Lorrie Matheson playing piano and organ.
John's beginnings include early exposure to blues music, lessons in blues guitar and attending countless concerts growing up in Toronto spawning a lifelong fascination with vintage guitars, radio, blues history, pop culture, old records and the people and stories that opened his ears to an entrancing sound and world of music.
Moving to Calgary Rutherford emerged as a “King Eddy brat” during the late eighties heyday of the heralded east end blues haunt; The King Edward Hotel. During his King Eddy tenure Rutherford played with and learned from many of the great legends. His band the Hoodoo Sons performed there regularly.
In recent years the guitarist/singer/songwriter has championed several roots music projects touring and recording with many of the best roots and blues players in western Canada including the acoustic duo No Guff with guitarist Dan Tapanila and the all-star roots collective Highwater Jug Band with Tim Williams, Suitcase James, Mark Sadlier-Brown and Cedric Blary. Rutherford has also been a regular featured artist with the Edmonton based Front Porch Roots Revue and has recorded and toured extensively with upright bassist and singer/songwriter Ronnie Hayward. Other musical encounters include having worked with and recorded with Calgary blues singer Bill Dowey as well as Fort McLeod singer/songwriter John Wort Hannam.
During his time at the King Edward Hotel Rutherford shared the stage with Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Buddy Guy, Eddie Shaw, Billy Branch, Phillip Walker and Jr. Wells to name a few. Rutherford has opened shows for John Hammond, David Wilcox, Johnny Winter, Neville Brothers, Charlie Musslewhite, Omar and the Howlers and many more. As part of festival workshops Rutherford has performed on stage with Colin Linden, The Holmes Brothers, Bill Bourne, Danny Michel, The Bills, Chad VanGaalen, Roy Forbes, John Reischman and the Jaybirds, The Wailin' Jennys, Lester Quitzau, Mae Moore, Tom Russell and Suzie Vinnick among others.
As songwriter John Rutherford’s music has appeared in television and film, he holds songwriting credits on both the No Guff CD They’re Red Hot and the Highwater Jug Band self titled disc, and wrote ten of the eleven songs on his solo release Echo Broadcast.
John Rutherford - vocals, guitars, banjo-lele
John Rutherford - vocals, guitars, banjo-lele
Scott Munro - bass
Chris Dadge - drums
Lorrie Matheson - guitar, keys
Cedric Blary - clarinet
John Rutherford - Echo Broadcast - 2010
Highwater Jug Band - self titled - 2007
No Guff - They're Red Hot - 2003
...John Rutherford has just released a magical debut solo recording
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Spring 2010 - feature article and interview ...after a lifetime of soul searching, Calgary roots ...Spring 2010 - feature article and interview
...after a lifetime of soul searching, Calgary roots and blues stalwart John Rutherford has just released a magical debut solo recording.
...a gorgeously dusky disc of gothic Americana that breeds and grows slowly like Spanish moss in the muggy Louisiana air, and burns and burbles like gumbo in the gullet.
...the assured and alluring 11-track collection will stretch the perceptions of anyone who might have come into contact with any or all of his sonic outings, while at the same time further establishing him as a true singer, songwriter and performer.
...with Rutherford’s raspy vocal delivery and dust-tweaked, bluesy roots tales peopled with preachers, guitars, ghosts and the heartbroken, the album sounds as if it was birthed one magic, moonlit night by the bayou with a lined and wizened group of friends and not over several months in the home studio of noted Cowtown producer and musician Lorrie Matheson, and with a crack pickup band of young area players.
...the song Eric Clapton has been trying to record for twenty years...
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May 2010 - CD Review 4 out of 5 STARS ...John Rutherford sounds just like Tom Waits; if Tom Waits...May 2010 - CD Review 4 out of 5 STARS
...John Rutherford sounds just like Tom Waits; if Tom Waits could sing! That said, I absolutely love ECHO BROADCAST. It is a heady mix of modern urban blues with occasional jazzy guitar and piano with smatterings of fuzzy Americana guitar from start to finish.
...Rutherford’s whisky-soaked/40 a day voice certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste, but if you like Tom Waits, Dr John or Randy Newman, in their early commercial days you too will love this album.
...opening song Echo Broadcast sets the scene well with an eerie 21st Century feedback enhanced blues song about the ghosts of the blues greats coming from the radio in his car.
...Preacher Picked the Guitar is the song that Eric Clapton has been trying to record for 20 years.
...Hoodoo Man literally curdles the blood with some crazy guitar and scary vocals on a New Orleans influenced love song.
...his music is timeless, stateless and just crying out to be heard by the Music Loving Public Worldwide.
AH - Maverick Magazine UK
...a blues album for the new millennium.
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January 2010 - CD Review A first spin through the solo debut by Calgary’s John Rutherford reveals...January 2010 - CD Review
A first spin through the solo debut by Calgary’s John Rutherford reveals a creepy, crooked and often melancholy world, richly painted in vintage sounds and ideas. And while that impression sticks through subsequent listens, the resounding echo from this Echo Broadcast is that this is a collection of music from a collection of people who love music. Whether Rutherford calls to mind Tom Waits with a gruff tango or trail riding with a twangy shuffle, it’s clear that he, producer Lorrie Matheson and their all-star band of locals have poured their knowledge and passion into every nook and cranny on this record. With its references to dusty old 78s, its array of old-school instrumentation, synthesized static and Rutherford’s gravelly monologues, the aptly titled Echo Broadcast often sounds like a lost radio transmission from another time. It’s raw and smoky and despite having a foot in the past, it’s undoubtedly a blues album for the new millennium.
...gritty beat-inspired lyricism, experimental rootsy sonics...
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January 2010 - CD Picks John Rutherford, Echo Broadcast - Gritty beat-inspired lyricism, experime...January 2010 - CD Picks
John Rutherford, Echo Broadcast - Gritty beat-inspired lyricism, experimental rootsy sonics and that gruff vocal delivery. Calgary's John Rutherford is certainly wearing his Tom Waits love proudly on Echo Broadcast and it's served him very well. This is another fine notch in Lorrie Matheson's producer belt too, for bringing Rutherford's stark visions to life so vividly.
...reflects a mature and experienced outlook.
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January, 2010 - CD Review It's a pleasant surprise when a debut solo recording shows up that refl...January, 2010 - CD Review
It's a pleasant surprise when a debut solo recording shows up that reflects a mature and experienced outlook.
In the case of John Rutherford, it isn't a total surprise because the singer and string master has been active on Alberta's roots music scene since shortly after he arrived in Calgary from a musical family upbringing in hometown Toronto 20 years ago.
On his new solo CD, Echo Broadcast, you'll hear Rutherford's gritty vocals and strings in the company of top Calgary players such as Lorrie Matheson (the album's producer), Scott Munro, Chris Dadge and Cedric Blary, all of whom appear with the singer at the Blue Chair Cafe tonight to mark the CD release.
The all-original set of tunes has an acoustic feel but ranges from more traditional blues and jazzy-blues to contemporary tracks and some rocking grooves.
...On his latest album, John Rutherford bares his soul and moves beyond the blues.
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June 2010 - feature article and interview ...offering up a wide range of guitar tones, guitar sty...June 2010 - feature article and interview
...offering up a wide range of guitar tones, guitar styles, percussive effects, instrumentation and song arrangements
...most notable however is Rutherford's advanced level of storytelling-style songwriting
typically 2 x 50 minute sets + (adjustable)
John performs both as a solo artist and with his accompanying band The Legislative Assembly.