John the Revelator
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John the Revelator

Fountain Inn, SC | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | INDIE

Fountain Inn, SC | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2008
Solo Folk Blues




"Young man with an old soul comes to Carolina Bauernhaus"

By Vincent Harris, Special to Your Hometown Fun

Jake Garrett, aka John the Revelator plays music that seems to float free of any particular time period. His viciously sharp slide playing hearkens back to the Delta blues masters, but it's just as informed by modern-day rock as it is the blues. His songs reach back into the swamps of the Delta and the Appalachian mountains for their subject matter and atmosphere, but there's often a coat of jagged, distorted noise-rock splashed across these tales of broken hearts and broken men. It's dark, foreboding sound that, in an age of antiseptic, note-perfect productions, is undeniably ragged, off-kilter and alive.

Garrett stumbled upon the seemingly disparate ideas for John the Revelator while serving as the rookie in an experienced cover band. "The other guys in the band were all in their 40s and I was like 18," he says, "and one of them had this tape called 'Bottles, Knives & Steel,' and it was this collection of old blues artists. And it was the first time I'd heard Blind Willie Johnson. And I just fell in love with his music, and that's what got me into playing slide guitar.

"And at the same time, I was playing with a bluegrass band that introduced me to a lot of Appalachian storytelling songs," Garrett continues. "So what it came down to was that I loved those two genres: The pre-WWII slide guitar and gospel-blues, like Blind Willie John son and Blind Lemon Jefferson, and then you've got the Appalachian music."

But there was a more practical angle behind the new music Garrett was playing, as well.

"It was really a way to play shows by myself," he says. "I'd still be able to go and play the shows myself as john The Revelator. I started trying to play as many instruments as I could at one time and make a big sound so that I could play these gigs that technically weren't supposed to be acoustic gigs."

Garrett's onstage alter-ego name, John the Revelator, came from a song of the same name, a gospel-blues song recorded by both Johnson and Son House.

"From what I understand, Blind Willie Johnson did the first recorded version of that song," he says. "It was kind of one of those things where I wanted to pay homage to Blind Willie with whatever name I chose, so that's why I went with John the Revelator."

Garrett, who will play at Carolina Baurenhaus in Anderson on Friday, also produces other bands, and he says he uses the John he Revelator name instead of his own not just as a stage name, but so that he's not connected with just one project or one style of music. "I do so many projects that I really don't like to ever use my name, because I would be completely tied down to it," he says. "It's a way to avoid that."

Centered around a disparate group of Upstate artists, Garrett runs his own record label called Deep Roots Family Records, which he formed around eight years ago, originally to release his own music.

The current roster for Deep Roots includes Before There Were Gods (a vocals-bass-drums trio that specializes in corrosively heavy noise-rock), the bluesy trio Mason Jar Menagerie, electronic-music duo Soulless Robots, the frenetic indie-rock outfit Dables and two acoustic singer/songwriters, The Last Southern Gentleman (aka Chad Hudson) and Amy Lynne Reed, with Garrett serving as producer for all of them.

"The hardest part about it is to make sure the work with each of the artists is separate," he says. "The sound I tried to mold for John the Revelator is something I try to keep completely separate from the others because it will intrude onto the sound of the other artists. You have to be very careful." - Independent Mail

"Belly Up: John the Revelator @ WPBR Radio Room"

By Brett Barest

In Biblical context, John the Revelator was the author of the Book of Revelation. Musically, it is the title of one of the most revered and covered songs in blues history. On the Upstate stage, however, it is the alter ego of Fountain Inn’s Jake Garrett.

Garrett is a man who wears so many hats that he deserves an alter ego or two. Besides his day job, he is a member of multiple Upstate bands and founder and owner of Deep Roots Family Records. He created the studio and record label as a home for fellow recording artists looking to grow as artists together under one label.

Who: John the Revelator
When: 10 p.m. Saturday
Where: WPBR Radio Room, 2845 N. Pleasantburg Drive, Greenville
Cover: $5
More Information:
As a member of Mason Jar Menagerie and roughly half a dozen other bands, Garrett wanted the opportunity to express himself through a solo outlet. Inspired by old Southern blues music, he took the name of one of the greatest songs ever recorded — “John the Revelator”. It was originally released by Blind Willie Johnson in 1930, famously updated by Son House in the 1960’s, and covered and updated by everyone from Trey Anastasio, to Beck, to The White Stripes, to name but a few.

One listen to Garrett’s recordings and the link and homage to the past is blatantly obvious. As John the Revelator, his music has the unpolished grit and sense of storytelling that defined classic blues artists like Johnson and Son House. This is only the foundation, however, as the sound is rounded out by plenty of other musical influences.

From folk to garage rock, Garrett’s influences definitely run the musical gamut as he assembles what he calls “dark folk, southern Gothic, stomp blues”. One hesitates to say “he sounds like ” but his style is definitely cut from the same cloth as artists like Jack White and The Black Keys.

This weekend Garrett takes the stage at The WPBR Radio Room on two consecutive evenings. He plays as part of Mason Jar Menagerie on Friday and follows with his own album release party Saturday evening. The recording, titled Brand New Spells, has been a year in the making and will be the first album he has recorded under the banner of his own Deep Roots Family Records.

The show is presented by Greenville’s Future Chord Media and will also include The High Divers and Caitlin Arnett. Charleston’s The High Divers specialize in Southern roots rock and recently released the album Riverlust which has begun to receive national attention.

For her part, Arnett is a singer/songwriter who is touring the United States all the way from the land of koalas and kangaroos, Australia.

All three of these artists are immensely talented and worthy of music lovers’ time and money.

Having them all on the same bill in support of John the Revelator’s album release promises to be a real treat at an under-the-radar venue committed to supporting local, regional and even Australian talent. - Independent Mail

"DeepRoots Family Records a leg up for artists to promote their sound"

When Jake Garrett, who performs as John The Revelator, formed the DeepRoots Family Records label in 2010, it was simply to put out his own work. Garrett is a prolific songwriter, and he had a backlog of material he wanted to get out. But in addition to releasing his own brand of dark acoustic folk-blues, Garrett always had a bigger plan in mind.
“From touring, I’d met a lot of talented people,” he says. “These were people who were very good who weren’t getting opportunities to release their work; they saw that possibility as far-fetched. And I felt that I could show these people that it’s not that far-fetched. You’ve got the talent within you, now here’s the logistics of how you do the not-so-fun part of it.”
So in 2014, Garrett and DeepRoots’ Head Of Operations Brittany Watson registered the label as an LLC and began signing other artists. Garrett works as their producer and as a musician on their songs, and came up with a plan for the artists that helped them book shows, learn how to move from the stage to the recording studio and how to promote themselves.
“It just seemed like a great way to get our music out there,” Watson says. “We all contribute to the label, whether it’s musically or with booking or promotion. It’s a grass-roots company, and we feel like a really big family. Jake really believes in these musicians and has faith in their music, and this is his way of getting their music out there and helping them. We like to view ourselves as a stepping stone for people to get their music out there and be heard and possibly get picked up by a bigger label.”
In addition to John The Revelator, DeepRoots Family Records current roster includes Before There Were Gods (a vocals-bass-drums trio that specializes in corrosively heavy noise-rock), the bluesy trio Mason Jar Menagerie, electronic-music duo Soulless Robots, the frenetic indie-rock outfit Dables and two acoustic singer/songwriters, The Last Southern Gentleman (aka Chad Hudson) and Amy Lynne Reed.
“With DeepRoots behind me, the production has come into focus and it’s really given a structure that I wouldn’t have had otherwise,” Reed says. “Jake is able to take the raw sound that he hears and the ideas of the artist and combine them together in ways that you wouldn’t, as a singer/songwriter, have been able to do on your own. It’s a big confidence-booster. I’d gotten discouraged, and backed off of playing music and thought it would never be possible. And when I finally saw everything he was doing and how he had put everything together, it suddenly just revitalized everything for me and gave me a hope that I didn’t have before.”
The label has planned a showcase concert this Friday at the Radio Room, with John The Revelator, Mason Jar Menagerie, The Last Southern Gentleman and Amy Lynne Reed performing. “It’s a way to show that you can transcend genres and put these different acts together and show them to the same crowd,” Garrett says. “I think a lot of people don’t know they like certain types of music until they hear it, and they’ve just never been exposed to it. It’s a way to open up the crowd to different genres.” - Greenville Journal


The Bees and the Flies (2014)
Brand New Spells (2015)



John the Revelator is the solo project of Jake Garrett. Jake is more known for his blues rock trio MasonJar Menagerie and his newly founded record label, DeepRoots Family Records and Productions. Along with MasonJar, Jake plays with 6 other bands regularly. Many of which, he writes the music for. Jake has been writing songs for over a decade, compiling 100’s of songs. John the Revelator acts an outlet for these numerous songs that he isn't using with other projects.

The name John the Revelator derives from an old Blind Willie Johnson song. This is also where Jake draws a lot of inspiration from. Jake does a brilliant job at mixing all of his inspirations and sounding like something completely unique. Using a variety of instruments and his rare vocal styling, John the Revelator dares to do what many artists won’t attempt. John the Revelator is raw and electric.

Jake displays many of his musical talents in John the Revelator. Simultaneously playing guitar along with a bass drum, snare, and high hat. On top of all that, he manages to bust out some mind-melting lyrics. This act is unique, exposing, and riveting.

Band Members