John Allaire

John Allaire

 Hornepayne, Ontario, CAN

Has sold over 50,000 units in Canada. Recently toured US and Canada. Has recently opened for The Black Crowes, Drive-By Truckers, Steve Earle and Alejandro Escovedo on the festival circuit. Won American Songwriter Magazine Award for "Best Lyrics". Called "a new Neil Young" by national magazine.


Genres: Folk-Rock, Roots Rock, Alt-Country, Singer/Songwriter

John Allaire is an experienced, award-winning singer/songwriter with a gift for weaving captivating musical stories. Drawing on his experiences and surroundings Johns musical repertoire includes songs with sincere, intelligent lyrics that are introspective and deeply personal, as well as tunes that are light-hearted and humourous.

Starting his professional music career in 1984, John has been in a number of bands, including the award-winning "The Town Cryers", a band that reached the number one spot on seven radio stations in Canada with their first release in 1987 called "All's Well. Allaire toured the country with the Cryers while releasing their 1989 CD, "Surprise Surprise," which included a supporting video for Allaire's song "Never Bin Hurt B-4." The video won honours as top independent video in Canada in 1989. The CD also had the dubious pleasure of being the first release in Canada by an independent band on the emerging CD format. The Town Cryers parted ways in 1992, but not before recording a whopping 18-track CD called "Stanley's Cup.

In 1995, John founded the alt/punk band The Mercy Miners, playing with signed recording artists including Econoline Crush and Nada Surf. The Mercy Miners released a 10-song CD called Knuckle Sandwich in 1997.

In 2003, John released his first solo effort called Crime and Punishment; a 12-song collection that attracted particular attention on the east coast of Canada and throughout the USA. Johns sophomore solo release "Thank You Waitress!" (2005) continues to be a source of fan requests at live shows, particularly the title track.

John's 2007 release "Ghosts of the Royal Motel" garnered some of his best reviews with phrases like "Canada's next music legend", "A new Neil Young" and "Perfect barroom cool." The video for the single "Bourbon" was played on national and international music television programming.

John's 2009 release, "Up Hill ... Both Ways" has been selling very well in both the CD and vinyl formats. Early reviews in a US entertainment paper said, "He has the lyrical sense of Dylan, the chops of Neil Young and his backing group reminds me of The Band...". The American Songwriter Association awarded its Best Lyrics honours to John for his heartfelt song Magnets.

John suffered a heart attack in October 2010 after a game of recreational hockey, but quickly bounced back and released an album in 2011 called "Heart of Steel" - a reflective collection of songs about seizing opportunities and living life to its fullest.

No stranger to performing, John plays an average of 120 plus shows each year in addition to regularly recording and releasing his own brand of guitar-driven alt-country/roots/folk. Each show is different from the last, with changing arrangements (acoustic and electric accompaniment), material choices, and of course Johns quick wit and banter to draw in the audience. Whether playing solo or accompanied by the Campistas, John delivers a unique musical experience that does not easily fit into one genre, but is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Over his 25 plus years of playing music, John has had the honour of sharing the stage with talented acts such as: The Black Crowes, Steve Earle, Drive-By Truckers, Alejandro Escovedo, Alanis Morrisette, Blue Rodeo, David Lindley, Tragically Hip, Donovan, Lynn Miles, Hoodoo Gurus, BoDeans, Dr. and the Medics, The Church, VSpyVspy, Nada Surf, Econoline Crush, Weddings Parties Anything, Tom Cochrane, Grapes of Wrath, Nils, and many more...

John is a dedicated supporter of other musicians and has been hosting someone new every Saturday afternoon at The Allaire Show since 2010 (at Quinns on Bank Street in Ottawa, ON). The Allaire Show features John sharing the stage with local and up-and-coming talent as well as more experienced and established musicians, some whove come from as far away as Pittsburgh and Vancouver.

- American Songwriter Assoc. "Best Lyrics" Award 2009 for "Magnets" (Nashville, TN)

- Toronto Independent Music Awards "Best Live Act" (2009)

- CBC Telefest top independent music video in Ontario (1989)

- Top independent video in Canada 1989 as selected by MuchMusic

- Canadian College and University Radio Assoc. top album of the month - "All's Well" (1989)

- PROCAN (now SOCAN) independent songwriter award for "Cry at Night" (1987)

Who are the Campistas? John's band of studio and live musicians regularly includes Breeze Smith (drums), Jeff Tanguay (bass), Tony Dunn (keyboards, sax) along with a suite of special guests such as Amanda Rheaume, Tara Holloway, Tyler Kealey, Anders Drerup and Elmer Ferrar.



Written By: John Allaire

Hey buddy can you tell me how to find the Chelsea Hotel
I gotta get my picture taken where Sid and Nancy fell
Back alleys in New York City, not exactly where we’ve been
If we can hook up with Jesse Malin, he’d show us the scene

And I dream and I dream and I dream that you Christina are here with me

Cab fare’s about 15 dollars gotta get to Rockaway Beach
I hear that’s where Johnny and Joey would occasionally meet

I’ll fall down in Punkrocktown, I’ve landed on my feet
I’ll fall down in Punkrocktown, if you’ll be here with me

I need a ticket to Austin, Texas they say that is more my scene
But I prefer it north of the border where the spruce comes in blue and green

Hey buddy can you tell me where the Underground used to be
All I see is this switching station and my name carved on a tree
I fell asleep beside that tree, I fell asleep beside that tree, I fell asleep

Thank You Waitress

Written By: John Allaire

She’s been down this road before
Locksmith comes again to change the latches on the door
She swears this time he won’t be back for more
She has trouble letting go
Next chapter in her book is the same as the one before
Word for word just like the one before

Thank you waitress pour and sell
They really like her face as far as she can tell

She says music helps her pass the time
Plays accordion in a band from up the line
A tiny group they like to call Adeline
And they say, And they say

When she works the night shift her best fried feeds her fish
She falls in love three times a day then she makes a wish
She tosses pennies into a salad dish
And they say, and they say

She won’t be here forever, or so it seems
Just ‘til she’s discovered, yeah in her dreams
Cuz New York City’s where she wants to be

She has trouble letting go

Reels and Breathes

Written By: John Allaire

Lost for three hours in a place I call my mind
Grasping at the moon, how this strangeness is unkind
Statues take a walk, they surround, they confess
Where am I to look when they undress?

Lava lamps in bars, retro uniforms on waitresses
Time to tie my boots, hit the floor, render my services
She talks like Mae West, stealing lines and stealing drinks
I can't play when she walks by, she's not in sync

The thunder, the mountains, the streams and the trees
All pause at the moment she reels, she breathes.

Try to find a clue, she never leaves the evidence
Flirt with saving time, but she spends it just like innocence
Desert sands erode the walls of journeys from the past
She never takes what's first, she wants what lasts

(repeat chorus)

Meanwhile as I search to find the key-card for my mind
The bellhop takes my thoughts, but he leaves my bags behind
The concierge reminds me that she checked out long ago
She's the real star, I'm a cameo.

(repeat chorus)


John Allaire
Heart of Steel
Released September 2011

John Allaire
Up Hill ... Both Ways
Released June 2009

John Allaire
Ghosts of the Royal Motel
Released June 2007

John Allaire and the Campistas
Thank You Waitress
Released September 2005

John Allaire and the Campistas
Thank You Waitress
4-song promo e.p.
Released April 2005

John Allaire
Crime and Punishment
Released September 2003

The Mercy Miners
Knuckle Sandwich
Released October 1997

The Town Cryers
Stanley’s Cup
Released November 1992

The Town Cryers
Released November 1989

The Town Cryers
All’s Well
Released October 1987
(originally released on vinyl only)

Set List

1. Punkrocktown
2. Thank You Waitress
3. Cut n Dried
4. Shut Your Mouth
5. Nothing is Free
6. Count the Rings
7. Stepping Back from the Canvas
8. Halton Country Inn
9. Nottinghill
10. Scratch is on the 45
11. Mexico
12. Pick Up the Slack
13. For Me
14. Belle of the Ball
15. Seven Lives on Seven Seas
16. Like I Do
17. Angelina’s Face
18. Blue Skies
19. I Go Flying
20. Self Defence
21. Green
22. Hometown, Let Me Down
23. Old King Cole
24. She Don’t Know
25. Satisfied
26. Mt. St. Helens
27. Bourbon
28. Porch Light
29. Angels
30. Keep the Rhythm
31. Cornerstone
32. Chest of Drawers
33. Midnight Blue and Gray
34. Avenue D
35. Rock n Roll
36. On the Hill

1. Out on the Weekend - Neil Young
2. Comes a Time - Neil young
3. Jambalaya - Hank Williams
4. Gun - Uncle Tupelo
5. Family Tradition - Hank Williams Jr.
6. Two of Us - Beatles