John Fairhurst
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John Fairhurst

London, England, United Kingdom | SELF

London, England, United Kingdom | SELF
Band Blues Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Gravel and Dust - Band - John Fairhurst"

John Fairhurst has been a solo artist, and now he's started an awesome band. With all the slide guitar skill of Robert Johnson and a voice comparable to Tom Waits, John Fairhurst is a serious contender on the contemporary delta-blues circuit.
This is really highlighted in Pay Day, a song which really elicits images of authentic swampy Mississippi blues. And thats the charm of Fairhurst, a great number of blues musician fail not because they arent talented enough to succeed, but because of a lack of understanding of blues as a culture, rather than just a chord progression.
Everything about this album is so homogenous, so honest and charming. Even Lost My Mind, which is a double speed stomp, still has the same feel. Fairhursts voice really does take over on this one though, the guy can really wail and his slide playing compliments this perfectly. I haven't had the pleasure of checking him out live, but i should imagine it would have all the feel of a 30's boogie barrellhouse - Electric Ghost #35 - Rich Beech reviewing

"John Fairhurst – Band"

Ever since our ability to record music there has always been the Blues, the different variations, incantations and adaptations of this ever flexible genre have been numerous and ever-present in contemporary music and reflected in folk and traditional styles the world over.

That’s why I was particularly pleased when John Fairhurst’s – “Band” came through the door courtesy of Debt Records. This is the long overdue follow-up to his instrumental album “Joy of Spring”, and is available now in a plethora of different musical states.

There is a distinct yet perfunctory homage to Don Van Vliet in a lot of the vocals performances from John, counterpointed by the close point harmonies of the band giving the album a distinct gospel growl which seems well suited to the high energy rhythms and catchy hooks. Songs like Mississippi John Hurt’s “Pay Day”, their own “Lost My Mind” and the meandering yet hypnotic instrumental “Earworm” really capture his use of the blues raga (a rough translation would probably be “harmony of sorrow”). There is a distinct Indian edge to his slick slippery sitar style slide, punctuated perfectly by the kind of interplay only old jazzers, jaded folky’s and very very busy blues bands acquire. There’s also some really high energy Cajun music for the seriously unhinged in there, and a lovely “thanks for listening but this is the end” lament and a “tuning up and getting kicked off stage” track for you to enjoy.

I’m a huge fan of all folk music especially the blues and found this EP a pleasure from start to finish and look forward to more nonsense from this band in the future…

Paul Montague – Arguing Wizard for CKR - Curiosity Kills Records

"Obnox Stomp"

“What power and originality and freshness, a wonderful thing!”

Tom Robinson - BBC 6 Music

"John Fairhurst live in Manchester"

“This was what the Old Crow Medicine Show would sound like if Ravi Shankar became their musical director; a drum circle-cum-barn dance. Newcomers to John Fairhurst certainly won’t be forgetting his name in a hurry.”

- Manchester Music

"John fairhurst"

“Truly exquisite.”

(The Guardian)
- The Guardian

"Joys of spring review"

“As gripping as it is totally different. Trembling chords rise slowly out of the speakers like dark mist on a bayou, while Fairhurst’s Bangkok blues hang in the background, sliding in and out with steely precision.”

(Bearded Magazine)

- Bearded Magazine

"Introducing… John Fairhurst"

What we think:

"John Fairhurst is worth every bit of praise he’s already garnered. Capable of creating genuine jaw-dropping moments live, he’s possibly the finest guitarist you’ll ever see – and even better than that, he’s able to couple those skills with brilliant songwriting and a gravel-swilled belter of a voice. Search him out and prepare to be stunned."
Chris Long - BBC Manchester

"John Fairhurst – Band"

In popular music time is nearly always against you. Most genres lend themselves to younger musicians. The apolitical/anti-political sentiments of the punk movement would have sounded lame and childish if they’d been sung by OAPs (though The Sex Pistol’s are immature regardless), and Westlife would never count legions of screaming, braindead female fans (and Wayne Rooney) if they were older – surely even they know that their music isn’t up to much. Time also gives too much public space for successful musicians to say something stupid (racist in Morrissey’s case), or appear in some fucked up advert (e.g. butter-supremo John Lydon), which decimates their credibility. Alcohol, drugs and sleeplessness accelerate the aging process. Time is your enemy…

That is unless you’re a blues/folk roots singer. Whiskey, cigars and too much good living gives musicians such as Muddy Waters, Mark Lanegan, Tom Waites, and John Fairhurst a deep growling gravitas, imbuing their music with a profundity unachievable by other methods. Isn’t it nice to know that there are some professions that lend themselves to bad living and self-destruction?

Though he’s a Wigan man, John Fairhurst’s cracked, bourbon smoked voice emanates from the Mississippi delta. Still, to say that Band is a simple blues records would be to underplay the underlying complexity of the music, and conceal the fact that this is an immensely fun listen. ‘Daylight’, for instance is a rip-roaring foot stomper, with the single aim of getting people to dance. ‘Lost My Mind’, with its chugging, driving rhythm, and chorus of, “See me standing here on the barren ground”, is charged with the exploding joys of life. This is blues by name but not by nature.

Presumably influenced by his time in the Far East, ‘Pay Day’ has a peaceful, oriental lilt hiding just beneath. It is this ability to subtly subvert and tweak blues standards that lies of the heart of Fairhurst’s charm. By doing so he creates his own land and makes his own traditions with a freshness that is breathtaking. That and the fact that his voice sounds like he grinds up glass, and chucks it in his morning porridge every day.

Fairhurst is both a masterful musician and songwriter, who carefully intertwines music of varying ethnicities into one roaring whole. Band is the result of that extraordinary talent, and it makes Seasick Steve’s three stringed blues sound like the two-dimensional ramblings of a penniless hobo. And now in his thirties, and unlike the people mentioned at the beginning of this review, he still has his best days before him. - CityLifers



1.Rant 00:14
2.Daylight 04:00
3.Pay Day 05:37
4.Lost My Mind 04:20
5.Wire Donkey 00:32
6.Big Dig 04:21
7.Earworm 07:16
8.Goodbye 03:53

"Joys of Spring"

1.Obnox Stomp (50Hertz mix) 04:05
2.Passing Time 02:57
3.Yew Tree Blues 01:45
4.At the River 04:26
5.Blues for Bill 02:57
6.Shivver 03:10
7.On the Run 03:46
8.Friends 04:21
9.How Far How Fast 06:35
10.Dawn 03:37
11.Joys of Spring 06:07



“John Fairhurst is worth every bit of praise he’s already garnered. Capable of creating jaw-dropping moments live, he is possibly the finest guitarist you’ll ever see.” - Chris Long, BBC Manchester

Heavy blues, slide guitar and deep growling vocals. John has used his years of travelling the globe to fuse Mississippi bottle-neck blues, rock & roll, tribal rhythms and Indian classical melodies into an explosive new live duo with drummer James Breen.

With 2 albums under his belt, including ‘Joys Of Spring’ (2008) which The Guardian called “Truly exquisite”, and through extensive touring in over 14 countries (including UK, France, Germany, Spain, USA, Canada, Singapore, Australia & New Zealand) John has charmed audiences the world over with his enigmatic tales of hunger, roaming and reckless abandon, delivered through intense and uncompromising performances.

Appearances at festivals such as Glastonbury, Green Man, SXSW, Edinburgh Festival, Tarragona Blues Festival and venues such as The Roundhouse (Camden) and The Button Factory (Dublin), have earned John a deserved reputation as one of the most musically diverse and utterly stand out blues guitarists, proving he can take on any stage.

At Green Man Festival 2011, the duo “...filled a tent in a sunshine drenched field quicker than any festival act has done for a long time. The bluesman’s insatiable guitar work finely turned a crowd of a curious onlookers into a sea of dancing, sweaty bodies.” – Gareth Main, Bearded Magazine

Notching up support slots with James Blackshaw, Jon Thorne (Lamb, Robert Fripp), CW Stoneking, Lou Rhodes (Lamb) and Liz Green along the way, John is now sponsored by National Guitars and sits in the company of guitar legends such as Son House, Bukka White, Taj Mahal, Ben Harper and Mark Knopfler on their artist roster.

2012 has seen John & James record and mix an EP at the legendary Dean Street Studio in London. Festivals, tours and gig bookings have already been confirmed for the UK, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Norway, France, Holland and Belgium and the pair look forward to releasing the eagerly-awaited EP this Spring and building upon John’s already world-wide fanbase.

2012 is set to be a big year for John Fairhurst & James Breen. Get on board, this train is rolling!