John Gaar and The Hopeful Souls
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John Gaar and The Hopeful Souls


Band Blues Americana


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"Honorable Mention"

Awarded honorable mention by Billboard Magazine as one of top new songwriters for the song, "Memphis", on CD release "Bittersweet Success".
- Billboard Magazine


Bittersweet Success 2004
New CD Release 2009



Southern Roots, Southern Soul.

John Gaar was born and raised in the midst of the magical music melting pot of Louisiana. He picked up the guitar at 13 and was playing gigs in smalltown, smoke-filled bars by the time he was 16. From that point on it became all about the music and how it made him feel - and how he could make others feel deep into their souls through his own singing and playing. It was at 18 he had the choice to go on the road with a band, or go to college on a music scholarship -- John chose the road and hasn't looked back!

The Journey.

In 1981 John's first real taste of R&B, Soul, Blues, and Zydeco music was a two-year stint with his brother, Red Hot recording artist, Burton Gaar, with Zydeco-musician, Rockin' Sydney - best known for his grammy-award winning hit crossover song, "My Toot Toot." John then next toured throughout the South with two bands, one a seven-piece R&B horn band, and the other a New Orleans groove band. Then he landed a gig with Miss Molly and the Passions, a ballsy, foul-mouthed, bull-whip-toting band from Lake Charles, LA, that was voted Houston's No. 1 Band -- three years running.

After three years with the Passions, John's circumstances forced him to move to the Bay Area where he had to deal with culture shock, a deference of musical attitudes, and no money -- so he played every gig he could get his hands on in the area. By 1993 it was time to re-up on his "Southerness", so John moved back to the South (after four years in California) and headed first to Tulsa, then to Nashville, and then finally back to Louisiana, where he landed a gig with Blind Pig recording artist, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, a rockin' Zydeco Blues band.

John toured the US and Europe 250 dates a year for the next four years with Carrier. Then John decided to "get off the bus and stay awhile," by going back to the Bay Area to play local gigs, put his own band together, record his own songs and have a lot of fun doing what he loves! After much success with his own band, including being selected for the Monterey Blues Festival after the band was just 5 months old, John decided to pick up and move to Austin, Texas to further his career goals in the land that he loves -- the South! All we can say is, watch out Austin and beyond, a new force is here!

Guitarist--Vocalist--Songwriter--and Showman! John has emerged from his journey so far to find that it's time to do his own "thang" -- and it's about time! If his incredibly soulful guitar playing doesn't give you the goose bumps, his unmistakably talented and unique voice will. Throw that in with page after page of skillfully penned rockin' blues songs and his southern charm -- and you have John Gaar, a true and consummate player and showman.

Soulful, Rockin', Gritty, Guitar-Lickin' Blues! With their 80 years plus combined experience, the band John has put together will "wow" you with a unique sound that is unmatched today. From soulful, gitty lyrics and harmonized background vocals to the tight rythmic beat of the bass and drums, you will find your crowd "dancing in the streets" -or at least tapping in their seats! If you are looking for that new, cutting-edge, yet traditional, sound of soulful, guitar-lickin' blues -- then the John Gaar Band can't be beat.

Awarded honorable mention by Billboard Magazine as one of top new songwriters for the song, "Memphis", on CD release "Bittersweet Success".