John Henry Olthoff
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John Henry Olthoff


Band Country Folk


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"Review of "Same Old Sun""

John Henry Olthoff: Actual Country

After starting as the front man for the Queens-based country outfit Actual Rabbits, leader John Henry Olthoff has stepped into the spotlight as an emerging solo artist with whom to be reckoned. His new EP Same Old Sun has been released and he’s kicking up dirt at local honky tonks and creating a buzz.

Same Old Sun features a who’s who of local country musicians backing Olthoff. Scott Dennis (front man for Dirt Floor Revue) plays drums. Glenn Spivak (songwriter and session musician) plays pedal steel and dobro. Frank Schiazza (singer/songwriter) plays guitar, bass, keyboards, and served as the albums producer.

John’s high and lonesome vocal styling allows the songs to speak for themselves. John Henry has a view of the world and an honesty voicing his frustration that can be appreciated in these times, in this city, in our personalities, friends, and circles.

If the AMA puts down their Neil Young albums long enough to seek out the next great fledgling songwriter, “This Town” will become an instant hit. Not since the likes of Hank Williams have we heard the kind of tale of woe and the quiet desperation men feel, but are afraid to talk about. If “This Town” reflects the storyteller’s stuck-in-the-mud aspect of growing up, “Before We Die Here” is the bastard sibling with a dream of getting out. Though many of Olthoff’s tunes deal with the theme of isolation and loss, “Put It Away” relays the moments leading up to it. We’re no longer outside looking in; we arealong for the ride.

Enjoy Same Old Sun, the first true Brooklyn country album to emerge in quite some time. along for the ride.

More information about John Henry at -

"John Henry and the Actual Band at Yippie Museum Cafe"

John Henry and the Actual Band! at the Yippie Museum Cafe March 21, 2008

I've had the pleasure of attending many shows by John Henry Olthoff,
and if it were up to me, I would be attending many more. The last two
shows, in particular, were my favorites. John's live performance at
Hank's Saloon in Park Slope was engaging, energetic, and a great deal
of fun. It was so engaging, in fact, that it inspired even shy people like me
to sing along and let go of the daily hassles of life.

The last show at the Yippie Cafe Museum was even better as John
introduced new songs into his repertoire and was able to pleasantly
surprise even long-time admirers of his music like me. While I very much
enjoy his faster and humor-filled songs like "Jesus, Dirt Roads,
and Whiskey", John's talents truly shine in his more personal and
introspective ballads like "Childish Things" and "Broken Toy." These
are the songs that can move me at that emotional and deepest place,
songs that strike an emotive chord inside all of us.

But then again, one of the things I love the most about John's live
shows is that time flies while he and his band play songs that make
you think, songs that move your soul, and songs that make you want to
unwind, dance around, and be your silly self.

It is not often that a musician invites you to journey with him
through life’s stories, tears and laughter. John and his band do, and
it is always a pleasure to journey along with them.

By Verena Salvi - by Verena Salvi (on

"John Henry and the Actual Band at Yippie Museum Cafe"

It was a windy March 21st Friday Night in NYC. Shoved
in the back corner of Bleecker St, John Henry Olthoff
and his left-handed guitar performed a solo/band show
at the Yippie Museum Cafe with his Actual Band. His
candor and on-stage presence lacks the youthful angst
and wannabe attitudes of much of today's music scene.
The honesty in his songs is portrayed though poignant
lyrics and a truthfulness that simultaneously makes
you laugh, think and cry. He brought the ample and
willing audience through a tunnel of personal and
social history, both sublime and surreal. He sang of
experiences of growing up on Long Island and living a
history that is all too familiar to those with the average working class
upbringing. His lyrics are a wonderful mix of his
opinions on the social woes of the world and yet he still maintains
an intelligent yet grounded outlook on life. His country/folk
approach lends one to wonder, "What is this guy is doing in
NYC?". But once you get past the Western style
shirts and shiny white cowboy boots, the music speaks
for itself. There are few who can leave an audience
with a feeling that they have just witnessed something
special, and John Henry is one of those performers.

By Chris Danowski
3/27/08 - Chris Danowski (on


"Buick Skylark", 2007
"Godless Country", 2008
"Royalty" (Live Single), 2008
"Same Old Sun", 2009

All are available on itunes, Rhapsody, Amazon mp3,, Napster, emusic, etc.

Just search "John Henry Olthoff" and you'll see.

Also look for "Personal Songs and other Bad Examples" coming late 2009



John Henry Olthoff started playing music years ago. Sometime after that, he started writing songs and realizing he could do it pretty darned well.

He challenges others to listen and find another artist whose narratives are as compelling and as head-scratching as his.

He's been called everything from "Country John" to "The Controversial Cowboy"--but he wouldn't self-apply either of those monikers.

The music is truth packed hard into fiction. Listen for hearts breaking hilariously and for incisive character studies painted in a kind of nasal twang with big, resonant notes and chords.