John Shannon
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John Shannon


Band Alternative New Age


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This band has not uploaded any videos




This is soul music in the purest sense of the word."

"John Shannon's solo debut album, "American Mysic," reveals a singer/songwriter on a journey of self-discovery. Shannon describes it as song journeying, "embarking on an inner experience with the music as my guide." While the 10-track collection could be described as minimalist folk, with its main elements being Shannon's whispery voice and his hypnotic, harplike acoustic guitar, the end result is much more. Shannon, a graduate of the Berklee School of Music, creates a thought-provoking collection of songs that tumble over and into one another like a series of waterfalls. One track recycles into another, and all seem to exist simultaneously as part of the larger whole. His song titles clue the listener into his musical vision: "Falling Into All," "Under The Stars," "Among the Sea, Among the Star." Shannon's experience with nature lies at the forefront of this work, as evidenced by "Golden Eagle," "Butterfly" and "Lion's Mane." It's as if he's holding a stethoscope to the ground, channeling what he hears through eons of nature's voices, running it all through his heart, and then out through his fingers. The sum of the parts ultimately ends up being hypnotic, timeless, mesmerizing, mystical. This is soul music in the purest sense of the word." - Minor7th


"American Mystic is the solo debut LP from John Shannon, leader of the instrumental group Waking Vision and former electric guitarist for psychedelic Sufi trance rocker Haale. It's a stripped-down, ethereal set: just an acoustic guitar and Shannon's whispered, barely-treated vocals. The track titles give some insight into Shannon's nature-first brand of mysticism ("Golden Eagle," "Butterfly," "Lion's Mane"), while the music itself slides neatly next to other 21st century hushed folksters like Damien Rice. An impressive and stately debut." - eMusic

"Idol Chatter blog"

"You may not have heard of John Shannon, but you will soon." -

"Le Monde"

"Suspended guitar arpeggios and an airy voice. Somewhere between John Martyn and Nick Drake, this 28-year-old American songwriter delivers a hypnotic and timeless premiere album." - Le Monde

"Les Inrockuptibles"

"Far from the traditional circuits of the majors, John Shannon offers a sumptuous disk of uncluttered folk, making the sky the most beautiful place on earth. ... From 'Butterfly' to 'Somewhere,' the album speaks about the sky as it draws this American Mystic to create his impressive harmonies. ... The album that gathers up all these songs deserves to be at the top of the charts." - Les Inrockuptibles

"Pittsburgh City Paper"

"The album is 10 songs of lovely fingerpicked acoustic guitar and Shannon's high, breathy vocals, supported occasionally with touches of droning upright bass, harmonized vocals, delay-drenched electric guitar and other instruments." - Pittsburgh City Paper

"Record Collector Magazine (UK)"

"In concert, it was clear that Shannon has laid aside his jazz chops and discovered a minimalist, folk-like means of musical expression well-suited to his esoteric, mystical musings. His lyrics - using myths and metaphors - might seem impenetrable to the uninitiated, but there's no doubting the potency of the music, as Butterfly, Lion's Mane and Forgiveness, a plaintive ode of redemption, vividly illustrated." - Record Collector Magazine (UK)

"World of Music (Germany)"

"Songs as pure and unfiltered were only known long ago from American folk-heroes like Pete Seeger. Great feeling." - WOM

"Fly - Global Music Culture"

"With his debut album inspired by a solo journey into the desert wilderness some years ago, John Shannon is the "American Mystic" modern folk singer, songwriter, virtuouso acoustic guitarist you've been waiting for.
Catch him live when he gets to your town before others catch onto how good he is."
- Gerry Hectic, October 2008 - Fly - Global Music Culture


As solo artist:
2008: American Mystic (ObliqSound)
2009: Somewhere (remixes)

As leader of Waking Vision:
2007 - Of the Waking Vision
2004 - High Selva EP
2001 - Ancient Bloom

As sideman:
2009 - Gary Go - Gary Go (Decca)
2008 - Oskar Rozssa Trio - Universal Cure (Hevhetia)
2006 - Sonya Kitchell - Words Came Back To Me (Velour/Hear Music)



Modern folk guitarist, vocalist, and song crafter John Shannon believes in the power of music to enlighten the mind. Having already toured the globe with some of the brightest rising stars in indie rock, folk, and jazz, including Sonya Kitchell, Haale and Hiromi, Shannon’s solo work has taken him on a journey into his own soul and beyond. Starting with an exploratory meditation trip in the southwestern desert some years ago, John Shannon discovered his unique, tender sound, rooted in nature and the earth, and translated it into his debut solo album, a subtle masterpiece called American Mystic. The album’s first single "Somewhere (remixes)," just released on ObliqSound, continues Shannon’s musical voyage, and includes two remixes by two-time Grammy winner Eric Kupper, plus a stunning video of the original version of the song.

“I believe in the awakening power of song,” says Shannon, whose musical vision came to the forefront a few years ago in the Arizona desert, after he spent four days and nights sitting in a circle without food, only drinking water. On this vision quest, communing with the elements according to Native American cultural traditions, Shannon found a sense of clarity. “There’s a point in the circle in those four days when you realize you have always been there, and there’s a point in the moment of the music - which is very much like being in a circle to me when it’s right - when you realize you have always been there. After the vision quest, my music and my life path became more clear to me. They’re one and the same, really.”

Shannon’s musical foundations began with guitar lessons at age six. After years of Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Page-inspired musical exploration, Shannon studied harmony and improvisation with a local pipe organist. His teacher brought him to a church for lessons around midnight, with lights dimmed except on the altar, so the pair could improvise on the organ and electric guitar. At the same time, Shannon studied straight-ahead and avant-garde jazz with renowned saxophonist Eric Kloss. The lessons left Shannon with a focus on performing with heart and spiritual awareness. Shannon later went on to graduate from the Berklee College of Music, where he began a series of organic musical explorations in the evolutionary instrumental trio Waking Vision together with friends Mitch Cohn (aka Catalyst, bassist for Lauryn Hill, Ashanti, Destiny’s Child) and Martin Valihora (drummer for Hiromi).

In addition to his solo work, Shannon has spent the past several years performing and touring with an eclectic group of artists. He’s recorded three albums as leader of Waking Vision, and toured as electric guitarist for psychedelic Sufi trance rocker Haale, jazz fusion piano phenomenon Hiromi, avant-jazz singer Pyeng Threadgill, and played guitar for Sonya Kitchell’s ground-breaking folk album Words Came Back to Me (Velour/Starbucks Hear Music) and her subsequent national tour. Shannon continues to play with Waking Vision, whose fourth album is slated for release on ObliqSound in 2010. He recently collaborated on British pop rocker Gary Go’s self-titled debut album on Decca/Universal. Shannon continues to tour with Hiromi’s Sonicbloom and with Sonya Kitchell.

Shannon has toured USA and Europe extensively in support of American Mystic, including a high-profile slot in January 2009 at MIDEM in Cannes, as a featured showcase performer at MIDEM Talent..