john vasquez
Gig Seeker Pro

john vasquez

Band Folk Americana

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


"TriCity Review Awards 2009"

John Vasquez and the Bearinger Boys also made way with Best Original Band, Rock Rookie Of The Year and Vasquez for Best Male Rock Vocalist. The group teamed up with Vasquez’s father-in-law for a performance at the Award show.

“Currently, we are wrapping the second album up for this year,” said Vasquez via Email this past week. “This will be two of three albums in one year (and) is called ‘The Fight’. I am always writing new material, throwing new ideas out, to keep it interesting.”

Apart from a performance recently in Chicago, Vasquez said his record release was a high watermark for the group over the past year. “(For) Our first album release, at the 211 down on Hamilton Street, I came up with the idea of featuring local artists to hang their original work to showcase the art in the Tri-Cities, not to mention local music. It turned out to be wonderful.”

His performance was a straight-ahead rocking highlight for the night. “It was a blast, went off without a hitch and I got to play for the musical community, so I was pretty pumped about that,” said Vasquez. “I always love playing with my father-in-law John Krogman. It was cool to do some of his older tunes, taking a trip back to the ‘80s punk scene for sure.”

“And the KMJ Band were wild - their lead player was ripping it to pieces.” After they put out their next CD June 20, at White’s Bar, Vasquez said the band plans to relocate to Chicago at the end of the summer to expand and turn people on to their music. - The Review Magazine - Scott Baker


"John Vasquez & the Bearinger Boys at Hamilton Street Pub Friday, June 26, 2009"

the recently anointed Saginaw Bay Area “Best Original Band,” John Vasquez and the Bearinger Boys took the stage at Hamilton Street Pub, standing before a motley assortment of bikers, college kids, musicians, hockey fans, and misfits, while game one of the NHL Stanly Cup Finals played on a screen behind them. It would be a tough situation for any band—is the crowd listening to and watching us, or are their eyes on the game behind us? After all, it was the playoffs and we are in a state known for hockey. Unassuming front man John Vasquez exudes a calm intelligence about him, and the strange situation of the game behind him and the sound of motorcycles rumbling on Hamilton Street had no affect on his demeanor. With the opening of the first song “My Town,” which began with a steady beat from the bass drum accompanied by fast strumming on the amplified acoustic guitar building to a frenzy before the opening lyrics, the crowd was quickly won over. At the Review Music Awards, Vasquez took the award for Best Rock Vocalist, and his unique voice has a hint of Jeff Buckley’s sweeping vocals. There is something cathartic about listening to the band, to be filled with the music and the rising vocals. The words are jam-packed in the verses, and this lyrical-complexity could be influenced by the Wu-Tang Clan and other hip-hop artists, just as easily as it could be influenced by a more traditional folk hero like Dylan. That night Sean Chadwick on drums and Ben Alcorn on bass created the rhythm section, though it was Alcorn’s last show with the band. Their consistently solid playing were an essential part of Vasquez’s rhythm-driven songs. Many songs began with a steady bass drum beat, encouraging foot-stomping from the crowd, and the rat-tat-tat on the snare drum punctuated the rhythm, often making the drums the centerpiece of the songs and recalling jazz composer and producer David Axelrod's heavily-mic'ed drum arrangements. Most easily classified as folk rock, the label doesn't quite do this band justice. For a three piece band, they make a lot of noise and create songs that are rich in texture. There is something ethereal about their music, and three songs into the set, the table of bikers behind me kept exclaiming how great the band was. On stage, the band was calm, with minor movements from Vasquez and Alcorn coming in the form of head-nodding and foot-tapping, but they still have a controlling presence through their consistent powerful playing. It feels like there is no other place they would rather be. Vasquez didn't waste time talking between songs--they just came one after another, with the only delays being caused by a couple of broken strings. Vasquez and the Bearinger Boys played crowd favorites' "Tupac Song" and "Talking and Walking," which had their regular fans singing along. For the last two songs of the night, Vasquez switched over to an electric guitar. They ended their set with “Standin’ Strong,” a song only a few weeks old, that opened up into an extended jam and ended in a sea of applause, whistling, and yelling from the crowd. For being new on the scene, John Vasquez and the Bearinger Boys have been prolific in their song writing. Their second cd, The Fight, was released on June 20th, and they will follow that up with a third release in December. Greater things often call a band of this quality and rumor has it they will be moving to Chicago in the fall, so check them out while you still can. For up-to-date information on the band and a schedule of their shows, check out http://myspace.com/johnwolfvasquez - Posted by Gina Myers On Saturday, May 30th


"Life and Liberations"

As a folk artist John Vasquez is a helluva rocker. On this disc, Vasquez and the Bearinger Boys fashion a vintage Kinks sound based on ancient blues and R&B and English folk music to create a series of tone poems that rely more on mood than wordplay and metaphor. In fact, the music is cradled in modal shifts that eerily match Vasquez’ voice - as if his voice is another instrument. Indeed, at times Vasquez seems to bass-in with his voice like old AP Carter (of the even more ancient Carter Family) to create a tonal counterpoint; at other times his voice sings in unison with the music creating a layered sound like two guitars playing the same riff an octave apart. The lyrical approach is almost minimalist yet the spaces in-between theme and imagery seem to give the words more color and meaning.

This 9 track self-produced disc is a post modern Revolution #9 – a personal statement from the street that exacts a heavy toll on the listener. You need to pay attention to get the message. At first listen you may conclude that Vasquez lays it out in blunt-no-holds-barred lyricism - seems that he’s not one to mince words. Yet the themes hold both sides of his perspective – the lure of the streets, the cruel follies of the power-elite, and the love and redemption of new born baby.
There is hope, afterall.

The disc opens with Greed, a folk protest number with hints of Arlo Guthrie. Here Vasquez decries the avarice of the modern day scrooge. The American Dream becomes a nightmare with bailouts of the rich and recession for the rest of us - socializing risk and privatizing profits. It’s an old story with the same old crimes. Nate Kaiser’s searing and straightforward guitar work ignites the passion in the lyrics.

We Both Go Down Together is a one verse tone poem. The song’s lyrical economy is very compelling and speaks volumes in juxtaposition of Vasquez primal and sloppy guitar workout. He sounds like a young Dave Davies carving out his amp to get a distorted sloppy sound. Davies’ called it the “Fart Box” and the incendiary result was largely responsible for the success of You Really Got Me and All Day and All Of the Night. Vasquez may have discovered another way to scaffold his passion.

Talking & Walking is imbued with an electric/acoustic blend that finds Vasquez strumming with fury and speed like Ronnie Wood on Every Picture Tells A Story. He’s not a traditional singer, no – he doesn’t possess pipes like that. Instead he intones like Steve Earle. It’s an intimate yet strong voice that invites you to come in a little bit closer. In this song Vasquez is confessing his passion for existential truth – where’s the soul? What is right and what is wrong? Or are these just convenient terms, shortcuts that obscure what is really going on?

Ghetto Fabulous is minimalist to the core - a lyric consisting of two words that repeats the title. It starts out slow, with John’s quiet scat vocal embellished by the acoustic - a disembodied voice intones, “Its 2008 baby”. Background noise suggests a gathering of people – a party? Vasquez takes on both acoustic and electric dual leads like a one man Allman Brothers. He’s pickin’ notes @ 150 mph in the absolute rush of being ghetto fabulous. Is it real or a ruse? Who cares…it’s fabulous - with just enough ambivalence in the music to make you wonder.

On Every Note is another musical smorgasbord that mixes honky tonk riffs and rock & roll to great effect. The combination of electric slide over that swamp beat evokes a cacophony that matches the paranoia in the lyric….”Don’t worry about them, they’re up to no good.” Vasquez watches his own back - ”I don’t miss a step ‘cos I’ll go broke. Yet… his paranoia is real, born of experience and the code of the streets and a hard earned truth – “Just do it for yourself.”
Amen, brother John.


The Other Side is a morose tale that carries a heavy load of doubt, guilt and anger but then balances these dark thoughts with sentiments that are life affirming. Ultimately it is a story of faith and resilience. It opens with a galloping guitar riff, the drums join-in and pound out an incessant beat that drives the uptight message. John sings, “My days have been dark and full of shit.” But counters that on the chorus, “But I’ll try real hard.” He vacillates between hope and despair…”I don’t know if I’ll make it out the other side.” Vasquez has a great gift for sounding as pissy as I feel – an unintended affirmation from one curmudgeon to another.

In Auto Pilot, Vasquez creates a perfect lyrical dialectic between hope and despair:

How many Funeral homes can you fit on one street
And how many horrible stories seem to be on replay
Everyone is on autopilot and half asleep
Its this thick hot summer with this thick hot heat


In the 4th verse he sets up the opposite sentiment:
This world will always be a beautiful to contrary belief
But its hard because people die and there’s a lot of need
For people with good hearts, that will give it all
And not worry about the end result


The synthesis…
Please show that you care and lend your hands
Because it might be good for the common man
And people in trains and in their cars
Don’t sweat it so much things have to be hard


The Golden Gun is a folk blues that speaks of street violence and the terrible price we all pay for allowing our government to engineer an all but forgotten underclass of people born into violence, poverty and exclusion. A military shuffle in the middle eight completes the ominous message of the song.

The last song on the CD My Beautiful Boy gives us hope for redemption and renewal. It’s an honest portrayal of what its like to be a new parent - a young father - to experience the birth of a life that you helped create. It is at once a historical event, involving countless and nameless ancestors and a “brand new story”

One could complain about the muted sound quality, the muddy mix and primitive production values on this disc. It ain’t pretty. But that is precisely what makes this disc a near masterpiece with rhythms and dissonant sounds that match the rattle and hum of the streets. It’s raw and it’s honest. The message in the stark musical backdrop is a revelation – blemishes and all. Maybe it’s great because of the blemishes. This is real music not that analog crap that has made our music inhuman and disposable - codified by particular (and familiar) riffs, chord progressions, and hooks that are known to sell to a million to the masses. I contacted Greg Shaw several months before his death in 2004. I was researching the history of Michigan Rock and asked Greg if I could purchase an old issue of his Collector/Fanzine Who Put The Bomp that was devoted entirely to the Michigan Rock Scene. Dick Rosemont was the author. As a lansing DJ, music writer, and record collector, Rosemont was well positioned to write a thorough history. The issue was, in fact, the first attempt to codify Michigan Rock history. As we discussed Michigan Rock and the evolution of popular music, Shaw told me something that has resonated with me ever since. He spoke of the decline of live music and the death of vinyl as inevitable but that rock music like blues and jazz and other popular forms driven by region and/or ethnicity would continue to thrive in small pockets across the country (and the world). He felt that the best music might not be heard by a mass audience but the music would indeed survive.

John Vasquez has given us something rare, precious and beautiful - a musical chic that is too radically genuine to ignore. If I had my say Life & Liberations would be the breakout disc of the year.

Peace
Bo White

- Bo White - Review Magazine


"An Unexpected Treat(june 22nd,2009)"

The buzz Sunday at the Old Saginaw City Lawn Chair Film Festival was John Vasquez and the Bearinger Boys.

"These guys are great," whispered festival organizer Arlene Maul, making a beeline for me minutes after Vasquez and bandmates Sean Chadwick and Jake Quertermous started playing.

At the end of the set, another fellow ran up to buy a CD, raving about Vasquez's vocals. "It's like listening to Neil Young," he said. "Where are do these guys play?"

That's the beauty of the film fest, from a musician's point of view. Here were almost 1,000 people from every walk of life, many of them folks who might never catch the bands playing the bar scene, that a day later are still buzzing about Vasquez and his Bearinger Boys.

And when the sun goes down, you get a great movie, too -- all for free.

Ironically, Vasquez was a last-minute fill-in for his friend Loren Kranz. (Those missing Kranz can catch him and his friends, including Mel Curry, on Sunday, July 5, at the film fest at Ames and North Hamilton.)

And a grinning Vasquez says he's glad he came.

"I looked up and saw all those people, and we really started getting into it," he said. "By the end, we were really going. We didn't want to stop."
- Sue White-Saginaw News


Discography

Two independent albums were realeased "Life and Liberations" on december 5, 2008 which included 9 original songs with "Talking and Walking"" being the most popular out of the bunch. "The Fight" on june 20th, 2009, which also included 9 original songs, all the material was written, produced, edited, and distributed independently. We have also been featured on Z93.3 the rock station for there local spotlight twice in 2009.

Photos

Bio

At the Review Music Awards, Vasquez took the award for Best Rock Vocalist, and his unique voice has a hint of Jeff Buckley’s sweeping vocals. There is something cathartic about listening to the band, to be filled with the music and the rising vocals. The words are jam-packed in the verses, and this lyrical-complexity could be influenced by the Wu-Tang Clan and other hip-hop artists, just as easily as it could be influenced by a more traditional folk hero like Dylan. That night Sean Chadwick on drums and Ben Alcorn on bass created the rhythm section, though it was Alcorn’s last show with the band. Their consistently solid playing were an essential part of Vasquez’s rhythm-driven songs. Many songs began with a steady bass drum beat, encouraging foot-stomping from the crowd, and the rat-tat-tat on the snare drum punctuated the rhythm, often making the drums the centerpiece of the songs and recalling jazz composer and producer David Axelrod's heavily-mic'ed drum arrangements. Most easily classified as folk rock, the label doesn't quite do this band justice. For a three piece band, they make a lot of noise and create songs that are rich in texture.