John Whitaker

John Whitaker

BandAlternativePop

Folksy but not folk, informed by bent rock and roll structures. An increasingly rare brand of rock and roll, one that emits a clear-eyed defiance that could only come from the realization that the world can both suck hard and be beautiful at the same time.

Biography

John Whitaker is that little voice you hear around midnight whispering in your ear. His quirky heartfelt songs are full of the thoughts that keep us awake at night. They're songs of hope and doubt, of yearning and fulfillment. More than anything, John's songs are a celebration, a musical high-five, a simple gesture that lets us know we are not alone in the world.

John's new album, Leave It With Your Airplanes, focuses on transitions. By turns celebratory and mournful, Leave It With Your Airplanes is a testament to the human ability to adapt. The album features numerous guest musicians and was recorded at various spots around the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

John's third album is his most personal yet. "I used to be afraid of talking about things that I saw happening in my life, in my friends, in my family. It took a little time to realize that writing personal songs didn't equal some sort of confessional, let me put music to my diary experience."

John transmits a contagious passion at his live shows. Whether playing with just his guitar or a full band, he wins new converts at every gig. He has shared the stage with folks like My Morning Jacket, Josh Ritter, Scott Miller, Mason Jennings, Todd Snyder, Richmond Fontaine, Amigos Imaginarios, and a host of others.

www.johnwhitaker.net
www.myspace.com/johnwhitakermusic

Lyrics

Always on the Run

Written By: John Whitaker

ALWAYS ON THE RUN

I’ve been watching
Dice, there, rolling
On your state of mind
And I’m wondering
How you’re learning
Any other time

And I wonder what you’re doing
And I wonder where you’ve been

You, always on the run
Never could get done
What you wanted to

In the morning
Just past dawn, and
Then, around suppertime
I start feeling
Like a warning
Take that money and rhyme

And I wonder what you’re doing
And I wonder where you’ve been

You, always on the run
Never could get done
What you wanted to

It’s up the stairs and down the hall
Where doors are locked, and tales are tall
You’ve seen it and you want it all
You want it, do you want it all?
And when it’s time to leave the room
A derelict, a bride, a groom
You’re saying that we’ll see you soon,
We’ll see you
Will we see you?

And I wonder what you’re doing
And I wonder where you’ve been

You, always on the run
Never could get done
What you wanted to

Focus

Written By: John Whitaker

FOCUS

Dance with me tonight
To move my legs across the room
But keep your lips sealed nice and tight
Or you may never
Find another
Kind of summer
Where the weather
Fits so perfect on your life, so perfect on your life

And the movement of your hips
That I’m holding tight to mine
It would might make me believe
That there’s something here besides
But I wonder
If you wonder
Would I ever
Try another?

And where you’re gone, you know you can’t believe
And how you got to be here next to me
And where you’re gone, you know you can’t believe
And how you got to be here next to me

So I will dance with you tonight
And I’ll take those lips right home
And we’ll roll around and never see the sun
Cos we’re tired
And wondering
And worn out
Or something
Or something

And when it breaks
It’s all that I can take
But I want it in writing
I owe you nothing

Focus
Focus
Focus
Focus

Keep It All Around

Written By: John Whitaker

KEEP IT ALL AROUND

Keep it all around
I’ve been chasing numbers and
Wondering if it’s sound or
A spell you put me under
It’s anything at all
Could make you sit and wonder?
And if you’ll ever need it again

But I was wasting time
You were wasting ego
Running round to make me fall away
The only way I’d ever feel okay

The night was raining down
But you were running faster
Friends that came and went
Carved your name in alabaster
In a lot of love, and
In a lot of waiting
In a line
You want to see me there

And I was just around
A kid, in all his glory
Wondering if we’d ever sail again
I ask of you, my fatal friend,

If there’s ever any way for you to be there.
For you? To be there? For you?
Is there anyway for you to be there?
It’s you. You were there.

I want to take it up
Take it all the way
Leave it with your airplanes, your airplanes
Up
Give it all away
Hitting with your airplanes, your airplanes

And I was running round,
Looking up there skyward
To see if there’s a way
I could fit inside of my world
In a lot of love, and
In a lot of waiting
In a line
You want to see me there

Keep it all around
Keeping all that’s coming
Now you never want to try anymore
Inside a needle’s eye

Nothing

Written By: John Whitaker

NOTHING

I’ve been thinking about nothing
You’re quite the sight tonight
Here, in the half-light
The time, it’s been rough, and

You were looking for one time to be
Under my spell

It’s nothing, as far as I can tell

You’ve been reminiscing
About a trick you could play
Leave them little girls laughing
Watch them throw it away

You were looking for one good idea
That you could market and sell

It’s nothing, as far as I can tell

A substance called in to substitute
For a clear idea that’s in hot pursuit
Of a substance called in to substitute
For a clear idea that’s in hot pursuit of

A handshake
And a new suit of clothes
It’s a mistake
At least a boy would suppose

I was looking for one way to pull
Your head out of your shell

It’s nothing
It’s nothing
It’s nothing, as far as I can tell

Progress

Written By: John Whitaker

PROGRESS

Can’t you see me?
Riding solo
Can’t you wait for tomorrow?

The progress stuck inside your mind

As you’re making hard turns
Into bright words
Shoot them out loud
On all of your new loves

The progress shuffles down your spine

And if you want to stand up
Hey, boy, I’ll give you a hand up
But I can’t let you bring me down

And all these shivers down the wall
I will run, I will come, I will crawl
Calling you over
And all that I needed to own
You know it’s just a sequence of numbers
Now pick up the phone

The progress, well, it takes some time
If you look there, you’ll find

That I’m waiting
Yeah I’m waiting
It’s the lost art of waiting
And I’m waiting

Underground

Written By: John Whitaker

UNDERGROUND

Too late when you got downtown
The radical underground
Was slowly pushing up
The roses and rites of spring
The old songs we used to sing
They never seemed enough

I wonder how I’d ever survive
When your face was like a carnival ride
The greasy gears are grinding
I am still alive
And I’m falling

In love with the songs we sing
It’s everything! Everything!
Crystal Canyon, Silver Springs
Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Ney
Four-score, one more with bills to pay
The sunny static
The whispering

I wonder how I’d ever survive
When your face was like a carnival ride
The greasy gears are grinding
I am still alive
And I’m calling

Out: to guys who turn the page
Up: to girls stuck on a stage
Out: the window, lost and brave
It’s everything! Everything!

I wonder how I’d ever survive
When your face was like a carnival ride
The greasy gears are grinding
I am still alive
And I’m calling!

Discography

Leave It With Your Airplanes (2008)
Three Short Acts (2004) (fronting The Middle Men)
So Foul and Fair a Day (2001)

Set List

A typical set list consists of 45-75 minutes of original music and a well chosen cover. The set features up-tempo rock songs and acoustic numbers. The set flows dynamically, showing the range of John's songwriting capabilities. A quieter all acoustic set can be played for venues concerned about noise levels.