Jonathan Cour
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Jonathan Cour

Band Rock Singer/Songwriter


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"A&R Report 5/06"

A&R by Gary SavelsonA&R

St. Louis, Missouri 21 year old native Jonathan Cour has caught the ears of WXRT-FM Chicago PD Lin Brehmer. WVRV-FM St. Louis supports him as well. An add
in coming weeks? Music circulating to Hollywood, J, Aware. Meetings with L.A. publishers this month. 350-500 local draw, up to 1000 by summer's end? Worked with big writers Desmond Child, Annie Roboff and Zac Maloy. - Gary Salveson

"St Louis Post Dispatch"

MAY 24, 2006

Jonathan Cour

One of the more popular new names on the music scene is young pop-rock singer-songwriter Jonathan Cour, who is popping up everywhere overnight.
Cour recently sold out Blueberry Hill's Duck Room with his release party for his "A Motion Picture Scene" EP, followed by a slot on a Ticketmaster New Music Spotlight
at the Pageant. He has shows at Finale Music & Dining at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. (Tickets are $8.)

Cour comes with a secret weapon: His band is made up of musicians well known on St. Louis' rock scene. Backing Cour is Matt Hickenbotham, formerly of Colony, on drums; Grant Essig, formerly of Seven Star, on guitar, keyboards and vocals; Mike Steimel of Just Add Water fame on bass; and Dave Alans, who has done time with too
many local bands to mention, on guitar.

Cour hooked up with Hickenbotham after Colony's Ted Bruner introduced them, and the rest of the band followed. On the enjoyable "A Motion Picture Scene,"
they've created something he says might be a cross between John Mayer and Coldplay. Cour says the EP and concert provide two experiences.

"On the CD, the songs are really sweet and produced, but the live show is more raw and organic. It sounds more like a band than a singer-songwriter."

Cour started playing drums in grade school in Springfield, Ill., as a member of the concert and jazz
bands at Sacred Heart-Griffin. He gravitated toward drumming after watching Nirvana's Dave Grohl in the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video, then taught himself to play guitar with a few tips from his music-teacher mother.

By the time he got to Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, he began writing songs and singing - his true callings.

More information on Cour is available at

314-340-8191 - Kevin Johnson

"Playback St. Louis" -
Jonathan Cour | A Motion Picture Scene EP (self-released)

Written by Laura Hamlett
Sunday, 28 May 2006

The melodies are tight, the grooves just right; these six songs are ones you will want to set on “repeat” until they’ve reached into every cranny of your being, filling you with their warmth and life.

I’ve been an indie snob for too long.
My first reaction upon playing newcomer Jonathan Cour’s A Motion Picture Scene EP was to dismiss it as pop. Trivial, trite, commonplace. The subject matter is your typical boy-wants-girl material; Cour’s voice, while appealing, isn’t initially strong or unique.

Aha. But listen more, and these songs, this voice, this trifle pop songs begin to expand exponentially. Doors are opened, landscapes spring up, windows peer out onto previously undiscovered worlds. This is pop music is the truest, realest sense of the word.

“Can you hear me?/No, of course you can’t/’cause I haven’t said a word just yet,” Cour tempts on the lead-in title track. Truly, it’s just a matter of time before the industry is speaking this young
singer-songwriter’s name. The melodies are tight, the grooves just right; these six songs are ones you will want to set on “repeat” until they’ve reached into every cranny of your being, filling you with their warmth and life.

“Never Come Around” is more laidback, the perfect summer soundtrack song complete with soaring vocals and soothing melodies. Next up, “Softer” kicks things up a notch; it’s a gentle groove on which Cour concedes, “the taste of skin is in my mouth.” “Run Away” finds Cour reflecting on just what it is that draws him to a particular young lady, while “Easily Erased” shows him full of regret, wondering how he lost the girl.

Musically, the arrangements are complex, confusing, intricate, and intriguing; for proof, slip on a pair of headphones and spin “When I Fall.”

Oh, and the live show? Well worth the price of admission, and then some.

Cour culled the best of the St. Louis scene for his backing band (his harmonies with Grant Essig are shiver-inducing, believe me), and the result is nothing short of spectacular. - Laura Hamlett

"The Riverfront Times"

Local Motion: Jonathan Cour
By Annie Zaleski
Article Published Apr 5, 2006

Music Details
Who / What: Jonathan Cour
Music Genre:Rock & Pop

Save for a few exceptions, quality solo male singer-songwriters are
difficult to find in St. Louis — at least until now.

Meet Jonathan Cour, just 21 years old and already drawing attention from some of music's most talented songwriters. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Cour's sleepy-eyed vocals — as breathy as John Mayer and as
conspiratorial as Howie Day — match the heartfelt, slick tunes on
his debut EP, A Motion Picture Scene.

Layers of guitars and subtle
keyboards cascade like a shooting star (think a slightly less epic
Switchfoot), while the standout track "Run Away" contains U2-ish
echoing reverb. Cour's backing band live at his CD-release show is
equally impressive, featuring members of local stalwarts Colony, just Add Water, Sevenstar and Lord Baltimore.
— Annie Zaleski

9 p.m. Friday, April 7. Blueberry Hill's Duck Room, 6504 Delmar
Boulevard, University City. $7. 314-727-4444.
- Annie Zaleski

"A&R Report 9/06"

Why is the unsigned Jonathan Cour headlining St Louis’ 1500 capacity Pageant venue on 9/22 - two days after KT Tunstall performs and two days before Sufjan Stevens sells out? - Gary Salveson

"No place like home: SHG grad returns to stage his vocal, songwriting skills"

June 29, 2006
The State Journal-Register

Jonathan Cour's path to his hometown debut as a singer-songwriter has been, to say the least, atypical.

Rather than a sparsely attended gig at a coffee shop or downtown bar, the 22-year-old's first solo show in Springfield this weekend is a nearly sold-out engagement at the Hoogland Center for the Arts.

And rather than peddling original tunes almost no one's heard, the Sacred Heart-Griffin High School grad already has a much-requested single, "Never Come Around," spinning on local radio. Not to mention a six-song, professionally produced EP that was recorded in Los Angeles.

Still, it wasn't so long ago that Cour, a longtime drummer who only picked up the guitar in high school, doubted he could cut it as a songwriter. That changed when Cour, now based in St. Louis, met manager Richard LaBonte - also a former Springfieldian - in early 2004.

"I always had a passion for music, but I never really thought I had the talent to do it," the soft-spoken Cour says. "When I met with him, I was kind of surprised that he thought I could do something with it."

The story goes like this: Cour has a friend who happens to be the half-brother of LaBonte, a music-industry veteran who in the early 1990s played drums for Springfield alt-rockers Dead Reckoning. LaBonte, also now in St. Louis, heard a few of Cour's homemade demos over the years, but was won over by an early version of a tune called "Run Away."

"It was a very crude recording, but it was a hit song," LaBonte says. "I immediately called my brother and said, 'I've got to meet this guy.'"

Within a couple months of the pair's official partnering, LaBonte had Cour honing his acoustic-based pop-rock in California with pros such as songwriter Desmond Child and songwriter/producer Ted Bruner. Cour was in the studio almost immediately.

"It went really well, and we kept going back," Cour says. "Over the course of about a year, we had all these songs, so we decided to put out an EP."

Cour played guitar, bass and keyboards during the sessions for his "A Motion Picture Scene E.P." Oddly enough, though, Cour never played the drums. LaBonte contributed drum tracks to some songs, while others feature programmed - but human-sounding - percussion patterns.

"When I got to college (at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville) I stopped playing drums, and I guess I lost my chops a little bit," Cour says. "When you get to college, it's kind of hard finding a place to practice."

As Cour stopped playing drums, though, he got serious about guitar. And he started crafting songs that recall the tuneful, breezy melodies of Cour favorites such as Duncan Sheik and Paul Simon.

Cour played a few open mike nights in Edwardsville, but "nothing too big," he says. That's in sharp contrast to his schedule this summer, which includes festivals in Chicago, a Fair St. Louis main stage date with Hootie and the Blowfish, and shows in St. Louis with former Verve Pipe frontman Brian Vander Ark.

Things are happening fast, but LaBonte and Cour are in no particular hurry. An early publishing deal with Universal, a major record label, fell through when label suits decided Cour wouldn't break nationally quickly enough. It was a setback, LaBonte says, but hardly the end of the line - after all, clawing for exposure in crowded L.A. might not be the best route.

"In a city like St. Louis or Kansas City or Chicago or Springfield, it's very rare to find a local artist that has A, the song, and B, the production to put that song on the radio," LaBonte says. "My gut told me to break him regionally. If I can break this guy in three to five markets in the Midwest, it's a no-brainer."

Cour, who's playing with a band of four other musicians he met through Bruner, says a full-length album is a goal. For now, he's enjoying playing live and building a fan base.

And hearing "Never Come Around" on Springfield's WYVR-FM 97.7 is an added thrill.

"It was really weird for me, because they would talk about me before, like 'Jonathan Cour, graduate of Sacred Heart-Griffin, blah blah blah,'" he says. "It was really weird - not to hear my song, but to hear my name on the radio, because (the DJ) said it about five times." - Daniel Pike


A Motion Picture Scene E.P. (2006)
featuring the singles:
'Never Come Around' and
'Motion Picture Scene'



Jonathan Cour is a singer/songwriter based in St. Louis, Missouri. The son of a music teacher, Jonathan’s first musical endeavors were in high school as a drummer for various local bands. In college, Jonathan stepped out from behind the drums, picked up a guitar, and started writing his own songs. Based on the buzz created by his early demos, Jonathan soon found himself traveling across the country to Los Angeles, Nashville, and Tulsa to write and record with some of the music industry’s hottest producers and most decorated songwriters, including Desmond Child (“Livin’ on a Prayer,” “Dude Looks Like a Lady,” “Kiss the Rain”), Annie Roboff (“This Kiss”), and Zac Maloy of The Nixons (“Sister”).

Jonathan’s debut EP, A Motion Picture Scene, is the impressive first result of his travels and efforts, as well as a testament to Jonathan’s natural strengths as a songwriter, singer, musician, and producer. In addition to writing or co-writing five of the six songs on the EP, Jonathan sings all the lead and background vocals himself and plays almost all of the multi-layered guitars and other instrumentation. Whether on the ethereal, yet explosive “Never Come Around,” the heavy groove layered “Softer,” or the driving title track, Jonathan demonstrates throughout A Motion Picture Scene an ability to play just the right part, with just the right tone, to capture and complement the diverse moods and rhythms of each of his different songs.

Jonathan’s talents extend beyond the recording studio. Backed by a who’s who of St. Louis’ best independent musicians, Jonathan’s live performances are quickly becoming the talk of the town. Each member of Jonathan’s band – Grant Essig of Sevenstar (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Matt Hickenbotham of Colony (drums, vocals), Mike Steimel of Just Add Water (bass, vocals), and Dave Alans of Lord Baltimore (lead guitar, vocals) – was handpicked to help Jonathan match live the lush and full production he created for A Motion Picture Scene. Assisted by their talents and experience, Jonathan not only meets this daunting challenge, but takes it up a notch – offering each night an exciting and emotional interpretation of his songs without taking away from the melodies and structure that make them so accessible to the general public. //