Jon Gant
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Jon Gant

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | SELF

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | SELF
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter

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"Beatroute Magazine Live Review"

...It’s a shame that Gant doesn’t play more often: the singer-songwriter rifled through a half-hour set of introspective rock and roll that placed as much importance on thoughtful lyrics as it did on red-hot playing. Drawing from inspirations such as mid-career Replacements, Bob Mould’s solo work and outlaw folk and country ... Gant straddled the line between punk rock and folk with ease. It was impossible to not believe in Gant by the time he was done.

- Sebastian Buzzalino - Beatroute Magazine AB


"NewCanadianMusic.ca Review of Wheatfields EP"

Wheatfields is comprised of six story-rich songs hallmarked by Gant's smoky barroom voice. He's a colourful Calgarian who has led a colourful life and he peppers his songs with barrroom archetypes and lessons he's learned from being on road. There's some Jerry Jeff in here, a bit of Materick and a whole lot of western images latched to a superb sounding ensemble that take turns breaking out and soloing. Grant is breaking out himself and taking the album on the road using Greyhound buses and taxi cabs. This follows last year’s Festival Express, when he travelled and performed on VIA Rail trains. Inventive he is. You can watch the videos for "The Way It Goes" and "Wheatfields" via Vimeo and then judge for yourself whether you can resist hearing more. - newcandianmusic.ca


"FFWD Magazine Article"

Local motives
Jon Gant seeks out the Albertan experience
Published August 23, 2012  by Christine Leonard in Music Previews

He’s travelled between urban hubs, riding the rails across the nation like a drifter. But it hasn’t been all about soaking up the sunsets while pondering life’s great mysteries for Alberta singer-songwriter Jon Gant. From mountain top to whistle-stop, the talented storyteller has also been doing what he does best as he roams from Toronto to Victoria — composing bittersweet tales of redolence and redemption.
Gant is quite accustomed to plying his trade under the accompaniment of some of Calgary’s most noted indie players, both as a member of the punk outfit Boston Post and more recently as the leader of Jon Gant & His Band. Temporarily forgoing the bonds of brotherhood, Gant opted to go the solo route for the six scenic songs that comprise his new EP. Wheatfields sees the golden-throated Gant taking his signature roots rock sound into progressive new territory while simultaneously redefining his position as an autonomous musical entity.
“This new recording is definitely different,” Gant explains. “It’s more sample-based and weirder than what I’ve typically done in the past. It’s an amalgamation of stuff that didn’t really fit in with what I was performing with my band at the time. Songs that came together late at night, when I was alone in my room, and that I’ve been hanging on to for about a year. In realizing this album, I made a conscious effort to steer away from the acoustic side of things. I decided to take some risks with the material and added in what I consider to be unexpected and avant-garde sonic elements.”
Featuring supporting performances by guests plucked from Gant’s extended family of session-ready musicians, Wheatfields is a solid solo effort that benefits mightily from collaborative cross-pollination. The ample attributes of grain-fed gentry: crooner/pianist Paul van Kampen (Beija Floor, Magnetic North), composer/multi-instrumentalist Chris Vail (XL Birdsuit, Key to the City), verismo/free jazz percussionist John de Waal (Reverie Sound Revue), session darling/keyboardist Ryan Rollinson (Problush), and drummer/draft horse Corey Worsnop (Toledo Speedway, The Mants) come to bear as they harmonize with Gant’s tobacco roll timbre on cuts such as “The Way it Goes” and “Wheatfields.”
Impervious to the presumed romanticism of working on the road, Gant brings a certain degree of pragmatism to his wayward adventures. Threading together pearls of bucolic wisdom and unrequited ardour, his introspective lyrics give him the final say when it comes to historic transgressions. A psychological tidying up of loose ends, Gant’s eighth professional release swings history shut on its leather hinges.
“I’m a pretty private guy so it’s strange that I feel so comfortable onstage singing about such personal things,” he says. “Mainly, I tried to deal honestly with the tail end of things I’ve been writing about for a while. The songs are about love and heartbreak. Essentially, it’s a summing up of relationships that I didn’t understand at the time, but that have become clearer with the ease of perspective. I feel like I’ve said it all now. You won’t be hearing about those subjects again.”
Gant’s upcoming CD release marks the launch of The Greyhounds and Taxis Tour, which will take him across the prairie provinces. This follows last year’s Festival Express à la Gant, when he travelled and performed on VIA Rail trains on his Great Canadian Rail Tour.
“There’s something about seeing your country from a moving train…. The way Alberta looks in the evening light; that big sky sends you into a dream-like state like staring out onto a vast ocean. Chances are, if you grew up here you don’t even notice those things, but as soon as you go anywhere else you miss those details about a place and the people who make it home.” - FFWD Magazine


"Now This Sound Is Brave Review of A Rough Start To The Night"

A Rough Start to the Night is Canadian singer/songwriter Jon Gant‘s eighth album. It was recorded in Calgary with Lorrie Matheson, and Gant’s new band, which is Scott Munro (Chad Vangaalen, Gunther) on upright bass, Chris Dadge (Lab Coast, Samantha Savage Smith) on Drums, Chris Vail (Key To The City) on mandolin and Lawrence Nasen (No River) on banjo.
Gant’s been around for a while and done some hard traveling, and on this record, it shows. Though while these songs are world-weary, only two – Broad Street and That Way Again are really sad.
My favorites are the love songs: And I Always Will and Wild Irish Girl.
The former is wry and sweet – sample lyrics: I used to tell you through the radio / but the radio don’t play my songs anymore / I’m hoping somehow this song will make it to your stereo/I just want you to know / I love you / and I always will – and got me to thinking about both love songs and radio songs and the sometimes fleeting nature of both.
It’s also interesting as part of a dialogue, of a kind, a third voice in a conversation between Courtney Love’s Boys on the Radio and the Felice Brothers Radio Song.
The latter is an “I will always come home to you” song with a clap-and-sing-along chorus, and I have a special fondness for that sort of thing. - nowthissound.com


"Americana France Review of A Rough Start To The Night"

... A lot of moving around (compared to the average French citizen) that at least appears to have had an influence on his music and lyrics. This, I understand, feeling like an immigrant always more or less looking in on daily life from the outside, always with one's own cultural baggage, trying to find one's place at a party where everyone else knows each other, where people share a history, a whole life, even memories of elementary school. Having one's own rules and social network, ... Except that I've never put all of this into words, and certainly haven't written any songs.

And so an eighth album (if I'm not mistaken) for Jon Gant. An album that's fluid, even if there's occasionally a change in the rhythm. A beautiful use of mandolin and piano here and there. A bit like the seasonings in a good dish. Not too much, not too little. An album by a singer/songwriter to listen to. Even if you don't grasp it all right away. For both the sounds and his voice are a bit out of the ordinary.

(... Beaucoup de déplacements (comparer avec le villageois Français moyenne), ce qui au moins semblent d’avoir eu un influence sur sa musique et ses paroles. Je connais ça oui, de se trouver comme un immigrée toujours plus ou moins a l’extérieur de la vie quotidien, toujours avec son propre bagage culturelle en train d’essayer de trouver sa place à un soirée avec plein de monde qui se connaissent, qui partagent un histoire, un vie entier, avec des souvenirs de l’école primaire. Avec ses propres règles et son réseau sociale, ... Sauf que moi, je n’ai jamais su  mettre des mots a tout ça, surtout pas pour en faire des chansons.

Et donc un huitième album (si mon compte est bon) pour Jon Gant.  Un album plus tôt pensive, même si les rythmes changent des fois un peu.  Une jolie utilisation de mandoline et piano ici et la. Un peu comme des épices dans un bon petit plat. Ni trop, ni trop peu. Un album d’un « singer/songwriter » a écouté. Même si on ne capte pas tout de suite.  Car le son et sa voix sont un peu inhabituelle.) - americanamusic.fr


"AltCountryForum.nl Review of A Rough Start To The Night"

..."A Rough Start To The Night" is an exciting album full of intelligent, sophisticated songs in acoustic arrangements, in which Jon describes misery in the area of love... A pleasure to listen to.


(...“A Rough Start To The Night” is een opwindende plaat vol intelligente, akoestische liedjes in verfijnde arrangementen, waarop Jon onder meer verslag doet van zijn ellende op het liefdesgebied... Een genot om naar te luisteren.)

- Johan Schoenmakers
- http://www.altcountryforum.nl/


"Calgary Sun Article"

... Gant’s new CD, A Rough Start to the Night, is a marked departure from anything he’s done before.
It’s the first time the local roots rocker has used a full band and a producer. Gant previously recorded ‘bedroom projects’ on his own, playing every instrument.
“I wanted to have that live sound,” he explains.
“I’ve been listening to a lot of stuff from the ‘50s where it’s all one microphone and the whole band is playing in front of it. But you can’t do that when you’re playing all the instruments. I needed a band and someone to work the dials to make that happen.”
Gant drafted some of the city’s finest indie rock players – Scott Munro (Chad Van Gaalen, Gunther), Chris Vail (Key to the City), Chris Dadge (Samantha Savage Smith, Lab Coast) and Lawrence Nasen (No River) – for the four-day recording session.
“They’ve got a kind of chemistry that’s unspoken,” says Gant, who recently returned from a year living in Dublin and New York City, where he studied audio engineering.
“I think we had three or four practices before hitting the studio and then laid it down live off the floor.”
Produced by Calgary music veteran Lorrie Matheson at his Arch Audio studio in July, A Rough Start to the Night is also Gant’s first fully acoustic album.
Gant is finalizing plans for a CD release party at a local bar in November. But before he unveils A Rough Start to the Night to local fans, Gant and banjo player Nasen will tour across most of the country as part of Via Rail’s Musicians On Board Program.
The duo will play twice a day on the train and have booked shows in Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Victoria.
“I was looking at pictures of Woody Guthrie playing on the subway in New York in the ‘50s to get inspired,” says Gant.
“I was like, ‘This is going to be good.’”

- Lisa Wilton, The Calgary Sun
- The Calgary Sun


"CJSW Featured Artist"

Check this amazing songwriter and folk singer out immediately. He's a native Albertan that comes back to us by way of Dublin, via New York, via Victoria... so he's got some travels under his belt. He has a CD release show tonight at Ironwood where he'll be sharing intimate stories through his songs. - cjsw.com


Discography

2013 - Flâneur
2012 - Wheatfields (EP)
2012 - A Rough Start To The Night
2010 - Moving On
2010 - Low Casino
2009 - Make It Out (EP)
2009 - Somewhere In The Past
2008 - Family Photo
2005 - Farewell Songs

Photos

Bio

Jon Gant knows the high cost of living low. Over the course of eight albums he has told the story of a life lived on the edge and what it takes to come back from the brink. Gant's albums serve as more than collections of individual songs, they are journeys. Each one starts with a defining moment and works towards a revelatory end. His latest album, Flâneur, is no exception.
 
Lyrically, Flâneur begins where Gant's last album, the widely acclaimed A Rough Start To The Night, left off. Unguarded and honest lyrics show Gant redefining himself in the aftermath of loss and change while shouldering the consequences of his past, facing the struggles that lay ahead, and finding a way to balance the work to be done with moments of beauty and joy. Musically, Flâneur takes it's starting cue from A Rough Start To The Night as well, beginning with the swaggering roots and blues dirge, Long Gone. Over the course of Flâneur's ten songs, the sound becomes increasingly modern, infusing Gant's colloquial songwriting with touchstones of pop and electronic music. The final song, This Life Of Mine, embodies the signature sound that Gant describes as "Kris Kristofferson meets New Order". A weary but unbowed voice backed by the pulse of the city at night.

Working with a cast of long time collaborators including drummer Chris Dadge (Samantha Savage Smith, Lab Coast), bassist Scott Munro (Chad Vangaalen, Reuben and the Dark), Chris Vail (Key to the City), Lawrence Nasen (No River), John de Waal (Reverie Sound Revue), and new collaborators Kenna Burima (Woodpigeon) and Chris Nevile (No River), this record is Gant's most ambitious undertaking yet.

Gant's previous records have garnered international media attention and received strong support from campus and community radio across Canada. As a touring musician without a driver's license, Gant has found creative ways to bring his music to fans across the country, including his Great Canadian Rail Tour in 2011, and his 2012 Greyhounds And Taxis Tour.

The word Flâneur has two different meanings. In French-Canadian it refers to a vagrant, or a drifter. In Europe, it's a wanderer who observes the life and culture of the city. The title captures both sides of Gant's new record; a rough and rowdy past spent testing the limits of society and self, maturing into a steady-paced search for wisdom and meaning.