Jonathan Senna
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Jonathan Senna

| SELF

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Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter

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Jun
02
Jonathan Senna @ New Deal Cafe

Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

May
01
Jonathan Senna @ The Darjeeling Cafe

Staubton, Virginia, USA

Staubton, Virginia, USA

Apr
30
Jonathan Senna @ St. Elmo's

Alexandria, Virginia, USA

Alexandria, Virginia, USA

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Music

Press


Like Jack Kerouac’s writing, Senna’s songs often reflect a desire to break free from the mold and to find the meaning of life - honestly.

Readers of Jack Kerouac’s books have always recognized the attraction of his writing style, and his capacity to transform everyday events into sacred moments of beauty. Critics agree that if nothing else, Kerouac wrote in a honest manner. Wilmington resident Jon Senna understands this honesty. He began writing poetry and songs long ago and came of age reading the works of Kerouac, Kurt Vonnegut and Hunter S. Thompson. The soundtrack of his life during those years was full of the music of the Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam and grunge music lit the spark for his own creative fire.

Growing up in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Senna spent his early years exploring sound and expression by jamming blues and rock riffs on electric guitar with friends and writing endless lines of poetry. “I started writing poetry and songs when I was a teenager,” he confesses. “I was kind of isolated and it was a way to sort out my feelings. I have really never written in a linear fashion.” Instead, Senna, like his literary heroes, conveys in his songs a style that employs spontaneity.

On his debut CD, Blah Blah Ha Ha, Senna has created a body of work that is a culmination of those years spent writing songs and performing. Recorded in Wilmington with Lee Hester at Logan Manor Studios, the tracks are, in his words, “existential breakdown music”. “The songs don’t tell stories so much as convey emotion,” he shares. And upon listening one gets the feeling that Senna intentionally leaves his songs ambiguous. This unpolished style allows listeners to find their own meanings by focusing on the philosophical - why are we here and why are we breathing?

Like Jack Kerouac’s writing, Senna’s songs often reflect a desire to break free from the mold and to find the meaning of life - honestly. As we witness the changes in our lives and begin to realize that the world is not always what it appears to be, Senna’s songs are footnotes to everything everyone else is trying to teach us.


Jeff Reid

- The Beat


The artwork for Jon Senna's Blah Blah Ha Ha – a child staring at a man behind clown painted circus tarp pawing at him - echoes the mood and omniscient feel for much of the album's material. Senna takes a simplistic (and sparse) take on modern acoustic music. It's Don Henley meets Marshall Crenshaw minus the pop sensibilities, conveying emotions otherwise lost in the lyrics. Senna pairs them against fevered guitar playing that is at once pointed and restrained. He sings like a prettier, softer, Tom Waits. His vocals are greatly understated, like a child whispering secrets to a sibling in the face of danger. Senna hits his stride with 'Crossing Over to Daylight', a song that merges Neil Young pacing with modern touches, reaching close to sounding like a church song. On the title track his wariness shows, Devil is a liar and I'm his closest friend, he sings. Senna is deft at creating mood against acoustic playing. 'Find' is one of the more upbeat tracks. The result is grey-day material – reflective and earnest. What stands out is the album's atmosphere. It's stark stuff in a genteel setting. But it's melodic even though it doesn't have to be. Blah Blah Ha Ha is in the same ball park as Springsteen's Nebraska without mimicking it or even Chris Whitley's Living with the Law sans mid-western flavors. Senna is onto something here and Blah Blah Ha Ha hints at a precursor to something larger in scope. Senna sounds like he's just be getting started. Brian Tucker Bootleg Magazine
- Bootleg Magazine


Discography

Blah Blah Ha Ha
2008

A Perfect Fish
2011

Photos

Bio

Jonathan Senna is a poet-musician who hangs his guitar in northern Virginia. His 2008 debut album Blah Blah Ha Ha features 12 "existential breakdown" tracks - each a variation on driving, soaring, "comfortable" melody with pensive lyrics that draw from both Senna's literary and grunge rock core.
With the release of his second album A Perfect Fish in Summer 2011, Jon Senna is surfacing from the darker more introspective depths of his debut to explore other currents of his medium. A Perfect Fish is a collection of baited lyrics and saturated melodies featuring a rich collaborative of musicians, including Jamie Coan of From Good Homes, who contributed to both Senna's albums.

Venues Played:
The Evening Muse
The Bitter End
Jammin Java
Iota
Ashland Coffee and Tea
Goodbye Blue Monday
The Triple
Bottega
The Soapbox
16 Taps
New Deal
SAW Songwriter Showcases