Olentangy John
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Olentangy John

Band Folk Country


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"Olentangy John - O! Be Joyful review"

Punctuated by subdued swatches of night insects trilling like static, Olentangy John's O! Be Joyful writhes with penetrating sincerity while avoiding the affected backwoods burlesque that might be expected from a trucker hat-wearing , bearded banjo act from Los Angeles by way of New York. Neither city leaves even a lingering influence on this album. Instead, it feels like the campfire is down to its last embers, the wine is gone, and you're all alone, and if you died your body would not be found for weeks. It described solitude without succumbing to hallow desperation - going so far, maybe, as to suggest solitude as the solution to desperation. John commands a small battalion of instruments but never forces anything from them. The guitar in the title track is the picture of restraint. But for all its lucidness, its constantly-approaching darkness, its beautiful ruralities, O! Be Joyful could benefit from more that curl their lips and kick shit around, such as "Daniel," an accusatory but apologetic cascade of clawhammer banjo and damnation. Unfortunately, we get only a few glimpses of this higher place. - LA Record


O! Be Joyful LP
See Seven Stars EP 7" vinyl
Daniel (Single) - radio airplay



Olentangy John is John Atzberger and vice versa. John relocated from Ohio, to Brooklyn in the August of 2006. While in New York John performed solo under the aforementioned moniker Olentangy; a name given to him by a mentor of sorts who shall remain anonymous. He won the Williamsburg Live Songwriter's competition in 2007. John is now living in North Tinsel Town, California, pretending the mountains are greener than they are.

"It seems that Olentangy John Atzberger is unstoppable, or maybe it’s just that the judges and the audience can’t deny he’s one of the best singers, songwriters, and performers in the local NYC scene." -Jezebel Music