Sportswriters
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Sportswriters

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Band Alternative Pop

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Jun
28
Sportswriters @ Eppingfest

Epping, Ontario, Canada

Epping, Ontario, Canada

Jun
09
Sportswriters @ Farmer's Market

Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada

Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


John and his gang are dropping bombs like they've been touring for decades. The craftwork is truly extrodinary; the stories, the vintage pop-rock style, the arrangemnents, and the delicious restraint and control exhibited by his crew is sublime. You don't just find players that reflect light into your songwriting everyday, This is a perfect rock quartet. - Drew McIvor


John and his gang are dropping bombs like they've been touring for decades. The craftwork is truly extrodinary; the stories, the vintage pop-rock style, the arrangemnents, and the delicious restraint and control exhibited by his crew is sublime. You don't just find players that reflect light into your songwriting everyday, This is a perfect rock quartet. - Drew McIvor


On June 9th, SOUNDS featured the highly anticipated debut of The Sportwriters. What fuelled the desire to book them was the songwriting ability of John Brownlow.
John started coming to SOUNDS* this past season, (our 5th), after moving into our area, and doing some solo, open mic spots to test out his latest song compositions.

We were all spellbound . It didn't take long for me to want to schedule him to fill in our last available feature music act. When John told me he was putting together a band, I only got further intrigued.

Well that finale to our season just happened, and it was even better than I had imagined it would be.

The four piece band John has assembled is a perfect fit to deliver his captivating lyrics. The band consists of John Brownlow on vocals and guitar, Jason Palmer on bass, Darrell Dennis on drums, and Mike Wright on lead guitar. They all mesh together very tastefully, to provide a sophisticated, yet organic feeling that gives those great lyrics a perfect ebb and flow. (On a personal note, I was lucky enough to recruit Mike and Dennis to back up a new spoken word piece I performed, and they captured just what I wanted perfectly, proving that they are musicians of great intuition and sensitivity). Mike Wright is a songwriter's guitaritst, in my mind, because he accompanies the words, not dominates them, and he does it with a tasteful variety of sounds and licks, nothing more or less than just what seems is needed, and therefore he allows the power of the words to shine. What more could a lyricist want?

They provide a delectibly intense and sympathetic soundtrack to John’s singing and guitar playing. Our audience simply loved it. There is no more appropriate word I can think of to describe the magical spell the music of The Sportwriters put us into.

Every song they played, (all originals), seemed as good as the one that came before or after it. John, with his screenwriting background, is a natural wordsmith and storyteller.
The first song they did, ‘Don’t Fool Me’ got everything off to a very catchy, accessible start with a very Brit-pop feel to it.

It moved onto the very clever ‘Ten Years in a Hundred Dollar Suit’ and that gave everyone a real taste of the kind of depth his storytelling songs would have for us. John, often makes me think of legendary folk-rocker Al Stewart or the more contemporary Decemberists with the intensity and sophistication of his lyrics…. And like them, he can pair those lyrics with beautiful melodies.

Everything kicked into an even more emotional level with a personal favourite ‘Your Ball and Chain’.
(some nostalgia for me there, of memories of such groups as ‘Crowded House’ there.

This was followed by another one that has special resonance for me: ‘On Valentine’s Day’. After the concert, my son, James, singled out that one by saying that overall he liked the way the songs captured life and how much he was able to visualize and feel the life of the main character in that song (an elderly painter named Mr. Thomas who lived in an apartment below the doomed writer, Sylvia Plath.).

Every other song performed that afternoon had equal power to both provoke and enchant. The music of The Sportwriters is a sophisticated yet accessible pathway into raw and universal emotions… and at the same time it can get your body swaying and feet tapping to the pulse of its rhythms . I’m sure for everyone there, as it was for me, that there were songs that resonated in a deep and personal way in our individual souls, tapping into our subconscious dreams and concerns, and into our conscious reflections of just where we might be at that day and at that moment in our lives.

The Sportwriters, featuring the music of John Brownlow, admirably picks up the torch of a couple of musical traditions that I love: The Power-Pop Ballad and the Brit-folk-rock troubadour.

I am thrilled that SOUNDS was the venue for their first public performance and I know that all the talent they have and the hard work they have put into perfecting their songs should make for a future of many well-deserved and satisfying gigs, and some really great cd’s to add to our musical libraries, and it will certainly earn them an invitation back to delight our SOUNDS audiences in the seasons to come.

If I had to sum up my impression of The Sportswriters in one sentence I would say, "They provide the perfect blend of sophistication with raw, universal emotions that is totally accessible but leaves you feeling that you've just journeyed into territory worth visiting, that will leave you humming great melodies and remembering emotionally powerful lyrics.

*SOUNDS is a monthly concert series featuring music and spoken word, plus limited open mic spots. It happens inside The Farmers’ Market Building in Owen Sound, Ontario, on the second Sunday afternoon of each month, Sept. thru to June. - SOUNDS at the Market


On June 9th, SOUNDS featured the highly anticipated debut of The Sportwriters. What fuelled the desire to book them was the songwriting ability of John Brownlow.
John started coming to SOUNDS* this past season, (our 5th), after moving into our area, and doing some solo, open mic spots to test out his latest song compositions.

We were all spellbound . It didn't take long for me to want to schedule him to fill in our last available feature music act. When John told me he was putting together a band, I only got further intrigued.

Well that finale to our season just happened, and it was even better than I had imagined it would be.

The four piece band John has assembled is a perfect fit to deliver his captivating lyrics. The band consists of John Brownlow on vocals and guitar, Jason Palmer on bass, Darrell Dennis on drums, and Mike Wright on lead guitar. They all mesh together very tastefully, to provide a sophisticated, yet organic feeling that gives those great lyrics a perfect ebb and flow. (On a personal note, I was lucky enough to recruit Mike and Dennis to back up a new spoken word piece I performed, and they captured just what I wanted perfectly, proving that they are musicians of great intuition and sensitivity). Mike Wright is a songwriter's guitaritst, in my mind, because he accompanies the words, not dominates them, and he does it with a tasteful variety of sounds and licks, nothing more or less than just what seems is needed, and therefore he allows the power of the words to shine. What more could a lyricist want?

They provide a delectibly intense and sympathetic soundtrack to John’s singing and guitar playing. Our audience simply loved it. There is no more appropriate word I can think of to describe the magical spell the music of The Sportwriters put us into.

Every song they played, (all originals), seemed as good as the one that came before or after it. John, with his screenwriting background, is a natural wordsmith and storyteller.
The first song they did, ‘Don’t Fool Me’ got everything off to a very catchy, accessible start with a very Brit-pop feel to it.

It moved onto the very clever ‘Ten Years in a Hundred Dollar Suit’ and that gave everyone a real taste of the kind of depth his storytelling songs would have for us. John, often makes me think of legendary folk-rocker Al Stewart or the more contemporary Decemberists with the intensity and sophistication of his lyrics…. And like them, he can pair those lyrics with beautiful melodies.

Everything kicked into an even more emotional level with a personal favourite ‘Your Ball and Chain’.
(some nostalgia for me there, of memories of such groups as ‘Crowded House’ there.

This was followed by another one that has special resonance for me: ‘On Valentine’s Day’. After the concert, my son, James, singled out that one by saying that overall he liked the way the songs captured life and how much he was able to visualize and feel the life of the main character in that song (an elderly painter named Mr. Thomas who lived in an apartment below the doomed writer, Sylvia Plath.).

Every other song performed that afternoon had equal power to both provoke and enchant. The music of The Sportwriters is a sophisticated yet accessible pathway into raw and universal emotions… and at the same time it can get your body swaying and feet tapping to the pulse of its rhythms . I’m sure for everyone there, as it was for me, that there were songs that resonated in a deep and personal way in our individual souls, tapping into our subconscious dreams and concerns, and into our conscious reflections of just where we might be at that day and at that moment in our lives.

The Sportwriters, featuring the music of John Brownlow, admirably picks up the torch of a couple of musical traditions that I love: The Power-Pop Ballad and the Brit-folk-rock troubadour.

I am thrilled that SOUNDS was the venue for their first public performance and I know that all the talent they have and the hard work they have put into perfecting their songs should make for a future of many well-deserved and satisfying gigs, and some really great cd’s to add to our musical libraries, and it will certainly earn them an invitation back to delight our SOUNDS audiences in the seasons to come.

If I had to sum up my impression of The Sportswriters in one sentence I would say, "They provide the perfect blend of sophistication with raw, universal emotions that is totally accessible but leaves you feeling that you've just journeyed into territory worth visiting, that will leave you humming great melodies and remembering emotionally powerful lyrics.

*SOUNDS is a monthly concert series featuring music and spoken word, plus limited open mic spots. It happens inside The Farmers’ Market Building in Owen Sound, Ontario, on the second Sunday afternoon of each month, Sept. thru to June. - SOUNDS at the Market


Discography

Don't Fool Me (Chromopop, 2011)
The Pink Raincoat (Chromopop, 2012)
Sunblind (Chromopop, 2012)
Your Ball and Chain (Chromopop, 2012)

Photos

Bio

Based in Southern Ontario, THE SPORTSWRITERS are all about highly crafted, deeply original, emotional, hook-driven, energetic, soulful pop, ranging from three minute guitar-laden bubblegum rock-outs via foot-stomping blue-eyed soul, to soaring anthemic, lighter-waving acoustic epics.

You'll search in vain for regurgitated rock cliches, meaningless three chord jam tracks or bubble-headed pop blabla here. What you'll find instead is a completely fresh, bittersweet and open-hearted take on classic pop tropes that will worm its way into your ear and heart.

The intricate, melody-laden songs, full of unexpected chords, vocal harmonies and evocative imagery, are the work of Hollywood screenwriter and film-maker JOHN BROWNLOW (he wrote SYLVIA, starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig) who has been writing songs since long before he wrote movies.

In the UK John was one third of 90s power trio EARCANDY and a founder member of the UK's leading surf band DEAD MAN'S CURVE, who released two successful albums and gained substantial radio play in the US.

On drums is DARRELL DENNIS, who has played professionally in Toronto and Grey County since 1977. Darrell has played drums for the JASON REDMAN BAND for more than ten years and is also one third of WHITE NOISE MACHINE. In 2012 he could be seen backing Elvises at the annual Collingwood festival.

Bass is handled by JASON PALMER, who also teaches guitar and bass and fronts his own band BEFORE TELEVISION. He played bass in Owen Sound's TOMFOOLERY, as well as CAPTAIN CANADA and CAPTAIN CHRISTMAS.

Providing stunning and often explosive lead guitar work is MIKE WRIGHT, well-known to local musicians as one of the best and friendliest live sound men in the business. Mike also plays lead in BEFORE TELEVISION.