The Shackers
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The Shackers

Lambertville, New Jersey, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Lambertville, New Jersey, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Rock Adult Contemporary




"John Flynn – Man Of Many Bands Starts His Solo Career"

Being around a scene for a while can teach a musician how to play in many styles and how to combine it all to find a personal style. Musicians who play in, or even just jam with, many different bands can increase their improve chops tremendously. Yes, music can be made home alone, sitting behind a keyboard nowadays, but those musicians are stuck within their own talents and do not leave themselves room to grow. One artist that leaves himself open to learn and be influenced by everyone he plays with is John Flynn.

John Flynn

The New Jersey native plays keyboards and trombone in a slew of bands around the northeast. John Flynn now is moving toward a solo career with his debut record. Bouncing around the jam band scene has taught John how to stand out in a crowd as well as just carry a groove when the song demands it. He went out and recruited some talented friends to perform his original high energy music incorporating influences from rock, soul, reggae, post-punk, and ska. Adding some witty and lyrics has created a style that is all John’s own.

The recently released debut solo record is called Heading For The Sun. The 9-track album touches all of John Flynn’s influences and shows a man that can perform them all admirably. The opening track ‘Home’ is a slow yet fun and poppy song with a groove that sucks the listener in. This is a song that will be stuck humming in your head way after the track ends. The title track ‘Heading For The Sun’ leads with a driving beat and some jangly guitars that make it a very easy listen. John harkens back to an earlier time of jam band nostalgia when life was much simpler and love was in the air. He shows off a lighter side on ‘Policeman’ with a ska feel and lyrics that will put a smile on your face. One of John Flynn’s real talents for writing memorable choruses shines through here. The only real knock I could put on this record is that the production and mix is a little sloppy. This will get better with time and I am sure the live show is a roaring good time.

There is something for everyone on Heading For The Sun. Go get a listen for yourself at: -

"John Flynn, Heading For The Sun"

Jersey native John Flynn stopped performing just long enough to lay down his debut solo effort Heading For The Sun, a nine-track album encompassing rock, funk and blues. Themes range from Woodstock nostalgia, to avoiding a night in the slammer, to the concept of home and how it transcends material acquisition.

Regarding this last theme, the track “Home” is bluesy and jazzy at the same time. There is an element of pathos in the refrain, “can’t find home.” Dual-track vocals towards the song’s end provide an added soulful aspect.

“Past Lives” launches with fine multi-layered guitar work. Am especially a fan of the twangy background guitar. Yeah, this is definitely Woodstock nostalgia: “The generation…of ’69 / We would teach the world to sing, and peace and love for all mankind.” About 2:45 in, a fine blues solo takes flight.

The title track begins quite emphatically. Has a bit of a punk rock vibe. The dual-vocal chorus jibes well indeed.

“Policeman” is a sprightly track that seems to stomp around the reggae genre. A siren-like chorus (trombone?) is pretty clever.

“Destiny” is a rather chill tune with continuously fine (though at times subtle) guitar work. Snappy blues axe-work resurfaces in “Same Old News,” though with this track the tenor sax takes the forefront.

“Billy’s Bomb” is a melodic, though rather dark, tune. Its lyrics are suggestive of chaos and potential carnage: “You want to start a revolution, you can’t read the constitution / Ah Billy you’ll just build a bomb.” These lyrics are cynical but also perceptive in that they convey how an alienated (and uneducated) person can make big-time news and impact with an act of destruction.

The piano is given center stage in “Looking Out from Within.” As for the vocal component, the chorus has a pretty good hook to it.

More piano appears, along with a festive atmosphere, in “Khristmas Kool.” Am also a fan of the sporadically occurring blues guitar.

Feel like you might be “heading for the sun”? Proceed directly to:

Or stalk Mr. Flynn on FB:

Ray Cavanaugh –
- See more at: - Skope - Ray Cavanaugh, Reviewer

"John P. Flynn's song "Billy's Bomb" is a profound musical statement"

Joe Vitale: Producer, Songwriter, Drummer: Has worked with/on: The Eagles, Crosby Stills and Nash, Joe Walsh, Dan Fogelberg, John Entwhistle, Rick Derringer, Peter Frampton, Jay Ferguson, Boz Scaggs, Bill Wyman.

Billy's Bomb: John P. Flynn's song Billy's Bomb is a profound musical statement. It's a modern day look at some of the building fears that we all face in our day to day lives. John really points out key issues that we should all be aware of. GREAT job John !! - Joe Vitale

"John P. Flynn's song "Destiny" is a great piece of work !!"

Joe Vitale: Producer, Songwriter, Drummer: Has worked with/on: The Eagles, Crosby Stills and Nash, Joe Walsh, Dan Fogelberg, John Entwhistle, Rick Derringer, Peter Frampton, Jay Ferguson, Boz Scaggs, Bill Wyman.

Review of Destiny: John P. Flynn Destinys a great piece of work !! A song that challenges your thoughts of what mysteries lie ahead in all of our complicated lives. After hearing it just once, I had to listen again and again!!....GREAT job John...BRAVO !!! - Joe Vitale

"Artist wins over his audience with a catchy hook and light hearted feel bound to get the dance floor hopping."

Diana Williamson is head consultant in charge of licensing and acquisition for a boutique publishing company that places music in film, tv and with recording artists:

Review of Policeman: Light hearted songs with comedic twists can be refreshing to hear in this angsty radio driven world. - Diana Williamson


Heading For The Sun

  1. Home
  2. Past Lives
  3. Heading for the Sun
  4. Policeman
  5. Destiny
  6. Same Old News
  7. Billy's Bomb
  8. Looking Out From Within
  9. Khristmas Kool



The Shackers

We play a unique blend of jam rock, and alternative mixed with some reggae and soul originals supported by a strong and loyal fan base in the Lambertville, NJ area. The Shackers do not limit themselves to one kind or one style of music. Four song writers contribute their unique style of  danceable original music and covers that has everyone up and dancing at Shackers' gigs. The band can change the style or mood with every song which makes listening to the band fun and entertaining. 

Two of the band members Jason Bonthron and John Flynn, have released CDs of original works with Shacker members contributing which reflects the diversity and depth of the band and its members. 

  • John Flynn's first release "Heading For The Sun" highlights nine original songs that range from rock, to soul, ska, and funk. Recorded at Lambertville-based Thunder Pumpkin Records, Heading for the Sun and Hopetown Sound in Carversville, PA, showcases a collection of danceable songs with pithy lyrics and rhythms that drive and swing. 

  • Jason Bonthron first release Cyclops is a collection of eight original works also recorded at Thunder Pumpkin Records in Lambertville. Jason's weaves hard hitting drums, grungy bass, 70's and 80's synth sounds and samples with direct lyrics and vocal deliveries. Cyclops may have you feeling disco with big hair, high heel shoes and one piece jumpsuits as a mirrored disco ball spins above in Not Today. This is contradictory to his songs like Skate Rat, Jupiter and Watch Out with their driving beats, forceful sounds and in your face vocals that have you bopping your head up and down. Cyclops hits you musically from all different sides. It's a brave new world and Cyclops is unapologetic in opening the door.

Band Members