|John McCormick was born and raised in
Indianapolis. While studying philosophy at Ancilla College,
he met Gordon Burnham and Bob Beaser, two exquisite
pickers from Kalamazoo, Michigan. They inspired him
to take up the acoustic guitar.
He landed in San Francisco in the early
Seventies, where the music scene was thriving. More
auspicious meetings followed. He met his first teacher,
Alan Rice, through an advert in a local rag which
offered used household appliances, and as an afterthought,
"Jansch and Renbourn style guitar instruction".
Eventually, Al steered him to a meeting with Duck
Baker, who became another mentor.
As the Eighties approached, John took advantage of
the unworldly and lonesome hours of a railroad brakeman
by simply playing in all the wee hours and listening
to newer influences, John Martyn, James Taylor, Nick
Drake and Leo Kottke.
Sometime in 1985, John was playing
a Happy Hour gig at a comedy club in San Francisco
when he was discovered by Alex de Grassi, who had
stopped by for coffee and madeleines. This chance
meeting led to his first recording, Western Island.
This guitar--focused project, with instrumentals and
songs from Scotland, Ireland and England, established
John on the acoustic scene.
Originally released by Shanachie Records,
it has been reissued by Phantom Records. "A
bit of paradise for fanciers of fine acoustic guitar
playing" (Roots & Rhythm News)
John's touring career began with the success of Western
Island. His next album, Mercury's Well, was released
in 1992 and named to the yearly Top Ten at radio WUMB--Boston,
the planet's premier folk music station. "A
fine collection of moody songs, strung together like
pearls." (Hear Music Magazine)
Between Our Hearts (1998) contains
two original guitar tunes and two traditional ones,
along with nine songs from before and now. With the
support of Maggie Boyle, Steve Tilston, Judi Meister,
and other notable guests, "These songs establish
McCormick as the official troubadour for the 21st
century." (Bob Mitchell, Louisville Music
Live At The Freight (2002) was recorded
at the finest acoustic venue on the west coast, The
Freight And Salvage Coffeehouse, in Berkeley, California.
This is an arresting mix of contemporary and traditional
repertoire, performed before a live audience.
The Farthest Field was recorded in Louisville,
Kentucky. It includes ten classic North American songs,
and one burning guitar instrumental, Railroad Blues.
In 2006, he recorded Listen To Your
Heart, a collection of original guitar duet compositions,
with Gordon Burnham. "In the vast realm of
contemporary conscious music that claims to offer
an invitation inward, LISTEN TO YOUR HEART is a refreshingly
authentic instrumental work that truly delivers on
its promise." (NEXUS Magazine)
John's new CD is Essential Guitar Tracks (Phantom
Records 2008), a collection of his solo acoustic guitar