There’s a fresh, new exciting breeze blowing through the Canadian country music scene. Haven’t felt the breeze or heard what the exciting news is all about yet? Don’t worry! If you’re a country music fan you will soon hear what all the excitement is about.
Friends of Jack is a new Canadian country music group whose three members – Darryl John, Chad John and Paul John - are originally from St. Alban’s. The trio now lives in Fort McMurray where they have honed their musical abilities to a highly professional level.
How professional? Well, professional enough to have recorded five songs in Nashville for their first CD; professional enough to enlist the help of some of the best players in Nashville who have helped the likes of Garth Brooks, Neil Young and Allan Jackson record CDs and professional enough to have their songs receive air play in Canada, Australia and Japan.
Chad John recently talked about how the three local boys got to record in Nashville, Tennessee.
“Darryl played in bands in the St. Alban’s area for about 20 years or so, and I picked up my interest in music from him. It was in 1998 that we had our first gig at the Warehouse Club in St. Alban’s.
From there we moved on to St. John’s to attend various schools where we picked up our playing at various bars on George Street in 2001. By 2004 the three of us were in Fort McMurray where we picked up a good drummer and bass player and started playing in local bars in that area.”
The band received a big break in a chance meeting with Bruce Graham in 2008. Graham has lots of connections in the Canadian and American country music scenes through his late wife Susan, who was a Juno nominee in the mid 1990s.
Chad continued, “In my conversation with Graham at the meeting he mentioned he had heard two Newfoundlanders play in bar but they seemed to had disappeared. As it turned out he was talking about Darryl, and I asked him to come see us play in Fort McMurray.
Bruce came out to see us, liked what he saw and heard and called up some of his old producers and some song writers he knew and before you know it we’re down in Nashville laying down tracks for our first CD. Graham liked us so much he became our manager and is a great help to us today.”
To this point in time, Friends of Jack have recorded five songs for their first CD and will finish up their first recording project later this summer or fall.
If the first several songs on the CD are any indication, the CD should be very popular in the country music fields across North America and other parts of the world. The music is high-energy and the harmonies and lyrics are excellent.
Chad said, “It was great recording in Nashville with people like Brent Mason, Chris Leuzinger, Chad Cromwell, Dan Dugmore, Glen Wolf and John Jarvis. These professionals have played on CDs with people like Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Neil Young and Dire Straits.
“It took us a little while to get comfortable with those guys but once we got into it everything was great.”
The recording sessions must have been very comfortable as one of the songs they recorded, - “I owe you one” - has already received airplay in Canada, Australia and Japan.
“It’s not every band who gets to go to Nashville to record a CD, “ Chad said. “We wanted to do this now, as the timing seems very right. We don’t know how it will all turn out for us, but we’re hoping to be able to make a living at recording songs.
Right now, our first single is receiving some airplay and we’re receiving very positive feedback from the release. We hope to be able to get set up with an already established band and do some touring in the immediate future.”
If you’re a country music fan in particular or just a music fan in general you owe it to yourself to listen to Friends of Jack. You can listen to the first four songs on their CD by visiting: Friends-of-Jack.ca.