Album Out June 1st
"His experimental approach, reminiscent of Jim O’Rourke, pushes at the boundaries of new guitar music and the UK avant folk scene."
"Bringing a touch of the 21st century to the guitar soli scene..."
Tyler Wilcox, Aquarium Drunkard
"Not only capable of channeling Britfolk greats as Bert Jansch, John Renbourn or Michael Chapman, he can also pick like John Fahey and his fellow American primitives."
For The Sake Of The Song
"Bringing to mind the likes of Owen Pallett and Grizzly Bear, John McGrath is an artist capable of balancing classical and folk textures to great effect."
“his clutch of haunted icy soundscapes sounds very much like wandering around half-remembered wintry dreams.”
"like Bert Jansch remixed by Four Tet, combining extraordinary technical mastery with warm drones and harmonic effects."
John McGrath is an Irish guitarist based in London. His music explores the
boundaries of the ancient and modern as traditional elements meet
improvisation and experimental tendencies. This debut solo album for
Crooked Stem Recordings deals with themes of place, repetition and
memory while spanning American primitive guitar, avant-folk
ensemble instrumentals, traditional Irish melody, and song.
McGrath grew up in a family that regularly engaged in folk sing-songs and was imbued with an open-minded attitude to myriad musical styles from an early age. As a teenager he played electric guitar in blues-rock bands, largely self-taught himself various styles from jazz to country and honed his improvisation skills on regular professional gigs around Ireland. At 17 he met Irish guitarist Eric Roche who would be a lasting influence. The music of Bill Frisell and John Fahey soon became favourites however, sparking a keen interest in solo guitar performance and composition. While relishing collaboration, performing on a single instrument has been his main focus ever since, as he continually searches for new sounds and textures.
McGrath has been interviewed / featured in The Wire, Aquarium
Drunkard, Night Folk in the Afternoon, For the Sake of the Song, RTE Radio 1, Burning Ambulance, The Skinny, Bido Lito!, BBC Radio,
Radio New Zealand, Sideways through Sound, and Sydney's FBi radio and
has had his music synched on various television shows and sounded at Tate
Modern and FACT. John has performed the UK premiere of Rhys
Chatham's "Die Donnergotter" in addition to "Guitar Trio" alongside the composer. He has also performed with Dustin Wong, Sharon Gal,
Cavalier Song, Howard Skempton and the aPAtT Orchestra. A vinyl
recorded as part of the Never Records installation at the Liverpool Biennial was reworked in a live performance by Philip Jeck. As a solo
performer John has performed at a number of festivals and has supported
Richard Dawson, Gwenifer Raymond, Laraaji and Sun Araw. Recent gigs
have been at Kings Place, the Islington and a John Fahey Memorial night
at the Betsey Trotwood. Besides guitar-playing, McGrath has also authored
a book with Routledge entitled, "Samuel Beckett, Repetition and Modern
Music” (2018) (which has received positive reviews in The Wire and
Burning Ambulance), writes regularly on music, and lectures at University
of Surrey which is home to the International Guitar Research Centre
Soundcloud streaming link:
Free Promo Copies Physical / Digital available on request: firstname.lastname@example.org
Interviews Phone: on request