John McGrath

Guitarist, Sound-artist, PhD & Author

Album Out June 1st


"McGrath is like a jeweler, crafting small but perfectly formed pieces that tempt you to pick them up and hold them to the light, just to get a better glance."

Bill Meyer, Dusted Magazine

"His experimental approach, reminiscent of Jim O’Rourke, pushes at the boundaries of new guitar music and the UK avant folk scene."
The Wire

"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."
The Skinny

“his clutch of haunted icy soundscapes sounds very much like wandering around half-remembered wintry dreams.” 

Bido Lito!

"like Bert Jansch remixed by Four Tet, combining extraordinary technical mastery with warm drones and harmonic effects." 

The Cube

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 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 (IGRC).

Soundcloud streaming link:

Free Promo Copies Physical / Digital available on request:





Interviews Phone: on request