Genre: Southern Roots Rock
Austin, Texas USA
Comes at you with full-forced Southern-infused Americana Roots Rock with a soul strung voice, signature raunchy guitars, wailing organs, epic hooks, clever lyrics and superb story-telling. His distinctive sound embraces multiple eras and genres, including blues, rock, country, folk, Americana and jazz, all of which he is well-versed. The Rock and Roll Report says “for only a second solo release, John Gaar has created something in Brighter Side of Maybe that will be hard to top,” – and gave it 5 out of 5 stars.
From Whence He Came:
Southern Roots, Southern Soul.
John Gaar was born and raised in the midst of the magical music melting pot of Louisiana. He picked up the guitar at 13 and was playing gigs in smalltown, smoke-filled bars by the time he was 16. From that point on it became all about the music and how it made him feel - and how he could make others feel deep into their souls through his own singing and playing. It was at 18 he had the choice to go on the road with a band, or go to college on a music scholarship -- John chose the road and hasn't looked back!
In 1981 John's first real taste of R&B, Soul, Southern Roots, Americana, Blues, and Zydeco music was a two-year stint with his brother, Red Hot recording artist, Burton Gaar, with Zydeco-musician, Rockin' Sydney - best known for his grammy-award winning hit crossover song, "My Toot Toot." John then next toured throughout the South with two bands, one a seven-piece R&B horn band, and the other a New Orleans groove band. Then he landed a gig with Miss Molly and the Passions, a ballsy, foul-mouthed, bull-whip-toting band from Lake Charles, LA, that was voted Houston's No. 1 Band -- three years running.
After three years with the Passions, John's circumstances forced him to move to the Bay Area where he had to deal with culture shock, a deference of musical attitudes, and no money -- so he played every gig he could get his hands on in the area. By 1993 it was time to re-up on his "Southerness", so John moved back to the South (after four years in California) and headed first to Tulsa, then to Nashville, and then finally back to Louisiana, where he landed a gig with Blind Pig recording artist, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, a rockin' Zydeco Blues band.
John toured the US and Europe 250 dates a year for the next four years with Carrier. Then John decided to "get off the bus and stay awhile," by going back to the Bay Area to play, put his own band together, record his own songs and have a lot of fun doing what he loves! After much success with his own band, including being selected for the Monterey Blues Festival after the band was just 5 months old, John decided to pick up and move to Austin, Texas to further his career goals in the land that he loves -- the South! First up was recording and touring his acclaimed 2004 titled Bittersweet Success debut album that introduced his style to the world and his latest album, 2011's Brighter Side of Maybe, brings it to new heights.
John has emerged from his journey so far to find that doing his own thing is the right thing to do! From his incredibly soulful guitar playing to his unmistakably talented and unique voice to page after page of skillfully penned songs and his southern charm -- and you have John Gaar, a true and consummate player and showman.
2011 ~ Brighter Side of Maybe ~ Jango Bleaux Records (John Gaar)
2004 ~ Bittersweet Success ~ Jango Bleaux Records (John Gaar)
John Appears On:
Burton Gaar ~ Fried Grits & Greens (2010)
Red Archibald ~ Everything I Got (2001)
Chubby Carrier ~ Too Hot to Handle (1999)
Burton Gaar ~ Still Singing the Blues (1996)
Rockin' Sydney ~ The Other Woman (1983)
John Gaar Awards
Awarded honorable mention by Billboard Magazine as one of top new songwriters for the song, "Memphis", on CD release "Bittersweet Success".
Bittersweet Success selected for Starbuck’s “Hear Music” program.
Bittersweet Success selected for “America’s Best Independent Artist” program, representing rockin’ blues and awarded nationwide distribution at Target stores, selling 30,000 cds.