How could you be so blind? You haven’t heard of JP Corwyn? You haven’t seen him live? You haven’t heard his music? How embarrassing for you. Really, though. It’s ok. You’re in the right place. For JP, the rationale for the blind jokes is, well, reasonable. He is legally blind. Born with a degenerative condition, he has been legally blind since birth, with the shades pulling ever tighter throughout his as-yet-brief-but-potent life. This makes his genre tag of Blind Indie Rock make more sense. Otherwise, he’d just be sort of pretentious and snarky, but not in the fun depraved sit-com way. Corwyn’s vocal-driven indie rock style is infectious, reminiscent of Toad the Wet Sprocket’s Glen Phillips co-writing songs with Angie Aparo that get snatched by Adam Levine of Maroon 5, with occasional stomps into Creed and Pearl Jam-esque electric anthem territory.
Once and always a New Yorker, Corwyn was born on Long Island, and now makes his home and home base in Tampa, Florida after spending several post-high school years in Washington, D.C. He sang before he spoke and declared his musical vocation when he was 5 years old. His family was thrilled. Sarcasm. Their reticence would have been justified, if JP’s musical talent and gift for genuine emotional connection had not been so pronounced. His desire to draw a crowd and love of the electricity found in the performance experience is a through-line in his success, as is his love of story. Story is king in Corwyn’s music. Story telling is more important than a clever lyric, and true listening is more important than feet tapping. Most often, the story is of triumph, survival, some form of powering through, and, during conversation, the inevitable: blind jokes. The really offensive, really funny ones.
On vocals and acoustic guitar, Corwyn has helmed an EP and two full-length albums thus far in his career. Original songs + story focus + Multi-platinum Producer Michael Seifert = YAY! That was the formula that called forth the full-length album In Plain Sight in 2006. In 2013; Corwyn has teamed up with Gold-winning engineer and producer David Pezza at Clear Track Studios in Clearwater, FL, for the full length "Listening From the Outside", which is releasing in March, 2013. Both records find JP feeling akin to hero/heinous drunk Jeff Buckley, in that, “I never wanted to be a solo artist, but I could never find the band I wanted to be a part of. So I became a solo artist and ended up finding the band I’d always wanted to join.” In Plain Sight is an expansion of his 4-song EP debut, and gave him his first real opportunity to go full-tilt band and balls on previously tender coffee house tunes. His courage and vision seriously enriched his relationship with his fans, giving them the fullness of sound that they had been waiting for and returning to him the wave of their recognition after which he had lusted.
High on the tide but hungry for more, Corwyn has moved his studio vision forward into
Listening From the Outside. Due out March, 2013, Listening From the Outside is a thematic play on his lack keen-eyed grace - it isn't like he's looking fromt eh outside - and an atempt to let his fans hear the proverbial voices in his head, rather than just the ones he can provide them live: with only his guitar and his voice. Working with David Pezza; the pair have grounded JP’s sound more firmly in the acoustic side of indie rock and post-grunge, and affirmed the greater maturity of Corwyn's songwriting. With a richness of subtlety and elegance in the production, Corwyn’s soaring clarion voice has been given ample room to shine through. The first single from LFO (Listening From the Outside) is the release of “I Am the Fire” on March 5th, 2013. Prepare to have your eyes opened. Pun.
JP Corwyn isn’t quite “Stevie Wonder blind”, or “Ronnie Milsap blind”. But then, those icons would have made music regardless of what their eyes were capable of. Maybe they did it a little better than those who can see; maybe their intuition is stronger and their sense of the click-click-clicking of the world around them is more keen. JP Corwyn makes excellent music, of which you should really be aware, without his eyes, and with his hands, and with his mouth, and with his mind, and his hips, and his spine, and his legs and fingers and toes and nerves.
Yep, he’s blind. But he’s hardly unaware. So why should you be?