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John VanWagoner is a man of incredible musical talent hidden in the heart of Utah. Where the desert brings out the provocative ponderings of people who linger at its vistas, John brings out the soul of each song he sings. A rocker, a romantic, a freakin' rip apart lead guitarist, a voice that sings raw in its anthems or tender in its poignant poetry, John has moved a crowd to sing along, dream along, or get on its feet and dance.
Like many fine musicians, John spreads his music by playing with many local bands - Abraxis: a Tribute to Santana, Mosaic, Deuce Coupe, to his current duo show with bassist Larry Alexander, and more - John is all over the Salt Lake Valley, meeting people, making them smile, and bringing an unbelievable musical experience to everyone in the room. It has not gone unnoticed. Recently, John has played with the likes of Fergie Frederiksen of Toto, Alex Ligertwood of Santana, and Joe Bouchard of Blue Oyster Cult.
When you grow up in a musical family out in the middle of the Utah desert, playing drums and guitar is something that naturally fills your time. His brothers needed a drummer for their band - so at 12, John is playing bars. (Good thing they didn't check ID's back then.) And so it begins: the Ink Spots and Patsy Cline from his parents playlist, classic rock and roll, country, 80's big hair rock (did you see John's hair? no, it's not a toupee. Be envious, gentlemen,) rhythm and blues, current Indie trends - John has to be the most versatile player around. And he is so good. As a friend once said, "Yeah, I think you're done with Mel Bay guitar lesson book 2."
Get John behind a drum set and he is no less capable with sticks in his hand than a lead guitar. But more than a great drummer, John's master woodworking skills has led him to build his own percussion instruments, cajons. The creativity you hear in his singing and playing is apparent in these beautiful instruments he crafts by hand himself. As a degreed percussionist, John worked in traditional and folk auxiliary percussion into his concept series. Riccardo Romero of Zion Tribe and a fantastic Jazz-Latin, pop percussion player said "these are some of the finest sounding cajons I've ever played."
In the future, John hopes to get a small ensemble together to produce more of his own compositions. "Just For You", John's first CD, won him listeners all over the world. (Italians were topping the John's fan chart through CD-baby.) Currently endorsed by Burns of London, John will not stop playing - ever. It's in his blood, in his soul, in his guitar, and you better believe it - his amazing voice.