Thanks for taking a look at some of our favorite press. If you run across any mention of JSB out there please let us know.
New Music Edge Magazine
This weeks feature is the John Sutton Band from Nashville, TN. I got a chance to sit down with these guys before a show in Lexington, KY at a favorite spot of theirs, Kitty O'sheas. My first impression of JSB left me with the feeling that they were your average hard working young band. After chatting with JSB, and especially after watching them play live, I realized that these guys are anything but average.
Sure they have experienced their share of growing pains (i.e. a bus that served as transportation which was finally laid to rest in Nashville because it simply became to costly to repair). Now they travel from city to city with a UHaul. Do they mind? Not a chance. Nothing could keep these guys from doing what they love ... and that is playing music for their fans. During the show they took control of the crowd and interacted with the audience like a group of seasoned veterans. It's no wonder they are so popular with the college crowds. You simply cannot go to a John Sutton Band show and not have a blast. When I asked them to give some advice for young struggling bands, their response was, "Play anywhere you can ... for as free as you can afford." Damn ... now that's a band that loves what they do.
Forgotten Coastline Magazine
John Sutton Band Strikes Again
By Ed Tiley.
So late last year, December 29th to be exact, I walked into Harry A's to find a really kick butt band playing. Check out the archives if you need reminding. That was the island's first exposure to the John Sutton Band. Within and hour and a half, just on word of mouth buzzing the island, they had the placed crammed.
So Thursday night I go waltzing into the A's, looking for one of these wonderful, and cheap burritos they do, and who is it setting up to play? Yup, the John Sutton Band. Put on your party hat! This is the third time JSB has played the area now, and they just keep getting better. You wouldn't think three guys could kick up such a cloud of dust, but they do. These guys have more energy on stage then you've seen in a long time. With an interesting mix of covers and solid original tunes, these guys know how to rock it down and get people coming in the door.
The Murray State News
Nashville Artist To Play Murray
By Marci Owen.
Although the band has released two albums, Sutton said he and band members have not practiced in years. "I'll just play something for them before we get on stage and just try and wing it. I like that method because sometimes the band takes it in a direction I hadn't thought of when I was writing it."
Although many musicians are shopping record deals, Sutton says he prefers to sit back and see what happens. "My focus is grass-roots promotion," Sutton said. "Who really wants a record deal if you have to beg for it. They know who you are and what you are doing."
... Sutton says he enjoys playing small college towns. "It's tough to grab a loyal following in big cities."
Because his band's performances rely on improvisation, Sutton said he was not sure if his songs would ever be Radio-friendly. "Some songs will be. Lately we've been getting quite a bit of college radio play." ...
The John Sutton Band “Going Places”
By Rod Kilbourn
Every great once in awhile, you come upon a band that is talented enough, dedicated enough, and unique enough to just have to tell people about it. This is most certainly one of those times. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the “John Sutton Band”.
I had been hearing great things about this Nashville based touring band for a couple of years and finally on Halloween Night, of all nights, I finally got a chance to catch a show right here on beautiful Saint George Island, Florida, at a local favorite hang out and party spot called “Eddy Teach’s“. ( Another story in itself, and hopefully will be forthcoming here on Beat Magazine). I can write to you from personal experience, but I must mention that I had heard about this band that was SO tight, and SO entertaining, and had also heard of beautiful girls fawning over John and literally dancing on the tables at Teach’s…and SO… I thought I might grab up my good friend and band mate “Smokin’ Joe Brown” (after a few toddies of course…) and go see for myself, because “SMOKIN’ JOE”… was where I was getting most of my information from… SO! We threw a few back and off we were!
Again, bear in mind it was Halloween night, and I had made the rounds with the kiddies, and also decided to bring my son John along with me so that he could experience a live show in the raw with Ol’ Dad…
When we arrived, the first thing that I noticed was that the band was in full costume. John was a “Pancho Villa” type character, and pulling it off very well, Rick Reese (Bass Virtuoso) was actually cross dressed (so to speak) between a dragon and a bumble bee…( Check out the interview following this article for the details…) while Drummer Rob Garrett, also known as Black Rob came in jean shorts and a tee shirt…OF COURSE…(those dang drummers…)
So now that I’ve painted you a picture, on to the music…
“THERE IS NO DEAD AIR AT A JOHN SUTTON BAND SHOW!” They start playing and just don’t stop! Not withstanding the occasional humorous quip from John, it is nonstop “Groove”. John moves with the groove, Rob is right in the pocket and Rick Reese…RICK! He is probably one of the finest bass players I have seen and I mean that literally. At any given point in the show, he lays down on his six pack abs and puts his bass on the floor and plays a bass solo that kills!
Side note: During one of the breaks I asked Rick to give my son Jon who is an aspiring musician, some words of encouragement. Rick spent virtually his entire break conversing with my son. Needless to say Jon and I both were very impressed. Speaks to the character of the man. (Break time is precious for a musician).
Rather than going on and on, I’ll let the interviews that follow speak for themselves. But I must mention that the Band played over 160 dates in 2010, and plan to be even more busy in 2011. They bring a perfect mixture of originals and covers to the stage with that perfect groove. And if I had been a beautiful girl that night, I would have been dancing on the tables too. All that I had heard about how tight they were was definitely true. (Thanks Joe Brown).
John is a prolific songwriter, and has several CDs to his credit over the past 12 years which I can respect, being a songwriter myself. And as you’ll see in the two separate interviews with Rick and John, these guys are TOTALLY dedicated to their craft and their profession. Very hard to find individual musicians that can measure up to that these days much less all in one band. Supreme talent, love for music, dedication, hard work, love for live performing, great songwriting, drive to succeed… I could goon and on. But trust me, that is so hard to find today. I love Power Trios…But it is so hard to pull off unless you have that unique combination of attributes. Having said all that, and short of an act of congress… ( Tha’ Bastards) … “The John Sutton Band” is going places, both figuratively and literally.
Checkout these most interesting interviews with John and Rick.
Interview with John Sutton, Frontman/Guitar, By Rod Kilbourn of Beat Magazine
Rod Kilbourn* Why "The John Sutton Band" as opposed to a "Band" name?
John Sutton* EGO!!! Just playin'. :) It started out as several band names back in the beginning over 12 years ago. Then as people quit, moved on, etc. it always felt like I was starting over with new names. I was playing around Nashville doing solo acoustic shows then as I started adding dif friends in on dif nights I just started calling it John Sutton Band so my friends would know if I was solo or with a 'make shift' band. It has worked out because, as is the way of Nashville, I have had several line up changes and the name recognition never takes a hit. Funny you asked this because it is always a concern of mine that I am not seen as an arrogant front man with the band named after him. Anyway ...
Rod Kilbourn* I noticed on your artist page that you have recorded more than a few songs, are you the songwriter of the group, or do Rick and Rob contribute also?
John Sutton* I do the writing. I am a songwriter to my core. It's what I love to do and is totally my outlet. Live performance is what my total passion is but I need writing for my vent. Both good and bad venting. :) I do write with others on occasion but write JSB music about my world. These songs hit home to me in one way or another. Rick and Rob both have never really brought up songwriting but I think that is more attributed to knowing who I am and what writing means to me.
Rod Kilbourn* I'm a big fan of your music, what are you trying to accomplish through your originals?
John Sutton* Thank you!!! The numbers are not a huge deal to us. Our goal or 'mission statement', if you will, is to **be able to play anywhere we want, for folks who have shown up to see us play 'our' music ... and sing along and become apart of it!!!!** In my opinion you can only truly create this kind of connection with the crowd with your own music. It really establishes your sound and who you are like no other. Getting our music out is our biggest goal.
Rod Kilbourn* Who were your major musical influences growing up, and who do you like on today's music scene?
John Sutton* I personally didn't grow up with a huge music perspective. I listened to rap music in mid and high school. In college started to see the light when I got my first guitar at 22. Around the same time I fell in love with Big Head Todd & the Monsters and tried to copy Todd Park Mohr's guitar style. He and Stevie Ray were my first guitar influences. Now I am a fan of all kinds of folks. Guitar is def Joe Bonnamassa. Songwriters are Ani Difranco, Ray LaMontagne, ... Singers are Michael Buble', Beyonce'. All around package would be John Mayer and Warren Haynes of Gov't Mule. My Favorite band right now is by far JJ Grey & Mofro out of Jacksonville, FL!!! They are amazing live and on CD.
Rod Kilbourn* Where can fans go to purchase your music?
John Sutton* Website is the best place to start.
From here they can find hard disc or download links for purchasing from a number of dif sites like iTunes, rhapsody, CDbaby, ... Also, on our website we always have a bunch of our older or live music people can download for free. Rick does our website and is real great at it.
Rod Kilbourn* Do you prefer writing and recording, or live performance?
John Sutton* Live performance is my one and only MAIN love. Rob and Rick are the same way. We love and need the stage. As mentioned earlier I also do love writing. I will be honest though, I hate the recording process. I don't have the patience for it but it is obviously a necessary part of the 'whole' process.
Rod Kilbourn* Give me the band lineup, and some brief thoughts on your band mates.
John Sutton* Rick Reese (Bass Guitar) -- My thoughts on Rick are very simple. He will become a legend in the bass world as our band grows. He is that good!!! It's just a matter of time. ..... Rob Garrett (Drums / vocals) -- Amazing drummer and amazing singer. His harmony vocs have added so much to our live sound. He calls himself a pocket player (which he does beautifully) but he brings so much more than that. Never has a J.S.B. line-up contributed so much to forming it's own sound. When folks ask me to describe our band I say we are a 'rhythm section heavy band'. We all groove together to create our sound. I love these guys and this sound.
Rod Kilbourn* If you had to be put into a "Box" musically speaking, how would you consider your style of music? Rock, Reggae, Jam...etc...
John Sutton* A Funky Groove!!! A little rock, reggae, blues, and soul!!! Albums lean more soulful rock. Live leans more funky blues.
Rod Kilbourn* Where is your band based, and how many dates a year do you do?
John Sutton* We are based out of Nashville, TN and we played 168 shows in 2010. We are shooting for even more this year!!! We love to play and be on the road!!!
Rod Kilbourn* Do you make your living strictly from playing and recording music? If so, how did you come about making that decision?
John Sutton* I do make my living off of my music. It has been a long 12 year process and has been the goal since the beginning. Started out full time work with part time music. Then Full time music and part time work (for many years). Now the past couple years, when I'm not traveling, I wake up every morning and get on the phone and computer and start booking gigs and promoting shows. I love every part of this business. At least 100 days out of the year you gotta forget you are a musician and wear the hat of promoter and booking agent. Would rather be a musician 365, but ya do what ya gotta do to keep busy baby!!!
Rod Kilbourn* I know you are a family man... tell me about your kids, and what they mean to you... are they into music as well?
John Sutton* I have two kids. A son 18 (Levi) and a daughter 12 (Reagan). They are both amazing and love what I do for a living. They look at this like Dad's work (even though it never feels like work to me). :) The one draw back to this business is def the time away from them. It's been apart of our lives for so long that we are certainly use to it, but it is hard to be gone. My son can pick pretty good and my daughter loves to sing. She is just starting to play guitar a little but right now it is just a fun thing to do with dad. They are both more way into sports more then music.
Rod Kilbourn* I know you guys play several dates a year on Saint George, any thoughts on Eddy Teach's, and the Island?
John Sutton* I have been playing St. George Island for 11 years. It was one of my first regular road gigs. Vicki and Jim at Eddy Teach's have been so amazing to us. They are real supportive of what we do and let us come in and play whenever our schedule brings us down south. Couldn't ask for a better place to play on an island. And I love SGI. The locals have really taken me in and been so supportive of our music. Truly grateful for the friends I have made. Plan on spending a lot of time there over the next 40 years.