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About John - Bio

Portland, Oregon native John Bunzow has been called one of the finest roots writers-musicians on the current music scene. Producer Pete Anderson (Dwight Yoakam, Meat Puppets, Steve Forbert) said he is “…without doubt the best artist I've heard in recent times.” Chicago Tribune columnist Jack Hurst credits Bunzow with mixing “the rootsy with the revolutionary.”

John Bunzow started playing professionally while attending the University of Oregon at Eugene. Following college, he spent 20 years playing clubs throughout the northwest United States. In the process, his fusion of roots rock and blues garnered an extensive fan following. “I loved all styles of music while I was growing up,” Bunzow says. “I listened to a lot of blues and R&B, a lot of rock, Dylan and the Beatles. So I ended up playing everything from country rock to reggae.” The end result is that Bunzow's eclectic music is a melting pot of influences ranging from Dylan to Elvis Costello to Merle Haggard and Tom Waits. As a guitarist, he admired Albert King, Michael Bloomfield, Carlos Santana and country super-picker Jerry Reed. During his early years, Bunzow performed with bands that always played original music. He also did solo singer/songwriter gigs and even a country music tour of truck stops and county fairs. The artist found himself bouncing around various music scenes: San Francisco, Seattle and LA; but it was in Nashville that his songwriting created new opportunities, Bunzow says. “My focus was always as a songwriter, and that is what brought me to Nashville – twice.”

Dad, as rendered by
Jack Bunzow at age 4.

Bunzow's second Nashville sojourn resulted in a songwriting deal with EMI and a recording contract with Liberty Records (Capitol Records). His 1996 Pete Anderson-produced CD, Stories of the Years, was critically acclaimed by press and radio. Music journalists proclaimed him one of the brightest new talents on music's horizon.

The Gavin Report raved, “John Bunzow is a songwriter's songwriter and could be the catalyst in Nashville's eventual shift out of its hyper-hat mode.”

Following the Liberty Records label release, Bunzow divided his time between playing guitar for alternative country artists including Chris Knight and Allison Moorer, and writing for Famous Music. Bunzow has had his songs recorded by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Patty Loveless, and artist Jack Ingram (produced by Steve Earle/Ray Kennedy). His songs have been included in major motion pictures. As a performer, Bunzow has played Farm Aid and at the Grand Ole Opry. He has been featured in videos and programming on CMT. He has opened shows for or shared the stage with such varied acts as Leon Russell, Gregg Allman, Bruce Cockburn, John Hiatt, Patty Griffin, Kim Richey, Gov't Mule, Steve Earle, Guy Clark, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Iris Dement, Todd Snider, Rodney Crowell, Carl Perkins, Roy Clark, Allison Krauss, Porter Wagoner, Freddy Fender, Ricky Skaggs, Jim Messina, Radney Foster, Joe Diffie, Trisha Yearwood, Gillian Welch, Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young. He has toured Switzerland, Germany and England, as well as other parts of Europe. He continues to tour extensively in the Pacific Northwest. John has also played on countless recordings as a studio guitarist.

Bunzow has released a total of four CDs, all of which are available at CD Baby (click here for more information). They continue to get featured airplay in Europe and stateside. Darkness and Light, a full-band rave-up, showcases Bunzow's powerful guitar playing that fuses blues, R&B and country.

John Bunzow's most recent release is Alive at O'Connor's. Stylistically, the songs range from roots rock and R&B to modern folk rock. The production on most songs is very sparse – highlighting John's introspective writing, as well as his strong and unique vocals. This latest CD is getting extensive airplay on XM Radio (X Country) and in foreign markets including Holland, England, and Switzerland.

John currently lives and works out of Portland, Oregon. His greatest joy is spending time with his son Jack, age 12.

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