Jonathan is a highly talented performer, whom we're proud to bring you in our 2013 Faerie Festival Special, SP37. You can hear his evocative Celtic track Andrasta from his superlative album Bizarre Tales in this show. Check out the powerful sounds of The Green Man from the same album in our Episode SP40, Druid Special #2.
"'Too medieval to be folk; too folk to be rock; too rock to be medieval...!'
Jonathan is a guitarist/songwriter originally from Yorkshire in northern England but now based on the south coast. Although known in various areas for his rock playing, he has quietly been applying his talents to an altogether different sound.
His debut album "Bizarre Tales" (released in 2012) is a serene blend of strong, traditional Celtic and folk sounds together with classical and rock influences. Although some of his material could be related to the folkier moments of rock giants such as Led Zeppelin, Rush or Jethro Tull, this does not fully quantify the complete spectrum of his sound. Intertwining guitar parts maintain a curiously ethereal feeling of mysticism with pieces that move through a variety of emotions."
Like many people, Jonathan’s musical journey really began whilst in his early teens. He had already developed a keen taste for the varied and timeless music of the Beatles but with the aggression and dark angst of many a teenager soon started experimenting with stronger, more aggressive music in the forms of rock and heavy metal. An auspicious start for someone playing the acoustic music he has become known for but it still forms an integral part of his musical landscape.
“When I was a kid I used to love my dad’s old Beatles records and would play them endlessly. It was really through listening to their later material that I moved on to start listening to bands such as Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Megadeth and a whole raft of other hard rock and heavy metal. For a young lad, the music was so powerful and intense…mesmerising and dark. As I grew, naturally, I took on influences from many classical and traditional sources but to this day, I still maintain a huge passion for rock.”
In his early 20s, Jonathan relocated for a number of years to Somerset in the Southwest of the UK. This was quite a rural area and provided his first insight into folk and Celtic style music.
“Whilst living in Somerset, I took lessons from the renowned guitarist and tutor Tom Toomey. At that time Tom had just released a Celtic folk album “Iron on Stone” with Simon Swarbrick, Roger Frost and John Burton and it was through him that I was introduced to some of the traditional pieces played on guitar. Many of these tunes shared the intricate melodies or ominous, dark flowing passages of the music I already enjoyed so it was easy to immerse myself in the music further.”
Since this time, Jonathan has continued teaching and playing both in rock and acoustic styles.
“It was in 2009 I decided to try and create something further from my acoustic playing. I’d initially been inspired by my tutor Tom’s work and had thought to create something in that vein. As I started working with the music though, I found it very difficult to remain within the confines of the traditional styles and soon found myself integrating aspects from classical, blues, rock and even heavy metal music.”
Jonathan has 3 albums available.