Musician Interview: John Craigie!

After this biographical statement by John, please read below for an interview.

For the past decade, John Craigie has “lived the life romantic” of a continuously touring folk-singer, taking his unique musical style across the United States and the world. A singer, songwriter and storyteller, he stays true to the essence of folk music, and the traditions of the seminal writers of our past century. With timeless melodies and insightful lyrics—interspersed with witty storytelling—his songs take many poetic turns before bringing his listeners back home. His themes range from social commentary to personal empowerment, political satire, and modern love.

John’s live performances – in private homes, cafes, festivals, and sold-out venues – inspire and delight his audiences, who welcome him like a long-lost son and return to see him whenever he visits. He has traveled around the world, having played in all 50 states and beyond, bringing his music to nearly every corner of the planet. His fans span generations, political ideologies and geographic locations, but they are all charmed by the dynamic yet humble troubadour peering out from under his signature cap.

John Craigie writes, sings, and plays for the people.


What was the process of becoming a musician like for you?

I grew up in Los Angeles surrounded by a very commercial and strange music scene. When I first started playing guitar it was hard to fully understand the creative process. It wasn’t until I got out of that city and went to college in Santa Cruz, CA that I got to see real people writing real music. It was then that I was able to tap into my true process.

Who and what have you been your influences?

I was originally influenced by Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. As I discovered more music from the folk genre I was turned on to the music of John Prine, Arlo Guthrie, Greg Brown, Todd Snider, and many other modern songwriters. My live performance is also influenced by many standup comedians like Mitch Hedburg, Brian Regan, Steve Martin, and George Carlin.

What role does geography play in your music?

Geography plays a huge role in my songwriting. Most of my songs are created and influenced by my travels and things that happen to me on the road. Also, a big part of my intention when I play is to encourage the audience to explore outside their bubble and see more of this world.

How has being from California affected your work?

It’s hard to say. I think the west coast vibe is a lot more mellow and easy-going, which are characteristics that definitely help on tour and in the awkward business side of music. Also, growing up with your back against the ocean, and it being a sort of metaphorical wall, I fell like it encourages travel and escape. Continue reading