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About John Swerdan

Berkeley, CA

Sometimes an artist creates because the supply of art he most admires has run out and he is therefore compelled to make more of it for himself. John Swerdan is such an artist and fan. In the sequel to his well-received 2003 debut StartupSounds – an audio paean to the Mac computer that got coverage on TechTV and many other places – Swerdan takes his love for the kind of melodic songwriting and recording invented by the Beatles and Brian Wilson into the studio, and crafts a cornucopia of sound.

In keeping with John’s passions, the songs on Vinyl Wings Of Joy are a virtual tour of the 1960s music landscape. From the levitating vocals of “On The Surface Of The Moon” to the pounding Revolver-esque guitars of “Must Be The Weather”, the listener is transported from track to track experiencing sounds which are familiar yet blatantly original. Old fashioned irony is explored in “BTW Have You Noticed My New Hair” while the title tune’s bizarro lyric refrain is set to a hauntingly hip backing track that rightfully escalates into Beatle soup. Many of the tracks have multi-layered vocals – “Keep Up With The Times” is a virtual love letter to Brian Wilson. After scaling this invigorating stack-o-tracks, the program finishes with a sad but sweet solo vocal and guitar ballad entitled “Ashes”.

Vinyl Wings Of Joy was produced by Grammy nominated musicologist Alec Palao, who also plays on the lion's share of the album. Alec is the perfect foil for John's head-in-the-clouds songwriting and, with the assistance of drummer John Kent (formerly of the Loved Ones), wrestles the instrumental tracks to the ground making sure they’re ready to rock. Recorded at the inimitable Wally Sound in Oakland, the eleven tracks of Vinyl Wings Of Joy guarantee a splendid time for all.

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Portrait of John Swerdan
John Swerdan