johnstaples 20


Chicago USA   Jan 2013  

Artist Bio

Influences:   Americana, Country, Folk, Rock (John Prine, Neil Young, Jethro Tull, Gillian Welch)

** my album cover is a photo of a Syrian refugee child living in Jordan **
** we should Choose Love instead of banning refuges **

2017 will be my 5th FAWM! I am so excited to write some songs and listen to those of all my favorite FAWMers!

Finally getting around to publishing my first album! Well, actually, it will likely be a couple of albums because I have some country stuff and some rock stuff that don't play well together!

Here are several that will be on the CDs!

Burn the Ground

Paper Flowers

Taking Me Down

Just Passing Through

Burn it Down

Holding On To Our Dreams (Coming Back)
I live in the Chicago area, previously from the San Francisco Bay area and originally from western Kentucky! I love John Prine and Led Zeppelin, Gillian Welch and Pink Floyd, New Grass Revival and Yes, Neil Young and Jethro Tull, Dolly and Taylor and Gaga and Amy and Madonna and Tammy, Willie and Waylon and Hank and Johnny and Merle and George, Elvis and Pearl Jam, the Jackson 5 and Michael, Prince and Jimi, the early Beatles and the later Beatles! There is very little music I don't like!

I use Reaper on Windows for my DAW. I record mostly with a Zoom H4n handheld digital recorder using its multi-track mode so I can lay down several layers.

I play guitar, tenor guitar, baritone guitar, fiddle, mandolin and banjo.

🎀 🎧 🎼 🎹 πŸ₯ 🎷 🎺 🎸 🎻


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  • @pcob1993  May 18

    John, I have recently been in the wars and then some.....
    But as soon as some decent American citizen votes with a Police .38 Special to end presidential impeachment issues I will put new strings on my five-string banjo and head down to the nearet bar to sing a song of praise.... To the salt of the earth....
    Love you bubba. ..always did

  • @lvgd09 May 8

    Hi John, I just heard your entire FAWM via download and mp3 player. You did a fantastic job! I liked all of the songs. Very solid guitar, lyrics, and vocals throughout. You certainly are consistent. I hope you get a break someday my friend. Nice work on this tremendous FAWM.

  • @lvgd09 May 8

    Hi John, I am currently downloading the last five songs now. I'll stick these on my mp3 player and when I do my exersise, give them a good listen. I'll get back to you and let you know what I thought of your effort this year. That said, I already know it's good. I go by the artist when I buy records, and you are pretty good. Up front though, I'm poor and don't have a job. But I sure like your music. Yeah, so next week I'll drop some comments on your songs. Thanks, John.

  • @lvgd09 May 7

    Hi John, well, SoundCloud is pretty popular with people but I don't like it much myself. I think it's fair to say that FAWM does not support jukebox anymore, anyway. I use to comment a lot from hearing songs on the jukebox. I miss that feature.

    I have downloaded the first 14 songs on your list. Tomorrow I'll grab the rest and give all a good listen.

    John, not stroking ego here, but you are probably the only member in the group that actually might have a chance with the music. It's my honest opinion. Keep up the good work. When you get signed they will make you quit FAWM....pretty sure.

  • @lvgd09 May 6

    Hi John, I downloaded some more of your songs today. You know, just personal entertainment use. Most people don't understand that when they use "SoundCloud" we don't get to download, and can never really evaluate the songs more than the one play, and then totally forget. Later I'll let you know what songs I have of your from previous challenges.

    Good news: My arm is getting better and I started playing guitar this week. I have to stand or put the guitar on my left knee when I play. Actually, the left knee is the correct knee for playing guitar sitting down. I've always put the guitar on my right Hope you're good? Thanks.

  • @lvgd09 May 6

    Hi John, yes biab is the short version of Band In A Box. I've been using that program for years. The best part is you can drag the midi straight into your Daw either full or separate. For example, If I have a biab project but only want to use the midi drums. all you have do is a very siple two step drag and drop into your DAW and you have a midi drums track. Same is true if you wanted, for example, just the bass part.

    I wanted to ask you something too. Your Zoom. You mentioned some time ago that you do all of your recording on that device. I have similar device called the DR40. Do you think you could give me a tutorial on how to do this? Currently, all I do is just record with mine live, and have never taken full advantage of the 4 tracks at all. Not saying I need this now but perhaps in the 5090 forum a short tutorial on how to multitrack with a handheld recorder. Thanks John.

    Side note: I downloaded your first five or six songs but haven't heard them yet. I will try t

  • @metalfoot  May 6

    We do strange things for skirmishes. I have only myself to blame for Bob. I set the theme as "palindrome" and decided to push the idea of palindrome to its logical breaking point!

  • @lvgd09 May 5

    Hi John, just stopping by to say "hey".

    Eventually, I will be listening to all of these songs you've done here in FAWM this year. I'll probably download though and listen on mp3 player = maybe not comment. Even if I don't comment I always like your stuff. Your comments are doing really good so one more may not matter to you. But I listen to some of your older stuff I downloaded....those are cool too.

    Quick Side note: I have a bum arm and trying to get it back. That's why I just couldn't do anything In FAWM this year. When you can't play it's kind of hard to be a cheerleader.

  • @driftwood1  Mar 22

    Thanks for the info. I have always been hesitant to buy an acoustic instrument sight unseen, but you don't see a lot of baritones in local stores. Hopefully next year I can join you in the deep.

  • @petemurphy  Mar 15

    John, thanks. I think I have an idea what it might be. I pay for the FAWM hosting every year, but I use dropbox anyway, as I'm so familiar with it. I know that they're phasing out the public folder in dropbox, so it may be a result of that. I'll have to use the FAWM hosting from next year onwards. It's no big problem. I'm still happy to listen and comment without receiving any back. I've had plenty of comments this year!
    I hope you're well.

  • @michaelepic Mar 10

    You're too kind, John. Thank you very much for the comment you have left on my song "Girl Bye"! That was really nice of you! 😁

  • @ihelen  Mar 9

    Thanks for commenting on my Remembrance song - you're right - I also notice that most of my songs are tinged with sadness. Not sure why. Unless I really make an effort to write in a major key and keep it that way, I tend to slip into the minors. Maybe I like the way they sound. πŸ˜€

  • @fearlessflight2014  Mar 8

    Hey there John, I'm finally getting some hasty audio up at last including my very first skirmish we shared this year 'Choose Love'. You asked to hear it so here it is. πŸ˜€

  • @hrafns Mar 6

    when and where can I buy your CD?

  • @braintwang Mar 5

    Hi John. Someone told me I should respond directly on people's soundboards, thought then it's out of context and I have to reference my comment. In regard to your comment on my song, Gotta Put You Down: Wow, thank you! Yes, I'm playing slide, or trying. Glad you like it. Still (always) working on it. I mess around, but bringing it into my songwriting is new. Thanks for the kind words!

    Anyway, I really dig your songs, singing, and playing. You're a good songwriter. I think I left something more specific before. Keep up the great work!

  • @dancrook Mar 5

    Thanks John!

  • @audrey  Mar 5

    Thank you for your kind comment on 'Christmas Memories'. It's much appreciated.

  • @chandra83  Mar 4

    Thanks for your feedback! <3 πŸ˜€

  • @paulharrison  Mar 4

    Thanks so much for your encouraging comments on "San Francisco," John!

  • @zxcvbnm  Mar 4

    Thanks for your comment on Martin Luther King song, we have our own problems over here and I was a bit reluctant to "fingerpoke" in the politics of another country. I made an exception for Trump though.

  • @emplate Mar 4

    Hey, thanks for your comment on "The Gift", I really appreciate it! πŸ˜€ And I'm happy if I was able to create a frantic atmosphere with the song!

  • @chipwithrow  Mar 3

    Hi! I tried to listen to a few of your songs and they wouldn't play. I tried downloading but was only able to listen to a few seconds. (Both problems could have been issues with my ancient computer.) I'll keep checking back - I want to hear what you've been up to!

  • @zecoop  Mar 3

    I could write a three page thank you... but you already know how much I appreciate you on FAWM. Awesome music that I love (even at *sometimes* opposite ends of the musical spectrum) and an even better person to have around. I definitely am always glad you are here!
    (and yea..... that person right below me too). πŸ˜€

  • @piney  Mar 3

    Thank you soooooo much! Wow!

  • @zecoop  Mar 2

    I've got so much catching up to do... The ones I heard from you are (as always) so well done and I enjoyed them a ton. My watchlist to the hit in my listening this year, in favor of fawmlings and new discoveries. Be sure that I'l be getting to a lot more this weekend. πŸ˜€

    So, to answer your question....
    This is the song i think i am most proud of from just about any fawm for many reasons:
    Broken Carousel (written by Piney and then full band-ed by me)

    Also proud of this one, as it is another collaboration with my dad's lyrics (and I played my trombone, lol) (and actually sang)
    Basement Band

    Then... for days/weeks down the line, next up would be:
    Northern Lights
    Market Square

    How about you? Give me a couple! (except 5, 13, 20). Actually I know I listened to 1 early, but apparently never officially commented. That was a blockbuster for you

  • @johncrossman  Mar 2

    Just stopped by to say what I would bet I said last year - you have been such a positive fawm-force again this year! You're unstoppable! But who would want to try! That's all, carry on with your awesome joy-spreading self... πŸ˜€

  • @joyfulbliss22  Mar 1

    Thank you so much.

  • @songsville  Mar 1

    Heh heh, nerves of steel, I clicked with about one and half seconds to go ... πŸ˜€

  • @sw1n3flu  Mar 1

    Thanks for you kind comments on "We/re Great Again". To think.... I nearly forgot about this one entirely, came across it this morning when listening back through voice memos.

  • @sheilerk  Mar 1

    What a good feeling that was getting your note on my soundboard. Thank you! I feel exactly the same!

  • @sapient  Feb 28

    Blimey - the lack of colour on your song list tells me that I've not yet listened to any of your from this month yet... 😏
    This changes - right now! 😁

  • @letterafterz Feb 28

    Thanks for the kind words man. Appreciate it πŸ˜€

  • @musicbykatie Feb 28

    Just made it harder for you to keep your promise πŸ˜‰

  • @tiller2  Feb 27

    Hi, John, you asked to know when I had a demo for my One Day You'll Understand lyric. It's posted and I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks.

  • @tootoobee  Feb 26

    John, thanks so much for your kind comments on my songs! I need to catch up with commenting in March ...

  • @hmorg Feb 26

    Thank you for your kind comment on "MissΓ€ taivas maata suutelee"! I was aiming for something like the opening track of the collaborative album "A Black Sea" by The Lion's Daughter and Indian Blanket, in terms of progression, and while I think I missed that mark completely, I managed to create something quite good anyway.

  • @heidiserwer  Feb 26

    Congratulations on continuing past the finish line, John! You are an inspiration! Just listened to "Rain and Fire." It's a great tune with such a lovely melody!

  • @darkmantle  Feb 25

    Thank you for picking up on the Lodi nod! First one to mention it! hahaha

  • @sheilerk  Feb 25

    Thank you so much for your comments on the Non-traditional pets song. I was worried it would come off heavy handed. I wanted to do your skirmish, but I wasn't able to. Hope to jump in on the next one πŸ˜€

  • @sunnymae  Feb 25

    Oh my gosh John thank you thank you so much. And I just made the song downloadable for you so go back and grab it if you'd like. It would please me no end. The prompt was so inspiring so we will have you to thank for the outcome. You kind of are our favorite Skirmish Rockstar host and I know a bunch of us couldn't wait to work with you again. I'm already having separation anxiety from this amazing Community it's a hard trip to come off of. Congratulations on hitting 14 woohoo!! Hugs at yaβ™‘β™‘

  • @kathym  Feb 25

    (((((((((((((((((((((((((((John)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) for the precious feedback on skirmish. I knew I didn't want to miss your slot if I could help it. There have been a lot of great superskirmish prompts this time around. Sometimes there are tons that are just off the wall. I'll be referring to the prompts list long after this fawm is over. But, thank you so much for the support on this one. I hope it won't be too hard to make friends with it and let it reveal itself to me fully.

  • @tiller2  Feb 25

    thanks John, you expressed very well what I was trying to say in my take on "One Day You'll Understand." Thanks for the great prompt, which touched a nerve in me, fortunately in a productive way. I'll let you know when I have a tune.

  • @angelinapowersuit Feb 23

    Thanks so much John for your kind feedback on "Let Him Live!" In an ideal world my vocals would be soulful and strong, I was imagining a Negro spiritual kind of delivery, but unfortunately this white girl doesn't have those kind of lungs. . . so I just went with what I got. Glad you like the lyrics too, i wasn't sure it would be effective from his nannan's perspective. I'm actually going to try to record another one today, wish me luck!

  • @ponygal1961 Feb 23

    @johnstaples Thank you so so much for your wonderful and kind review of 'Rearview mirror'! I truly appreciate you taking the time to listen and am blown away by your positive feedback. β™‘ I haven't been a prolific FAWMer this year, but this one is enough. Thanks again my friend!

  • @metalfoot  Feb 23

    Go check out my demo of Off You Go (John Version) on @jaegerin's page, if you would...

  • @majordanby  Feb 23

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving encouraging comments, we are all very busy cranking out tunes and trying to listen into others.

    I love your style, it fits right in with my record collection. I've just written a country picker we hope to record in the next couple of days. There's another that we need to wrestle away from its current reggae feel.

  • @writeandwrong  Feb 23

    Damn, look at you go, John! Need to check out whatcha been up to! I'm way behind on comments, but I'll get there!!!

  • @abudabard12514  Feb 22

    Dude! John Staples! Yes!!

    I'm hosting a FAWM open mic and extravaganza this Saturday in the North Burbs for Chicago and Chicagoland Fawmers to showcase their work over the last few weeks! It's The 25th (This Saturday) in Glencoe!

    Proceeds and donations will benefit Ukulele Kids Club (Healing through music therapy in children's hospitals, great group doing excellent work) and FAWM itself!

    Here's the deets!

    Hope you can attend, and bring that Ukulele. I'll have my tenor with me, you can bet on it!

  • @cynthiawolff  Feb 21

    The song Where is the man (that I married) is up...
    Please let me know how you would like me to label it and how I should add you as a collaborator...there is room for only one person on the collab...Hope you like it...It turned out different than planned and my recording technique is very rough...thanks so much...xxxc

  • @cynthiawolff  Feb 21

    Your song Rough Patch has inspired another song...not a sequel, but more of the wife's point of view...of a marriage gone wrong. Wish I had all the cool slide guitar lol! but my little plunky uke will have to suffice...they ran out of money and had to sell the slide guitar as well!!
    thanks John...Happy Tuesday...

  • @michaelepic Feb 21

    John, I can't thank you enough for your endlessly generous comment on "My Stache" and I am pleased that you approve of a song about facial hair πŸ˜€

  • @jwhanberry  Feb 21

    Thanks for listening to my various superskirmish ramblings this past weekend. I appreciate your carefully crafted comments. Thanks for taking the time.
    It was great fun playing with you and the other FAWMers for all those hours. Have a great week.

  • @atitlan Feb 20

    Thanks for your comment. Somehow songs always turn out positive if I start from a reggae base. I'm quite happy with how this one turned out.

  • @spunky4455 Feb 20

    Thanks for the compliments on my Ice song. Was my first skirmish, and if I'm lucky I'll find time to do one or two more by the end of the month.

  • @ductapeguy  Feb 20

    Thank you for the encouraging, thoughtful comments on my song, Walls.

  • @kathym  Feb 18

    <3 on Love of My Life. I hope it comes across as parental love and not something oedipal. Josh has a lot on his shoulders and deals with it all well and I appreciate all that he does for others as he tries to keep his own stuff done. I guess we're a lot alike that way, too, but we have a small family, so we cover a lot of ground. I am so far behind on soundboards and reciprocal listening, but planning on doing some catching up over the weekend. I'll be popping in to hear what you've been up to.

  • @kovbleu  Feb 17

    Awww, thank you for your kind words, John!!

  • @toms  Feb 16

    Some songs are bound to a time, place, or event, and that's just fine. πŸ˜€

  • @toms  Feb 16

    Thank you for the most enthusiastic comment this FAWM. πŸ˜€

  • @laotranati Feb 15

    Thanks for your comment on Working tΓ­tulo, I was really scared when I posted that song because it's the first time that I write a song with english lyrics so your encouragement it's really appreciated

  • @musicsongwriter Feb 15

    Thank you John for your beautiful comments.

  • @kathym  Feb 15

    Thanks for the comments on Alternate Facts. I swore I was going to avoid the political stuff but my sadness and frustration have been so profound that there is no getting around it, even for fawm, so may as well plow through it. I've been working a lot of extra hours and had extra time with my granddaughter, so I've been so tired at the end of the day with little energy left, so I'll be playing catchup in listening and writing in the second half.
    I'm looking forward to hearing your songs. They are always interesting.

  • @inger Feb 14

    Β΄Thank you so much for your kind comment on my Trees song!

  • @deadhead  Feb 14

    Thanks for checking out Morning Meadow! This was my first time doing anything really serious with DADGAD, and well, I'm addicted. The resonance just sounds so much nicer! Let me know if you use it any of your songs and I'll definitely give them a listen!

  • @mikeskliar  Feb 13

    thanks for your enthusiasm and kind words on that huge singalong video for 'this is what democracy sounds like'- and yeah, it was just as much fun as it sounds! Great to see ya back here and do some great songs as always!

  • @cellogirl2017 Feb 13

    john staples thanks so much for your words of encouragement. It is so validating and refreshing to meet people who have come from a similar background as me and have chosen a different path. I can imagine that having a child would make one rethink. The community of church can be very lovely. I lost my family over my lack of belief, so it is always tempting to try harder to believe.

  • @marthie Feb 13

    Thank you for your feedback on "Dream"

  • @spunky4455 Feb 13

    Hey, John, thanks for listening to our song! Glad you liked it!

  • @cindyrella  Feb 12

    Thanks John on my Bowling Green-did you listen to it also?

  • @fearlessflight2014  Feb 11

    Thanks for visiting 'Snow Moon'. I was writing this with @petemurphy in mind as he was open to collaborate on songs with a dark theme. I'll let you know if he or I demo it. Am behind on my listening and I see you've been busy...

  • @acromie Feb 11

    Thank you so much for your comments on Down at the Solstice ball. I am humbled that you enjoyed it so much. I really did have a ton of fun with that challenge, and it gave me another song to add to my kids repertoire.

  • @squeakmouse73 Feb 11

    Thank you, John. I appreciate ya.

  • @brownium  Feb 11

    Dude - thanks for the comment on "I'm Sorry" Wanted to do something with the banjo this year! πŸ˜€

  • @seanbrennan  Feb 11

    Thanks for the comment (and wow, that was fast)! Glad that it didn't feel like a cheap copy of an REM lyric. πŸ˜€ Thanks for taking the time to listen, and I loved how yours turned out! Nice skirmish idea.

  • @wickedmessenger1  Feb 10

    Many thanks for your comments on "The Reasons We Get Sent Away." Your favorable comments mean a lot to me.

  • @bethdesombre  Feb 9

    And thanks so much for your supportive comments -- I wish there were a little less to inspire me right now, but it's definitely a silver lining of terrible times.

  • @bethdesombre  Feb 9

    On it: (feel free to share.)

  • @eringoblog Feb 8

    Hey, John...thanks so much for your comments!

  • @tamsnumber4  Feb 7

    Thanks for listening to my song "Underneath The Tree", I appreciate it.

  • @judypie Feb 7

    Thank you John and Mrs Staples! 😁

  • @dragondreams  Feb 7

    John, you are so very kind. Thank you! 😊

  • @zecoop  Feb 7

    Thanks for the listen John... The theremin sound is actually my GEM Sprinter 49 Combo Organ with the vibrato button pushed. πŸ˜€
    It looks like this and is from the 70's:

    I record directly in for the keyboards via the headphone jacks, and either go directly into the DAW or into my guitar effects to add delays, reverbs, chorus, etc and then into the DAW. When I get around to using my Farfisa Pianorgan, I will have to mic it... and that will be tricky. It is a wind-reed organ that sounds just like an accordion (but obviously is a LOT easier to play).

    Dang... I have a lot of listening to catch up on. All the writing makes it hard, lol.

  • @wurzelfrau Feb 6

    Hey John, I'm not quite familiar with the oracle, but I know some of his Illustrations and always loved them. Maybe you could pick a card for me and send me a picture of it? I would love to do this challenge!

  • @dragondreams  Feb 6

    I just realised why I've not been getting notifications on your tunes! You weren't on my watchlist?! And I could swear you have been in previous years. Oh well, remedied now. 😊

  • @jaegerin  Feb 6

    Hey, thanks for the comment on my first song! And... you know how my mind works, don't you? Because that challenge you gave me has already got me thinking...!! Will keep you posted... And thank you πŸ˜€

  • @karlsburg25  Feb 6

    Hey JOhn. I can't thank you enough for your wonderful comments on "master key". I actually had so much fun playing this one I was tempted to do just one take with no harmonies but i found cranking out two guitar tracks gave it some meat. You have also made my brother in law the happiest man in Henley right now as he has never had anybody (apart from me) review his lyrics. Thanks again matey

  • @bhaile  Feb 6

    Hey John, thanks for your comment on Read Between the Lies. I haven't collaborated here before and it made me nervous thinking the lyricist might be disappointed. He hasn't told me what he thinks yet, so actually, I am still nervous about it. I enjoyed working on it. Thanks for playing match maker on that one πŸ˜€

  • @jessicagraae  Feb 6

    Thanks for your kind comments on my Embrace a Tyrant song. Glad you enjoyed it.

  • @mattpierce  Feb 5

    I'm stalking you! πŸ˜€

  • @sherrycanary  Feb 5

    Hi John
    So glad you liked my political satire song. Means a lot coming from you!

  • @dawn1 Feb 5

    Thank you John for your kind words on To Dance with You πŸ˜€ Thanks for listening

  • @bethdesombre  Feb 5

    Hey John: thanks for your enthusiasm for Bowling Green Massacre. Just for you, I've put it on soundcloud -- feel free to share:

  • @yam655  Feb 5

    Congratulations on hitting the Century Club!

  • @jcooper  Feb 5

    Thanks John for your great comment on eccentric with Elizabeth. Much appreciated!

  • @chariotbaldwin  Feb 5

    You and Rose are more than welcome to crash here if the shit hits the fan here. Don't forget your purty gitars πŸ˜‰

  • @mishykatz  Feb 5

    Thanks for the Ukulele Love Song feedback! I have been making clay ukulele sculptures and had a really fun idea for the video today, FAWM is amazing! I would have loved to jump in on the Super skirmish but with working 9 hours yesterday and 8 today, I figured I'd save my energy and jump in on another. I did get a song out of a skirmish I did the first day and I am liking it!

  • @sw1n3flu  Feb 4

    Superb work on the super skirmish! Thanks for kickstartin' my FAWM πŸ˜€))

  • @snoozin  Feb 4

    Hi John, thanks so much for oranizing the first Superskimish of 2017! It was tons of fun and tada, I came away with 5 songs and maybe a few to finish. Your enthusiasm is tremendous and helps to keep the ball rolling!

  • @scubed  Feb 4

    Thank you kindly for your lovely words on "When In Doubt Choose Love"! That was really a great skirmish - awesome job on the topic. πŸ˜€

  • @russiasaturn  Feb 4

    Thanks for the kind comments! You should do the pronouns challenge! it was really fun πŸ˜€