John Sheehan | Instrumental Solo Guitar

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United States - New Jersey

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Folk: Modern Folk Folk: Fingerstyle Moods: Mood: Virtuoso
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Instrumental Solo Guitar

by John Sheehan

Original Fingerstyle compositons drawing from European classical and contemporary American styles
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Beauty Road
2:38 $0.99
2. Faces of the Past
6:09 $0.99
3. Insomnia
3:36 $0.99
4. The Villian
3:40 $0.99
5. Hog Farm
3:56 $0.99
6. Ancestry
4:45 $0.99
7. Jump into the fire
4:09 $0.99
8. Governor Mountain
3:52 $0.99
9. Public Domain
3:12 $0.99
10. Freedom Place
3:46 $0.99
11. Trip to Spain
3:57 $0.99
12. Sleepy eyes
3:03 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
John Sheehan is a Composer/Guitarist/Singer/Songwriter from Ringwood, NJ. Two of John's compositions have been used as backdrops for videos: "BUGGY RIDE", in a short film on safety called "The Eddie Adams Tragedy", put out by the Weyerhauser corporation and Rocket- Pictures of Seattle Washington and "CLIFFS OF MOHER" for a promotional film for the Emily Williston Memorial Library of Easthampton, Massachusetts. "Landrush", a banjo instrumenal is used to open and close Dave Bryce's 'Rural Delivery' show on 88 Country in Christchurch New Zealand every Sunday evening.

Sincere listeners of his music have compared him to such diverse artists as; Leo Kottke, Jorma Kaukonen, Mark Knophler, Michael Hedges, John Prine, Steve Earle, and Jimmy Buffett. John gives credit to J.S.Bach and John Fahey as well as many more . He has opened for, and/or performed with guitar greats Tal Farlow,Jorma,John Renbourne, and Adrian Legge; as well as,singer/songwriters Chris Smithers,Jonathan Edwards and Dave Malett.

His Modern Man cd has been nominated three times for indie cd of the year, most recently from Just Plain He has won awards from NomaMusic and Kweevak .com .His third cd ,"Notes from Suburbia" is due out in 2003.

Robert Hicks, All Music guide/Bergen Record said "His vocal songs show simple humor, yet say something profound about humanity". His tongue-in-cheek songs such as "Modern Man", "Thursday Night Open Mic", "Beyond Your Means", and "My Habits Are Killing Me" tell something of his sense of values as well as humor. He mixes compassion gratitude and wonder into his performances, also, with "Come Here Friend", "As I Stand" "Life Song","Self Made Man"and "Last night in a dream"
John's guitar instrumentals are steeped in the traditions of European classical and American contemporary styles. Most requested are "Jump into the Fire" , "The Villain", "Hog Farm" and "Cliffs of Moher" and "Desert Prayer".
As First Place winner of the 1991 Candi-Creek Banjo Works Guitar Competition, he was awarded a new D-16 Martin Guitar, autographed and presented by C.F. Martin, IV. Performing original tunes on the Banjo, he took First Place in the Banjo Contest at the Old Mill Village Music Competitions in August, 1997.

Gigging three and four days a week, John also teaches the art and craft of fingerstyle guitar privately in his home. He is the fiqurehead of the New Jersey Fingerstyle Alliance (NJFA), a growing group of professional and amateur musicians sharing their knowledge and appreciation for eclectic fingerstyle guitar.

Throughout his dedicated career, fingerstyle guitarist John Sheehan has blazed musical trails in pursuit of excellence and creativity. A major league player and composer, Sheehan has, for the past 20 years, earned himself critical accolades and the respect of his contemporaries and fellow musicians, while influencing a new crop of guitar players with his blazing speed, unerring sense of taste and finesse.

At age 16, John started playing guitar to counter act his own adolescent loneliness and hyperactivity. Soon, he found a personal focus in classical music that gave his soul and spirit a new and needed metamorphosis. With guitar in hand, John was able to cope productively as an adult artist .

After studying classical guitar at William Paterson College, Sheehan took to the road playing rock, folk and country in bars and restaurants. Although these musical experiences gave John the stage confidence he needed to play in any situation, the music itself was not always fulfilling. By the late 1980's John was ready for a change.

Gathering the best musical memories and influences and amalgamating them into a style was not easy. John wrote, produced and played music that would send a clear artistic message to the world. Instrumental Solo Guitar was released in 1995 to favorable critical acclaim. It is a collection of 12 bluegrass/folk/classical tracks demonstrating John's mind boggling guitar "chops" and propensity for fine melody. "This collection of musical metaphors," he explains "depicts personal traits, habits, strengths and weaknesses spanning the last 15 years of my life. Some were written with the thought in mind of real places and people and some are purely imaginary.
Live radio performances include National puplic radios/ WAMC's The Round Table with Paul Elisha and Susan Arbetter, and WFMU's Irene Trudell show.

His voice, mandolin playing and guitar appear on five other albums; Picking and Sliding the Blues by Larry Amato, Nice Hat by Bobby Syvarth, Parhelion, Scott Appel (One Man Clapping Records) and Nine of Swords, Scott Appel (School Kid's Records) Barrelhouse, Eclectasy. Compilations; WFMU's "Pearl Diving Near the Hudson", Crossroads CD Sampler 99, Oasis Acoustic 2000 and "Carry On".

Jim Ankrom



to write a review

Lawrence Amato, fingerstyle guitarist

Inspires guitarists to want to learn how to do what John does.
Instrumental solo guitar is exactly that! Not only a fitting title but each composition defines what instrumental solo guitar is. From Beauty Road to Sleepy Eyes John Sheehan weaves an instrumental story of emotion and absolute command of the fingerboad. Taking a page from John Fahey, J.S.Bach, and Blind Blake. John Sheehan does it his way, with classical technic and a sportin' right hand. Congratulations John, few people can say what you did with this C.D...... and never uttering a word.

Deb Boucher

Brilliant collection that satisfies those hungry for excellence.
A must for any collection of discrimintating taste. The talent that oozes from each original piece will satisfy the most critical ear. Each track stands on it's own, keeping you involved with what is being delivered with such precision and fluidity, it seems effortless.

J.L. Hannah for

Extraordianry !
When I listen to John Sheehan's Instrumental Solo Guitar, I see the past. Not in an outdated, passe’ kind of way, but rather, in a timeless, of the earth, fabled kind of play. I see horses and mountains that matter and stream. I see forests and castles, minstrels, the sea. I meet villans and ruffians, Robinhood dreams. There are dark roads and corners and sunlit plateaus. Questions upon questions, sparked off in earnest rows. Blacksmiths toil in labors of love. No empty distractions, an eagle above. I see green on green and blue on grey. Rock-riddled coastline of deep ancient days. No, this is not a movie review and there are no lyrics to this recording...not a one. Yet, all this I see. Great playing is rare, but great playing of great songs, well...that's precious. And that's what you get here from John Sheehan. On this CD he doesn't just play some pleasant acoustic guitar (although much of it is quite pleasant... ‘Beauty Road’, ‘Ancestry’, ‘Governor Mountain’, to name a few). He digs in and attacks, often...sometimes subtle, yet always strong. There is a backbone...a pulse, a vibrant life running through it. And as full as it is, it's all just John. He goes it completely alone accompaniment, no percussion, no cloudy effects. There is no note wasted, no drivel or pretense. It's all just John, and his guitar of course, and the songs. The Dedicated Fingerstyle Guitar Method is smiling a wide grin somewhere as a result of this recording. It speaks so well for the school, not just because of John's inspired execution, but also because of how at home fingerstyle is with his wonderful melodies. I won't try to capture each song here in narrative. Comparisons and labeling also fall short, yet they are helpful in pointing one toward a familiar direction. So when you ask, "OK, so who does this guy John Sheehan sound like" ? Let's just say that if you like Jorma (acoustic Hot Tuna), if you can imagine Ian Anderson without words ...ditto for James Taylor...If you appreciate John Prine and Mark Knophler, then my sense is that you will thoroughly enjoy this CD. If you have a Celtic bone in your body or past, you can't help but feel much of it at your core. It just works that way. If you liken a musician's long journey to the building of a house, then I would say that what you have here is the strongest of foundations built by a gifted artist... brick by brick, board by board, note by note, sigh by sigh, all by himself. On the strength of such a firm footing...this debut's hard to imagine anything but extraordinary things coming from Mr Sheehan further on up the road. Perhaps you see (or hear) what I see ?