Duffy, heard his version of “Mercy” and called him in to the studio – surprised to find that he wasn’t the black soulman she had imagined. Radio 2 had also picked up on “Mercy”, Jon’s collaboration with the band Third Degree that really shows off his soul-vocal chops. “Duffy heard it on her tour bus and contacted my manager. I ended up in Sting’s studio in north London doing a session with her. She was stunned. I walked in and she thought I’d be black.”
His new album, “Deep River”, contains some of his best work. To Jon, it’s simple. “I just try to write music that moves me. I’m trying to express some truthfulness. There are no gimmicks, no beeps and whistles.” On it he channels everyone from Dylan to Shakespeare, via Al Green, JJ Cale and John Martyn. “I feel a bit like I’m an outsider, now. I’m very inspired by music that feels like it comes from one of the main tributaries of blues, or jazz, or that kind of heritage. But it’s OK because there’s no such thing as a scene any more. You can jump out of the ground looking like 1959, 1979, 1989…” Deep River was released late last year and is now available to download on iTunes.
Jon has played several support gigs for Damien Rice, KT Tunstall and Jose Gonzalez among others. He has many fans within the industry including Coldplay producer Ken Nelson and Guy Chambers. He has also supported Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris at Wembley Arena, Manchester MEN and The Zenith in Paris. In addition, Mark Knopfler played guitar of his song ‘Sarah’. “If I were to try to describe my music or my sound I would say ‘Green’ (joke) Seriously, I guess I have a soulful, slightly gravely voice and I’m into roots, blues and folk music.”