Whether John Muirhead performs on a train, a festival stage, a living room or movie theater, the Canadian performer is known to captivate an audience.
The big-hearted campfire storyteller and fingerpickin’ folk-rocker sings about a myriad of subjects, and can deliver classic upbeat sing-along rhythms. After the release of his acclaimed 2016 EP Yesterday’s Smile, Muirhead earned a Canadian Folk Music Award nomination for “Young Performer of the Year, 2017,” a Forest City London Music Award nomination for “Folk/Roots Artist of the Year 2020”, and a victory in the Western University Composition Competition. He has also graced the stages of Winnipeg Folk Festival, Sawdust City Music Festival, and Home County Folk Festival just to name a few.
His second EP, Foundational, hit platforms in 2018, as well as a collection of singles that have grown to find their place among Muirhead’s catalogue. 2019 then saw the release of the Head Stays Down EP. All of these albums take more of a somber singer-songwriter/acoustic sound while also having a hopeful and light-hearted approach towards love.
The cheerful balances the downcast to create a healthy balance for all of the emotional roller coasters we all can have in a day. The cover single of “When You Were Young” by The Killers is in step with his easy going demeanor, reflecting on the relationship ideals you once had compared to current real experiences; all while “Quarantine and Chill” captures the thoughts most of us had during 2020.
Muirhead’s smooth and calming new single, “Traveller”, which dropped yesterday, makes you want to hop on a boat and sail away to a far off land, forgetting the troubles and tribulations you left behind. The chorus invites listeners to reflect on how they view their adventure called life. His comforting voice sings, “You are not the road you are the traveller/ this is not your story it’s a chapter/ so go pretend you know yourself well enough to answer/ will you be the road or be the traveller?” The stripped down instrumentals perfectly pair with the soul-touching lyrics as he explains the differences between night and day, fear, and pure unwillingness to take on the call of our lives.
He also started a blog to capture the memorable shows and moments he’s had while creating and playing his music. Performing at house concerts and family events are a big passion of his as well, and these days it’s no secret being able to play anywhere is monumentally important to artists like Muirhead.
We can only hope he and every other artist who offer us a needed sonic escape can soon be traveling troubadours yet again. In the meantime, we can be thankful artists like Muirhead have had ample time to write touching songs, much like “Traveller.”