John Jenkins

Fretsore Records recording artist John Jenkins is the prodigal son of Liverpool music.

His return to the game in 2015 was prompted by an Internet-led revival of interest in his
former bands The Persuaders and Come In Tokio. Both made waves in the eighties – Peel sessions, Echo & The Bunnymen supports etc. – but ultimately ran out of steam before reaching the promised land of success.

Songwriter John went underground, but never stopped writing. “The years just passed,” sighs JJ. “The songs continued to come, but I did nothing with them. I’ve always been a fan of great songs and my listening led my writing closer to the songs of roots and country… or Americana as they now call it.”

John really dipped his toe back into the mainstream with 2016’s ‘Trains’, a tour de force of songwriting. All those songs Jenkins had stockpiled over the years now came to the fore and, in 2017, the double album ‘Window Shopping In Nashville’ arrived.

With the patronage of The British Country Music Association and Americana Music Association UK, not to mention critical plaudits from the likes of R2 Magazine, Fatea and the Nashville Songwriters Association International, John was back. JJ and his James Street Band entered the studio to record ‘Looking For That American Dream’ in 2019, followed by ‘Growing Old – Songs From My Front Porch’ at the start of 2020. “I started writing more
directly and the record was the darker side of me coming to the fore I suppose,” says John. “The likes of ‘Daniel White’, ‘I’m Almost Over You’ and ‘Jackson’s Farm’ are amongst some of my best songs and it’s an album I’m really proud of.”

The songwriter isolated close to the Mersey in 2020 and carried on writing. “Writing songs is the thing I love to do most in this world, and I’ll never stop,” he smiles. “It’s funny, the older you get the more it means”.

John’s 2021 album ‘If You Can’t Forgive You Can’t Love’ is his first since signing to indie label Fretsore Records. The album is co-produced by John Jenkins and Jon Lawton (Sami Yusuf, Only Child, Visons of Albion) and mastered by Pete Maher (The Rolling Stones, U2, Patti Smith). The album is available on Fretsore Records on 6th August. Fans can pre-order the album via Bandcamp by clicking here.

Spotlight UK Artist interview December 2022