John the Baptist is an energetic four-piece band from Wellington. Their music blends elements of folk, rock, country, and pop into a distinctively natural voice. More inspired by rather than subscribing to any of the musical traditions they draw on, the sound appeals to a wide audience of different tastes and age groups.
In 2009 Shaun and Michael relocated from Hawke's Bay to Wellington where, after a night sharing cheap beer and good music with David and Thomas, a duo became the four-piece. Before they’d barely developed a small cache of songs, the band received keen interest and a rapidly growing audience. During those first few months the band recorded the songs that were later released on their self-titled EP in May 2010.
In 2011 the band took a step back from their previously relentless gig schedule to begin their second recording. The boys produced a five-song EP with the help of Surgery Studios, STL Studios (both in Wellington), and Masterdisk in New York. This EP titled ‘The Great Mountain Haul’ was released in October 2011.
The band have enjoyed many memorable shows, a few highlights include: recent shows at the San Francisco Bath House, Campus A Low Hum 2010, the August ’10 national tour, and the self-titled EP release which saw Mighty Mighty turned into a barnyard with stacks of hay bales.
Irrespective of age, gender, and general musical preferences, most people like to let their hair down once in a while. This is usually the case at any given gig and John the Baptist seem to tap into that energy with ease. What sets their shows apart from many others, however, is the diverse range of demographics represented and united in that same energetic release. It’s the ability to access human commonality that truly makes this folk music.
The band is:
Shaun Blackwell – guitars/vocals, Michael Keane – banjo/guitars/vocals, David Beacham – bass guitar/vocals, Thomas Friggens – drums.