Jon Christopher’s songs have a pulse to them that make you want to move. He does not write dance music, but his work definitely has a groove. It should come as no surprise then that the first instrument he picked up was not a guitar, but the drums.
Although Christopher started banging on a kit around the age of 12, it was when he started playing acoustic guitar at the age of 15 that his creativity was really sparked. He wrote a song before he even knew how to play.
“I felt like I had the world in the palm of my hands and it was the most natural things that I had ever done in my life to that point. I have been pursuing that feeling and music ever since,” the Astoria musician said. “The percussive style that I have developed while playing the guitar is a legacy of banging on the drum set at an early age.”
That groove and percussive touch is in full-force on Christopher’s self-titled third album.
The songs stride between blues rock and funk, with as soulful vocals singing out vulnerable lyrics that deal with people and places in his life. While the tracks were written in any different ways, Christopher did not perform any of them until it was time to record.
“I never performed the songs prior to recording them. If I had, I would have put them together differently,” he said. “Songwriting, like any art form, is about energy flow and you can’t know about that flow unless you are performing that song in its entirety in front of a live audience.”
To fill out his sound, Christopher works with many different musicians, with people moving in and out of his music career.
While the challenge of keeping a band together for a long time is partially why he in drawn to multiple collaborations, Christopher also likes the different viewpoints he gets from fresh faces.
“Everybody has a slightly different take on things and you learn from another’s perspective,” he said.
Originally from Glen Cove in Long Island, Christopher moved to Astoria nine years ago. Since then, the loyal audience he has found in the area has given his career a significant boost and has shown him which direction to grow in.
“I have a community that really believes in me, that is at my shows, that knows my lyrics. They are the foundation on which I have started to build,” Christopher said. “For the most part, I have always been someone that has kept to themselves. Music, however, I have learned is a communal art.”
Christopher’s career is looking brighter than ever in 2014. He just signed with Sojourn Records, an independent label based in Elmont. He added that this year is dedicated to getting his new record out to the people.
“In the coming weeks, we plan on recording one of the greatest blues, rock, soul records ever made,” he said.
For more news on his albums and shows, visit http://ats.jonchristophermusic.com.