Travels and gigs.

I’ve been moving around lately. From Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, to a week spent in Nashville and LA. Sitting down in my home studio for the first time in what seems like months, I think my body clock has just about given up on me. My phone isn’t my friend anymore either as it struggles to hold all the song ideas that are crammed into its hard drive.

South East Asia was strictly vacation. I needed time away from the city, and when I heard that my Mum, Dad and big sis were stopping in the area on their way back from Australia, I couldn’t miss the chance. It was a real joy to immerse myself in some ranging culture for the guts of three weeks. From late night high speed tuktuk rides through Bangkok, to trekking around the ancient temples of Cambodia, to learning how to make spring rolls during a home-stay with a family in the Mekong Delta, I think its fair to say I was moved. Sunrise at Angkor Wat was a particular highlight.

angkor wat

Follow me on Instagram to see the full set – @buildingpictures

We could all learn a lot from the people of this region of the world. Their kindness and willingness to help us travelers was really something. I ended the trip with a few quiet days in Koh Samui with my girlfriend. It was a welcome break, but we missed the madness of Saigon… typical New Yorkers I suppose.


I’ve always been a sucker for Thai Food, but I think that southern cooking is a close second. If you make it down there go to Arnold’s. This was only my second trip to the mecca for singer-songwriters, but it really came together and turned into a hectic week of writing and networking. I made so many friends within the industry on my first visit, and this time around it was nice to get stuck into doing what these ‘cats’ do best – cowriting tunes. I hope to squeeze in some recording next time Im down that way.


Hotel Cafe is one of those venues in the United States that is famed for launching the careers of so many talented performers. I made a point of not checking out a show at the venue last time I was in LA… I remember saying to myself that I would wait until I played it myself. That plan came together on Tuesday evening when I took to the stage to perform a solo set. It was the perfect day. Weather was nice, breakfast meeting in Santa Monica went smooth, and then I made my way over to Los Feliz to try some writing with Cary Brothers. This turned out to be one of the most rewarding writing sessions I have ever done. Cary is the man. He couldn’t have made me feel more welcome in his home, and he came along to my show right after our jam and introduced to me all the staff.

Hotel Cafe

The gig started slow, but really picked up. Being blessed with some pretty amazing band mates, I can often feel a bit naked on stage without them. But after a few tunes I settled in; it made it a lot easier that the sound on stage and in the room was fantastic. Cheers to Stacy, the in-house sound engineer for all his work, and for recording the show for me. It provided the perfect sound track for all of us as we cruised through the night back to East LA, making stops for tacos along the way.

The entire line up was strong. I felt very humbled to be among such great company, but one artist in particular really caught my attention – Aaron Emry. A really tasteful guitar player, with thoughtful and insightful lyrics attached, I was blown away. To top it all off he was literally the nicest guy in the world. I promised him we would get together for a jam when he makes it to the east coast, so I can’t wait for that. His debut album ‘Tiny Prayer’ is making its way to me right now on vinyl. Im gonna play it loud. Have a listen to it here –

I’ll see you soon LA.

Hometown Show

Enough of that running around. Im back at Rockwood Music Hall (stage 3) on May 7th. The last two shows sold out. Lets make it three. Get your ticket HERE

Rock on
John xo


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