John Silliman Dodge

John Silliman Dodge

Folk-rock-jazz-blues-classical-world music. Seriously, that’s my answer to the question, “What kind of music do you play?” Considering the dozen different states I’ve called home, it’s not surprising that my styles range almost as widely as my travels. But rather than try to put a label on the sound—because everybody has a different one, like  Americana/roots/urban folk pop/indie acoustic—I just go for three qualities in my music: it’s rhythmic, melodic and memorable.

I can best describe the latest studio CD, "TRIO" as high energy electro-acoustic Americana, with a dozen original songs that span the roots side of rock, blues, jazz and pop. We use horns, strings, keyboards and percussion to augment the core trio, which is JD on guitars, Sean Vinson on acoustic and electric bass, and Kyle Owen on drums and percussion. More on TRIO below after some background.

At age seven, my first teacher taught me guitar fundamentals and introduced me to Odetta and Josh White. I went on through folk, classical and jazz. Then came rock in my teen years, which nobody can teach you—you feel it or you don’t. After absorbing all these different influences, I play acoustic steel string more like a rock or jazz or classical guitarist, depending on the individual song.

I attended the Juilliard School of Music for a short time before traveling and touring made it too difficult to show up for class regularly. After several years on the college coffeehouse circuit, I teamed up with songwriter Don Cooper to form the Cooper Dodge Band who went on to record for ATCO Records and had the single, “I Want You Back in My Life Again,” which later became a hit for the Carpenters.

Fast forward to the 21st century. I made my debut CD, John Dodge in Boston in 2004 with some of the best studio musicians in town. The songs on that album still sound good to my ear. Next came the concert recording, John Dodge Live @ the Portland Guitar Society in 2009, followed by Greetings from Bridgetown in 2010.

The Bridgetown project was so rewarding. I had the great pleasure of working in the studio with a string quartet from the Oregon Symphony on Jupiter, with 3 Leg Torso on a Cajun-flavored track, and my Spanish rock instrumental Toro Toro was also chosen for inclusion on Jubilee,  the Portland Guitar Society’s 25th anniversary double disc compilation.

Now, in December 2013, comes TRIO, the new John Dodge CD recorded at the famous Kung Fu Bakery Recording studios in Portland and produced by Bob Stark, whose credits include Esperanza Spaulding, Edie Brickell, Missy Higgins, Everclear and more. The core guitar/bass/drums trio was fabulously augmented (heckuva phrase, right?) by our musical guests including Bela Balogh (3 Leg Torso), violin; David Jacobs-Strain, slide guitar; Ramsey Embick, keyboards; Mieke Bruggeman, clarinet and alto sax; Farnell Newton, trumpet; Al Torres, trombone; Peter Zisa, classical guitar; and John Hubbard, cello.

I can't say enough good things about the recording experience at Kung Fu, the team and the owner, Tim Ellis. Now I know why so many great records have been made there. Not to mention the crazy number of great restaurants springing up along SE Division.

I’ve created extra-long music clips, not just the typical 30 second kind, so play around with the TRIO Music Sampler and enjoy. And if there are particular songs you like, please send a message and let me know.

Thanks for reading AND listening.

-JD