Daily Discovery: Mr John, “Light of Day”


Videos by American Songwriter


SONG: “Light of Day”

HOMETOWN: Audubon, Pennsylvania


AMBITIONS: Write songs with heart and brains that make people feel a connection to them. Get those songs heard.

TURN-OFFS: People for whom honesty is just one of many equally appealing options. Lima beans.

TURN-ONS: People strong enough to be kind in situations no one would expect kindness from them. Pizza.

DREAM GIG: Austin City Limits. It looks like such a welcoming venue for artists. But, really, any place where people genuinely appreciate hearing my songs. I’d get a kick out of playing a Bar Mitzvah if those there got into the music.

FAVORITE LYRIC: “What I want now / Beneath this blue moon / Is to build you a shelter / And wrap a cocoon / Shepherd you safely / Watch you transform / Hold you unstirring / And release you… Reborn”  – from my song “Reborn.” Yes, I know it’s the height of ego to quote my own words as my favorite lyric.

SONG I WISH I WROTE: “Fire and Rain” by James Taylor. Beautiful and heart-wrenching. Of course it helps any song if you can play and sing like JT.

5 PEOPLE I’D MOST LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH: I presume you mean famous people, so I’ll choose celebrities. I’ll also pretend that they want to share a meal with me, because it would mortify me to force anyone to endure my company. So: John Hiatt, Taylor Swift, Jimmy Page, Ray LaMontagne, David Gray. (Wait. Only one woman? I need to re-think this!)

MY FAVORITE CONCERT EXPERIENCE: Chris Isaak. He’s not only a terrific talent; he put on a great show that made the audience feel like he wanted to be nowhere else in the world than playing for us.

I WROTE THIS SONG BECAUSE… I write all my songs because I think I have something to say and have found an interesting way to say it. In this one I aimed to express a need to move beyond a desire for more stuff – fancier car, bigger house, latest iPhone – to the intangible things that you can’t hold up and show off but ultimately have more meaning and value.

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