John Kilzer can claim to carry some scars himself, having dealt with his own issues with substance abuse prior to recording his second album on Memphis based Archer Records. ‘Scars‘ is the album, and it’s due out on January 11th 2019. ‘The American Blues‘ is available to listen now, and on it the gravel voiced Kilzer takes a critical eye to the Modern World – communication replaced by meaningless tweets, bullies crack their knuckles spoiling for a fight and all the time there’s the watchful eye of the surveillance society. This isn’t Kilzer’s idea of America.
John Kilzer had been busy prior to this album coming together, a follow up to his 2014 release ‘Hide Away‘ , adding a Masters of Divinity from Memphis Theological Seminary and doctorate in religious studies from London’s Middlesex to his existing Masters in English. He now runs the recovery ministry at St. John’s United Methodist Church in Memphis. Music is still important to the Reverend Kilzer, as he says “Music is my sanctuary with so many plates spinning. Music propels me to be able to do everything else I’m doing.”
‘Scars’ started to come together in spring this year, with Kilzer dedicating himself to completing the song writing needed : “I wrote the songs for very quickly, in about two and half weeks and in a romantic sort of way”. They were written on piano, mandolin, ukulele and guitar, with Kilzer working up to 20 hours a day. When they were taken into the studio for a full band work-up the recording process was done almost live – with producer Matt Ross-Spang sitting in with the band on guitar. John Kilzer confided, “This was the old school way of doing it, all cut live. You drop all your defenses and let the music be what it’s going to be so you’re not as guarded and very much in the moment. “.
Take a listen to ‘The American Blues‘.