John McKay Biography

John McKay has been playing guitar for over 25 yrs and has been composing his own material for nearly as long.

His first instrument was piano, which he started playing at the age of 10 . At the age of 11 he switched over to playing drums and at the age of 15 he picked up the Bass and Guitar. From then on the Guitar became his main focus. Througout the years he played in various bands. In 1996 John earned a BA in Classical Guitar performance from the University of Colorado’s School of Music. Recently he has been performing with the Wiley Cotton Band, which is a band he put together to showcase a broader spectrum of his original material.

Guitarist/singer/songwriter John McKay blends the deeply personal insights of a man immersed in nature, places of the past and love along with political observations of a protest singer, and the broad musical traditionalism of a folk rock musician with the passion and commitment of a rock and roller. A musician’s musician, McKay has an element of distraction to his performance as it is difficult to ignore the guitar playing which is in competition with vivid mind-expanding lyrics. His newest band – The John McKay Band- is rich with musical talent which runs the musical gamet from jam band to folk rock to world musics. The JMB is a combination of the familiar things that exemplify retro rock and roll and folk music that we all are presently yearning for from the past with a modern touch of contemporary times and life today.

In 1998 McKay recorded his debut CD, entitled Wiley Cotton, which is dedicated to his father; Wiley Cotton McKay. The CD is an acoustic-electric blend of eleven of his original songs. It showcases a range of bluesy folk and soulful rythm n’ blues. Some of the musicians that appear on the CD include Johns brother Bill McKay on piano and organ, Derek Trucks, members of Runaway Truck Ramp, and Mark Vann of Leftover Salmon.

John finished his second CD a few years ago which featured John’s solo style of playing. As a solo performer McKay has opened for such national acts as Hot Tuna(2x) Leftover Salmon, Zachery Richard and Merl Saunders and the Rainforest Band. Presently, John is preparing for his 3rd CD which will showcase a band with a heavier R and B/funk/folk rock sound. This newly formed band just recently had the opportunity to open for Johnny Lang in Vail, Co. which was extremly well recieved. Look for this great sounding deliciously eclectic band groovin in your neighborhood very soon!