So, why, you might ask, might Pluck never have been written without John Lomax's participation?
Well, first, he's a walking encyclopedia of the Nashville music business since at least the early eighties. That's forty-plus years of people, places, events and experiences he has lived with and through and that his mind has catalogued.
Second, add another forty years of growing up a Lomax and all that entails with his family's immersion in traditional and folk music, music history, musicology, and his experience writing about and reviewing all sorts of music as a journalist.
Add his experience as a music producer, journalist, promoter, manager, and distributer, and his myriad friends in all of those arenas. And the fact that for eight years, John was David's first and only manager David. During that time John believed whole-heartedly in his client who was a wizard with an instrument (that, pre-David, Nashville considered niche at best and, at worst, too primitive ever to be considered worthy of a music studio.) John managed his business, produced his music, co-conceived his albums and music videos, applied for awards, started his fan club, called, wrote, mailed, trouble-shooted, and sought out the best players in the world who gladly played with David.
Finally, add his generous nature; consider his great storytelling, a rare, welcoming kindness toward strangers, and his love for good music, history, and well-crafted writing. He's also one of the best cheerleaders for any creative out there.
Now, there's a fabulous resource for a researcher/writer. John never tired of being interviewed or of my pesky questions. He went above and beyond to introduce me to anyone he thought would be helpful in my work. I quickly became indebted to him forever as far as I was concerned, and consider myself lucky to call him and his wife Melanie friends these days.
I'm also extremely proud of my friend; he has a mind that never stops thinking, analyzing and conceiving new ideas. The ink wasn't even dry on the papers when he closed his long-time music distribution business before he started working on new creative projects. The latest is my favorite of all. After years of paying homage to his famous grandfather, father and Uncle Alan, and Aunt Bess, John has now embarked on a new career in which he is front and center on stage. His recent gig as the opening act for Michael Martin Murphey earned him standing ovations that are long overdue. He taps into the deep well of family history to tell stories of our music heritage as he punctuates those stories with his a capella singing just some of the thousands of American songs the Lomaxes saved that now reside in the Library of Congress. Take a peek at John at the venue for his Crystal Bridges show:
Read about John's new contribution to American music history in this recent Texas Highways Magazine.
If you are in the Nashville area on 28 September, don't miss John as he opens for Jim Rooney's Irregulars at Third and Lindsley; click on the link to buy tickets.
And my Texas-born friend returns home to tour soon; on 6 October he performs at Rice University in Houston; on 8 October he'll repeat the show at Houston's Folklore and Music Society. He goes to Austin's Hyde Park Theater, and on 12 October, he'll perform in Meridian, Texas at the new John Avery Lomax Amphitheater. This tour will commemorate John's release of FOLK Live: The Gardner Recordings, an album of his father John A. Lomax Jr.'s recordings made for a Houston radio program in 1965. Click document below to download the list of John's appearances next month in Texas.