Wiltshire-based singer songwriter John Cullimore grew up in Liverpool in the 1960s, in the heart of the “Merseybeat” sound, which became synonymous with the Beatles, the Searchers, Gerry and the Pacemakers and many others. Steeped in this early new wave of exciting ‘pop’ music, it was a natural step for John to begin to write his own: beginning at the tender age of 13 and continuing to compose and produce his own original music and musical covers today , fitting this around his career as a Surgeon.
His latest project is a version of ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ to be released on St Patrick’s day (17th March) and commemorates his recent application for Irish citizenship, which became available to him based on his family’s heritage.
‘Whiskey in the Jar’ is perhaps one of the most extensively covered songs in history, but John believes he has composed a unique arrangement which will be appreciated by those already familiar with the song as well as younger listeners who may have not yet appreciated its power and the lilting, tongue-in-cheek appeal of its genre.
John’s style is reminiscent of 70’s rock with added influences from Bruce Hornsby, Tears for Fears and Steely Dan, partly reflecting his experience as keyboard player in ‘Strictly Dan’, a Steely Dan tribute band based in the South of England.
However, John acknowledges that his songwriting was perhaps most influenced by two things.
Firstly, his career as a specialist surgeon has given him a unique insight into the way we live our lives, witnessing the struggle many have with sickness, pain and loss.
Secondly, the influence of a poet who lived in Wiltshire, Alfred Williams, about whose life and work John wrote and produced a successful musical. entitled “The Hammerman” , and in whose life John sees parallels with his own.
The musical was based on his album of the same name , and gained funding from the National Heritage Lottery Fund and played successfully in Swindon in 2010 , and was revived in 2012, with John an active participant in the Show band in both productions
What of John’s own artistic ‘modus operandi’? As a longstanding author, John maintains that as far as his own his own songwriting is concerned, it always starts with the lyric, which has an overwhelming impact on the evolving shape and feel of the song. As for the subject material of his music, that is truly wide ranging from songs about his childhood and heritage, his concerns for the ecology of the planet, his family, his passions and love for the countryside and even his ‘Little Black Car’,(a VW) , an ‘almost’ hit which has received nearly 70,000 views on Youtube…
John has recorded 11-studio albums, working closely with producer Nick Beere for the last 12-years. His latest album has been reviewed by local freelance journalist Graham Carter, and his review can be seen by clicking here .
live performances as well as recordings of some original songs.
all tracks from ‘Splendid Island’ can be previewed here