Photo by J Winn Sep 2014 Franklin, TN

 

“John Velghe & The Prodigal Sons embodies the urgency of Townes Vanzandt in a package similar to Wilco”

—  Ethan Skelton of The Equal Ground

Thanks to Bob Stinson, Ron Asheton, and Keith Richards, John Velghe is a failed piano player — thanks to John Lennon, Alejandro Escovedo, and Paul Westerberg, he’s a songwriter.

Over the course of his 18+ year career, John Velghe has established himself as a particularly conscientious and talented tender of the Americana Rock flame.  The Independence, Missouri born multi-instrumentalist/songwriter has released multiple albums on Lakeshore Records, composed original music for film and TV, and built a repertoire of standout songs, but it is his latest work, with the Prodigal Sons, which has given him a big enough vehicle for his ambitious vocal reach and vista-vision poetry. John Lennon and Chuck Berry lie at that core, but the guitars, horns and supportive backing vocals in this band allow Velghe to seamlessly blend other pieces of the greater rock story—from Sun to Stax to 2 Tone and Twin Tone. Organ Donor Blues is the perfect album for such a big sound. It’s both a record for rock’s true believers and a bare-knuckled face off with reality.

John Velghe

John Velghe

Natalie Gallagher of The Pitch writes, “When people talk about the merits of Americana, a sound that can sometimes feel mail-order anonymous, what they want is the rare thing that Velghe has cultivated: music whose familiarity and honesty pull at your gut instead of just reassuring you. What Velghe has found in the wake of these losses is a powerful set of songs.”

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Velghe and The Prodigal Sons, walk a tightrope between rock and country, jazz and pop, gritty and grand.  While some nights it’s a 8-piece ensemble with horn section and pedal steel, other nights Velghe and the Sons are your classic sweaty, 4-piece bar band.   They put on anything from a take-no-prisoners, stripped down rock show to a leave-no-one-behind set that leaps and falls and always lands on point.

Gift of Life Family House, Philadelphia, PA photo by J. Winn

Gift of Life Family House, Philadelphia, PA photo by J. Winn

In his solo tours, Velghe focuses on serving the community and meeting people where they are. In the summer of 2014 Velghe embarked on a 3,300-mile solo motorcycle music tour across the Eastern USA.  The two-week, self-funded and self-booked Road Show was a benefit for Transplant Recipients International Organization where Velghe played shows at traditional venues and at residences for Transplant Recipients and their families.  The tour connected music, motorcycles and fans for the cause of helping translation recipients offset some of the costs of their care.

Velghe has written, performed and toured in several bands including The Daybirds, Saint Jude, and famous fm.  His songs have been featured in television and films, released in North America and Europe including the Lakeshore Records label (Beverly Hills, CA).  As a composer, Velghe has scored feature-length documentaries and short films including the critically acclaimed “The Missing Man.” He has produced and recorded projects for artists across all musical genres including singer/songwriter Krystle Warren (touring with Rufus Wainright) , The Depth and the Whisper, and hip hop artist Blydell (Lone Rider Records).

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