Jon McLurg is a singer, songwriter and guitarist based in Kingston, Ontario. Active in the local scene as a solo artist and as member of several well-known bands, he is a familiar face in the venues around town. He is just as happy picking country licks as he is strumming an ancient Celtic aire, and absorbs influences from a wide range of Western idioms into his ever-growing catalog of original material.
Jon is a songwriter who has been quite prolific over the last decade, writing over 100 songs and releasing nearly 50 of them on 4 albums. These albums feature deceptively bright and gentle musicality ironically blended with dark lyrical content. His songs are widely accessible yet contain musical and lyrical nods to the folk tradition he so much admires. Those who share his zeal for traditional balladry will agree that his songs at times border on arcane. His 5th release is on the way.
Since 2005 Jon has performed with Steve Kennedy (Amherst Island) and Chris Murphy (Perth Road Village). “Crooked Wood” was a project that brought this trio to the Mariposa Folk Festival and the Festival of the Islands (Gananoque). Recently, Crooked Wood expanded into Turpin’s Trail after engrafting the extremely talented Brian Flynn (fiddle) and Noah St. Amand (stand-up bass). This group is on a verge of releasing its debut release in March 2016.
Whenever he can Jon loves to sit in with The Swinging Doors, who specialize in paying homage to the greats of country music with driving western-swing rhythms, bright guitar licks and straightforward, sincere vocals. This band is made up of Landon Chatterton, Damien Van Johnson, Patrick Thompson and Martin Laforest.
Jon is also an avid student of traditional music. He knows and regularly performs 100s of traditional folk and country songs. He features many of these at his weekly gig at Musiikki cafe, alongside his friend Chris Morris.
Though deeply entrenched in the grainy tones of 1920’s and 30’s records, Jon also greatly admires contemporary artists like Josh Ritter and Gillian Welch. With a soft spot for the strange and unusual, he is also a fan of the bizarrely earnest Daniel Johnston.
Raised on Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, and Leadbelly, Jon cherishes the idea that music is a vehicle for community-building and social change. He is always linking up with like-minded musical wayfarers to share a song and a story.
Gordon Lightfoot, Hank Williams, Woody Guthrie, John Prine, James Taylor, Hank Snow, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, The Louvin Brothers, The Carter Family.
The Tragically Hip started its own music festival, Another Roadside Attraction, in 1993. The first event was held in Winnipeg and featured the Hip, Midnight Oil, Crash Vegas, Hothouse Flowers and Daniel Lanois.
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