John Carroll Wildflower Festival Top Ten Finalist

“Music is something that has always been there,” says John Carroll. His mother is a church pianist, his father a drummer. When he was five years old John started piano lessons. But John says it wasn’t until high school that he took up the guitar and everything changed. Music became his platform of expression and gave John an identity.

“When I want to grapple with an idea or even just to write a fun story, music is my language.” – John Carroll

This Nashville based singer-songwriter looks to the likes Paul Simon, Vienna Teng, and Billy Joel as lyricists of the highest ranking; poets with an incredible attention to detail. Guitar player songwriters like Dave Matthews and John Mayer have had a great influence as well, proving to be some of the building blocks for Carroll’s style of acoustic guitar playing. John also loves Broadway music for its story-telling. He says Jason Robert Brown and Stephen Schwartz rank among the best writing currently.

“I love story telling! I think it is really a challenge to create good characters and bring them to life in song because it’s such a condensed and structured format. Every word and note counts. It’s amazing when you get it right, though, because then the characters take up residence in other people’s imaginations, and in that sense you’ve created something bigger than yourself.” – John Carroll

John believes that songwriting is about discovery. Having studied philosophy and theology in college (and some poetry) he is still very captivated by these subjects. John says, “I take the ideas that I run across from my studies and work to express them in imagery, metaphor, and melody. During the process, you reach a point where you have gained a new understanding of the subject with which you have been wrestling. That’s when I feel like a song has come into its own. There’s a Robert Frost quote from one of his essays that I think about often. He writes: ‘A poem begins with delight but ends with wisdom.’ I believe the same can be true for a song.”

When asked if he’s excited about the Wildflower! Festival contest for singer-songwriters, John reflects on his last few years in Nashville, years full of open mic nights, releasing an EP, and filming a music video. He says he’s enjoyed being a part of the music community and the opportunity to hone his craft among other writers and music veterans. Excited about the opportunity to bring his music to a larger audience with the Wildflower! Festival , John feels privileged to be among the other writers in the competition. John says, “The opportunity to meet such a talented group with such a large pool of experience is a big win for me. I can’t wait!”

Songs: Heart to Heart and The Curse
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The award-winning Wildflower! Performing Songwriter contest encourages the growth of the art of independent performing singer-songwriters. The genres include Acoustic, Americana, Bluegrass, Blues, Celtic, Country and Folk. The Singer Songwriter Stage is located in the Bank of America Theatre within the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts. The Top Ten Finalists will compete for cash prizes on Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 11:30 a.m.

“John Carroll – Every Word and Note Counts” – by guest contributor, Erica Mueller