John The Baptist


About this artist...

Decade(s) active:

We say:

‘John The Baptist’ were an energetic four-piece band. Their music blended elements of folk, rock, country, and pop into a distinctively natural voice with an approach to song-writing from the view of an ensemble rather than four individuals. More inspired by rather than subscribing to any of the musical traditions they drew on.

In 2009 Shaun and Michael relocated from Hawkes Bay to Wellington where, after a night sharing cheap beer and good music with David and Thomas, a duo became the four-piece. Before they’d barely developed a small cache of songs, the band received keen interest and a rapidly growing audience. During those first few months the band recorded the songs that were later released on their self-titled EP in May 2010.

In 2011 the band took a step back from their previously relentless gig schedule to begin their second recording. They produced a five-song EP with the help of Surgery Studios, STL Studios (both in Wellington), and Masterdisk in New York, entitled ‘The Great Mountain Haul’ which was released early November 2011.

The band have enjoyed many memorable shows, a few highlights included: a show at the Mussel Inn in Takaka over Easter weekend 2012; ‘The Great Mountain Haul’ EP release show 2011 at the Garden Club complete with brass section; Campus A Low Hum 2010; the August 2010 national tour; and the self-titled EP release 2010 which saw ‘Mighty Mighty’ turned into a barnyard with stacks of hay bales.

Carving their own space in the New Zealand music landscape since 2009, the band won audiences with a sound that drew on many traditions while adhering to none. What set their shows apart from many others, was the diverse range of demographics represented and united in that same energetic release. It was the ability to access human commonality that truly made this folk music.

‘John The Baptist’ disbanded in 2014. They reflected on their time together on a final Facebook page: ‘The band formed, as many do, with a handful of friends sharing cheap beers in an over-priced and under-maintained flat in Wellington. None of us could’ve anticipated the warmth of interest we would receive in the live music scene. With little more than a week between our first assembling and our first gig, the band took off at speed. Since then, our ramblings have taken us up, down, and around New Zealand, meeting awesome people and inspiring locations time and time again. These experiences are dear to us and will continue in fond memories and how they have shaped us personally as a result…’

The band was:
Shaun Blackwell – Guitars/Banjo/Vocals
Michael Keane – Banjo/Guitars/Vocals
David Beacham – Bass Guitar/Vocals
Thomas Friggens – Drums

Cover image









RNZs ‘NZ Live’, 2013…

“CATCH THE SUN” (Live @ Radioactive Studios)

“THOUGHTS OF THOUGHTS” (Live @ Radioactive Studios)

Cover sourced from Bandcamp. Text courtesy of John The Baptist. Used with permission.

Last edited: 02.03.16

Elsewhere online:

From DigitalNZ:

Hm, something went wrong there -- please try again in a minute

have your say

You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>