Press for 'Surrounding Colors'

John mcdonough cd cover

Americana Music Association

'Surrounding Colors' spent over 6 months on the Americana Radio Chart starting Jan. 25th, 2017.

IndieWorld Country Record Report

'The Place Where I Belong' off of McDonough's latest release 'Surrounding Colors' entered the IndieWorld Country Record Report at number 40 March 1st, 2017, and rose to number 1 on June 16, 2017.

KZSU Stanford

The music is interesting and varied, but it's really when you tune into the lyrics that the whole album takes on a whole new depth. The songs each have grave and serious subject matter(for example #1 is about the Stonewall Riots of 1969 and LGBT rights), and John has some serious historical knowledge and understanding conveyed in a catchy, upbeat, sometimes pop-like roots rock way. The CD itself is also visually stimulating, a burst and swirl of color leaps from the packet, a reminder to listen to the colors that surround us.

KZSU Standford

Folkworld Germany

With the many waves of Americana artists in the world today, it is refreshing when one stands out. I think there are two reasons here, at least to these tired ears. McDonough writes good songs. They are catchy and heartfelt. The second reason is the overall energy that keeps many of these songs rocking as opposed to sliding into laid-back country cliches. He can keep it acoustic and cut the pace back when warranted, which adds a nice variety to this album. Good solid sophomore effort here and I hope to hear more from Austin's John McDonough.

Folkworld

Strutter Magazine
Singer/songwriter John McDonough comes out of Austin, Texas, has already released 6 albums, and 'Surrounding Colors' is his latest album. He sounds very impressive actually, with somehow an own identity in his voice, while the music is very strong, catchy, melodic pop/rock. It definitely rocks and even has some AOR influences(Tonight's The Night and Save A Life), although the best comparison would be Ed Kowalczyk. It sounds fresh, very clean, and melodic and as already mentioned, it even rocks a bit, so this ain't the standard singer/songwriter album. Despite influences from James Blunt and Damien Rice, John goes for a more traditional, rocking approach, which works very well. Without a doubt, this is a recommended album to the fans of light, melodic, pop/rock. (Points: 8.2 out of 10)
Strutter Magazine
Holland
Strutter Magazine
The Long Journey
Residing in Austin, Texas, John McDonough is an atypical singer for those latitudes, more tied to a song inspired by folk narration, but assumes the colors of an 'east coast,' roots-rock sound along the lines of Willie Nile.
After the good results of 'Dreams and Imagination' published in 2015, John McDonough has put together one of his most inspired and articulated discs, tying together a tasteful melodic sound with meaningful and important stories that tell of human rights and inclusion, dreams and aspirations, values in diversity(religion, sexual orientation, political beliefs)and tributes to personalities who have influenced the artistic growth.
The proud and strong opening 'Tonights The Night' speaks of the Stonewall Riots in June 1969, and the rights of the LGBT community. "Save A Life" and "Nowhere Else To Run" take their cue from John's passion for history, making a parallel with ordinary, contemporary life. The figure of John Denver and his passion for environmental struggles drives "The Place Where I Belong," which more than others is alive with a country and folk component.
The other songs oscillate between rock and singer/songwriter. "I Need To Lay With You Tonight" has a rock sound with electric guitars by Kevin Butler and keyboards by Cole Gramling, while the excellent "I Think I'll Go Back To Texas" with cello by Steve Bernal is a ballad of great evocative power. The valuable "All The Gold" and "Give Me One More Day To Say Goodbye" confirm a vigorous and and sometimes divergent voice.
The Long Journey
Italy
The Long Journey
 
Written In Music
In the home of Austin, Texas, where he worked as a psychotherapist, McDonough has been building respectable support as a singer-songwriter in the local restaurants and clubs. McDonough worked with guitarist and co-producer Kevin Butler and pianist Cole Gramling on his previous release 'Dreams and Imagination,' and this collaboration has evolved on 'Surrounding Colors,' resulting in a smooth instrumented whole. "Tonight's The Night" is an organ and guitar driven rocker about the summer riots of 1969 after the violent police raid on the gay bar Stonewall Inn. With reverberating guitar on "Save A Life,"  McDonough tells the story of Jewish pilots dealing with  persistent anti-Semitism in the aftermath of the second world war. "I Think I'll Go Back To Texas" impresses with an uplifting acoustic accompaniment beautifully interspersed with the mournful cello by Steve Bernal. "The Place Where I Belong" is about John Denver and has an accessible country rock feel. With every song a less obvious topic pops up on this CD by the currently too little-known singer-songwriter. 
Written In Music
Belgium
Written In Music
Lonesome Highway
Austin, Texas is home to this singer-songwriter who releases his second collection of songs in the last 2 years. 'Dreams and Imagination' was reviewed here previously and this time out the same studio band has remained, with the players delivering on all fronts. The 10 songs featured all display a confidence in the delivery and writing as we are given a strong mix of rock ballads and up tempo workouts. He is a fine guitar player and the piano and keyboards of Cole Gramling add real color to the arrangements. Co-produced by McDonough and Kevin Butler(drums and electric guitar) the drive of the opening songs "Tonights The Night," "Save A Life," and "Open My Arms And Breathe," lead into the more reflective "Nowhere Else To Run." "The Place Where I Belong" is a country influenced groove that sits well with the easy tempo of  "All The Gold." Another solid project brought to fruition by this interesting artist who is quietly involved in a D.I.Y. career that has to be applauded.
Lonesome Highway
Ireland
Lonesome Highway
R2 Rock' N' Reel
Surrounding Colors is an album of powerful Americana shot through with historical threads.
R2 Rock' N' Reel
England
Rootstime
With three records in six years, Austin, Texas singer-songwriter John McDonough has put some regularity in the release frequency of his albums and his songs. As a former psychotherapist, he obviously has the ability to look in the souls of people and himself, to evaluate situations and moods, and to translate all this into modern folk and pop songs that now appear on his latest album 'Surrounding Colors.'
Rootstime
Belgium
Rootstime
Rootstime
Delivering a new CD every two years seems to be the objective of Austin, Texas singer-songwriter John McDonough. After 'It's All Been Said Before' from 2012, and 'Dreams and Imagination' from 2014, it is time for ten new songs on his new CD 'Surrounding Colors.' Musicians from Austin, Texas are mostly active in the world of country and Americana, but John McDonough can rather be classified as a folk and pop singer. He is a teller of stories, initially accompanied with an acoustic guitar, and then moving to a modern sound that ranges from folk to rock to pop. The ten songs on 'Surrounding Colors' provide a nice variety of musical styles when listening. The opener "Tonights The Night" and "I Need To Lay With You Tonight," are rock songs with a strong beat and tempo, while "Save A Life," "Open My Arms and Breath," and "Nowhere Else To Run," tend to go in the narrative folk direction. "The Place Where I Belong" and "All The Gold" are modern pop songs with piano accompaniment and "I Think I'll Go Back To Texas," "Give Me One More Day To Say Goodbye," and the closing track, "Your Love Sets Me Free," are nice ballads about nostalgia and love. In 2010, this psychotherapist decided to quit that profession to fully concentrate on his musical career: writing, performing, and producing three CD's in six years. After experiencing this fun record 'Surrounding Colors,' we have a hunch that this situation will not change in the near future.
Rootstime
Belgium
Rootstime
Ung Tro
John McDonough is from Austin, Texas, and is surely well-known there after twenty years as a recording and live artist. Six years ago he decided to stop working as a psychotherapist and devote himself entirely to music, and 'Surrounding Colors' is a record that makes me think that decision is not without reason. A pop-rock oriented sound with songs that would work well on the radio. He sings well and is somewhat reminiscent of James Blunt, Bruce Springsteen on the poppy side, or Damien Rice.
Ung Tro
Sweden
Ung Tro
Keys and Chords
Comparisons have been made with Elton John and Harry Chapin for McDonough's singing style. He's now released his latest CD of pop-rock songs, but also folk-pop and even Americana. 'Tonight's the Night' is a solid work about the Stonewall Riots of 1969. By contrast, 'The Place Where I Belong,' has a country atmosphere. There's something here for everyone who discovers this singer/songwriter.
Keys and Chords
Belgium
Keys and Chords
Rootsville
John McDonough's last CD 'Dreams and Imagination received good reviews in both America and Europe, and hopefully it will go the same way with 'Surrounding Colors.' You can file John McDonough under Americana but with a nod towards folk-pop. John Plays an acoustic guitar but that is not to say that we get a CD of quiet acoustic Americana. Songs like 'Tonights the Night' and 'I Need to Lay with You Tonight' definitely lodge in the pop-rock genre. 'The Place Where I Belong' is John's single country song and his 'I Think I'll Go Back to Texas' is melancholy, and comes with a symphonic rock cello. The CD ends as it began, with a song in the pop-rock genre called 'Your Love Sets Me Free' together with some rock in angels. 
Rootsville
Belgium
Rootsville
Mike Penard
The big surprise...John McDonough. I am very impressed with his fast and recent evolution. These recording give a feel of confidence in himself. He seems motivated, totally free. We can feel it in his voice and hear it in his efficient style. This ability to put emotional intensity in his music reminds me of James Blunt. I have a special affection for the man and his music.
Mike Penard
Radio I.S.A.
France

Press for 'Dreams and Imagination'

Johndreamscoverweb

Americana Music Association

John McDonough's CD 'Dreams and Imagination' charted on the Americana Radio Chart for 26 consecutive weeks beginning Jan. 19, 2016.

IndieWorld Country Record Report

John McDonough's 'I Wish I Could Fly' from his CD Dreams and Imagination spent 9 weeks on the IndieWorld Country Record Report peaking at number 15.
Jefferson Blues Magazine
It should at once be said that this is not a CD usually reviewed in Jefferson. John plays guitar and piano, and employs an economical and sensitive instrumentation and intelligent use of background singers. A cello brightens the sounds of some songs. His lyrics are well considered and free from cliches, a good singer/songwriter hallmark. A really good album.
Jefferson Blues Magazine
Sweden

Jefferson Blues Magazine
Rudolf's Music
John McDonough has recorded eleven powerful songs, and his acoustic guitar and piano work, personal lyrics, and above all passionate vocals make for a nice result. 'Dreams and Imagination' is not just a very good album. What is striking is that with every listen more beauty is disclosed. My favorite songs are the opener, 'I Wish I Could Fly,' '(I Need You Here)You're All That Matters, and the truly magnificent finale 'You Don't Know This,' written for his niece. The music of John McDonough deserves to be heard.
Rudolfs Music
Netherlands
Rudolfs Music
Folk World
'This veteran singer/songwriter from Austin, Texas' is an introduction that can and will be used many times. Yes, they are everywhere in this city, but John McDonough has been there for a few decades and is still going strong. So with a city like Austin, you pretty much have to have your chops if you can make it last beyond a year or two. And these songs are quite professional in formation and execution. Whether it is guitar or piano leading the way, the voice is strong and clear and there are various cellos and backing vocals that enrich the proceedings. All in all, a fine album here that you can go to often.
Folk World
Germany

Folk World
Moors Magazine
Subdued songs, well sung, good stories, McDonough plays guitar and piano, backed by electric guitar, bass, cello, keyboards, and singer Ginger Leigh with a fine second voice. All in all a good album.
Moors Magazine
Netherlands

Moors Magazine
Denim Canary
John McDonough's music is good for the long haul...many years later I would still like it.
Denim Canary
U.S.A

Denim Canary
Real Roots Cafe
With the words 'singer-songwriter from Austin, Texas,' nobody automatically sits up as that number is now so large. What extras does John McDonough have to offer? He has a beautiful, relaxed approach in a modern folk-pop sound. Meanwhile, with his personal commitment in his writings, one can hear that music has long been his passion. In some texts his intentions are clear, in others he has stayed deliberately vague so the listeners are intrigued and give it their own interpretation. This is the psychologist John McDonough, and that makes him different from the many other singer-songwriters from Austin!
Real Roots Cafe
Netherlands

Real Roots Cafe

 
Strutter Magazine
Out of Austin, Texas comes singer and songwriter John McDonough. His singer/songwriter music style is compared to James Blunt and Damien Rice, although John definitely has his own style, which can be heard in the album's highlights "(I Love You More Than Yesterday)I Love You Now, (beautiful west coast shuffle with strong melody), the semi-ballad "It's You and Me" and the catchy up-tempo radio pop rocker "Planes Fly Too Low" that somehow reminds me vocally of Raccoon. Actually John has his own style of singing, which sounds modest and is actually quite hard to describe, but it grows on you for sure. Concluded, this is quality stuff and recommended to check out at JohnMcDonoughLIVE.com.
Strutter Magazine
Netherlands
R2(Rock 'n Reel)
Austin singer and songwriter John McDonough's 'Dreams and Imagination' is an enjoyable collection of passionate and big hearted songs about everything from lovers separated by the Berlin Wall to a Native American refusing to live on a reservation. Echoes of Slaid Cleaves and Bruce Springsteen.
R2(Rock 'n Reel)
England

 
Ung Tro
While John McDonough's music is presented in a classic singer-songwriter form, where there is a man with his guitar, he is one of the more interesting artists in the new wave of U.S. singer-songwriters. He writes songs that are a mix between folk and pop, with a right modern touch. Moreover, he is good at capturing the listener with his singing. Beautiful and interesting.
Ung Tro
Sweden
Ung Tro
Fatea
Titles are concerned with matters of the heart, but there are protest and social comment here too. McDonough talks about struggle, dreams, fatigue of the soul, fall from grace and search for redemption. He can turn up the tempo as well as weave more intimate moods. John McDonough deserves a much wider stage and audience and assuredly warrants your investigation.
Fatea
England

Fatea
Stephan Rice
John McDonough is one of our favorite musical guests and his new release, 'Dreams and Imagination,' is a perfect example why. This original work gets better and better the more you listen to it.
Stephen Rice, KOOP 91.7 fm radio
Austin, Texas
Mike Penard
John McDonough has been a hidden talent in Austin, Texas, but that is changing now. His catchy folk/pop melodies are a real delight, and his charming voice is the perfect vehicle for his good songs. European radio stations are now discovering this talent, and he won't be hidden for long.
Mike Penard, ISA Radio
France
Rootstime
With the opening track, 'I Wish I Could Fly,'  John McDonough draws the attention of the listener immediately. From sensitive, acoustic ballads to more uptempo songs, we believe in the magnificent qualities of this artist and his great songs. We enjoyed every track on 'Dreams and Imagination,' and can therefore recommend you check out this record.
Rootstime
Belgium

Rootstime


 
Lonesome Highway
His work falls into a modern folk/pop sound and his clear vocal delivery makes these eleven tracks a pleasant listen. Songs like, 'It's You and Me,' 'Planes Fly Too Low,' 'Lay Your Burden Down,' and 'You Don't Know This' are representative of the tight arrangements and easy melodies on offer here.
Lonesome Highway
Ireland

Lonesome Highway
Keys and Chords
John McDonough's vocal phrasing and superior ballad work strongly reminds us of the initial period of Elton John, and that says more than enough about the qualities of this less well known songwriter.
Keys and Chords
Belgium

Keys and Chords
Folker
Twenty years traveling as a musician has resulted in this solid and coherent production, which has a healthy mix of singer/songwriter, Americana, and pop.
Folker 
Germany