From Southern gospel to classic rock jams, John Armour can play it all. John grew up in a musical family and picked up his first guitar when he was 12 years old. These days you can catch him strumming and singing at live music venues like The Barn at The Frio or Murdoch’s Backyard Pub. We connected with him this month to learn a bit more about this local artist.
How did you get started playing music?
I’m the youngest of four. I have three older sisters. My mom - all four of them - are excellent singers. I grew up with a lot of music in our household, so I just kind of came by it...I couldn’t get away from it. I grew up singing mainly in church and later on in school. Then I had a bluegrass band. We played for several years around Houston. It was me on the guitar, a guy playing the fiddle and a guy playing the stand-up base. The group broke up, but I kept getting calls and I said, ‘I don’t have a group anymore, but I’ll come do a standup solo show.’ That’s how it started.
How would you describe your music style?
Typically I do classic rock, pop blues and country. I do some Lynyrd Skynyrd and Stevie Ray Vaughn, Steve Miller, Van Morrison and country. I do a lot of Texas country. Willie Nelson, Josh Abbott, Dale Watson and many others. They lend themselves to the acoustic guitar. A lot of their songs were originally done with electric guitar and can get a little crazy. It kind of tones it down with the acoustic guitar, but it’s still music people enjoy and they like to hear.
What are some of your musical inspirations?
Playing acoustic guitar through high school and later on I got with a Southern gospel quartet. I played the bass for them. I’m self-taught. Later I got into a bluegrass group, bought a banjo and learned how to play that and a mandolin. I’ve been open to a lot of different styles and types of music, which I enjoy.
What's the best part about being a musician?
It’s a combination of using talent to do something people enjoy listening to and just the whole aspect of being creative as an artist and creating something people enjoy. Your typical artist motivation I suppose. My music performance has increased over the last few years as I begin to focus more time on it. I did close to 100 shows this year. Now I’m booking more restaurants.
What is it you hope your audience experiences?
I’d like for them to relax and enjoy the music. I understand it’s going to be background music, they’re not there to see me, but they complement my music and it lets me know they are listening. It lets me know they appreciate the talent and time invested.
When you're not making music what are you doing?
I’ve been selling T-shirts, screen printing and embroidery. My son recently started a commercial real estate firm and I’m doing some marketing for him.
What are your top three favorite Christmas songs and why?
“Mary Did You Know.” It’s the story of someone having a conversation with Mary asking her if she’s aware that this baby she has delivered is Christ, the savior of the world. It goes into questioning how she is going to handle that. Of course, I like “White Christmas” - all versions. “Silent Night” lends itself to the classical guitar. Some folks request that with classical guitar with no singing.
Murdoch’s Backyard Pub
18541 Mueschke Rd, Cypress
The Barn at the Frio
16416 Mueschke Rd, Cypress