John Moreland, the Tulsa, OK based singer/songwriter, has been added to the 2016 Newport Folk Festival lineup.
Largely self-performed and self-produced, Moreland produces music that is influenced by his Oklahoma roots, music that is gloriously and joyfully heartbreaking. Moreland has released five records to date, saying “I write a lot of songs.”
Moreland started writing when he was 10 years old, the same year his family moved from Kentucky, to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he still lives today. He turns 30 this year, but he’s been slinging songs for more than half his life. He started fronting local punk and hardcore bands in high school. After graduation, he had an epiphany. “I’d just overexposed myself to punk and hardcore to the point that it just didn’t do anything for me anymore,” he says. The remedy? He ditched his music for his dad’s: CCR, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Steve Earle.
“I think what appealed to me about it was lyrics,” he says. “In hardcore, there might be great lyrics in a song but you have to read them off a piece of paper to know it. I was 19 in 2004, and Steve Earle had put out ‘The Revolution Starts Now,’ and I remember hearing the song ‘Rich Man’s War’ and totally feeling like somebody just punched me in the chest.”
Three of Moreland’s songs — “Heaven,” “Gospel” and “Your Spell” — have been featured on the TV show, “Sons of Anarchy.”
Moreland will join Norah Jones, Father John Misty, Nathaniel Ratelif, Del & Dawg, Amy Helm, Rayland Baxter and others playing the sold-out festival on Saturday, July 23rd.