”The rock and roll circus canvas was held open by the likes of Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Smokey Robinson and John Lennon–the biggest tent artists imaginable. John Velghe descends from that line, particularly the way John Lennon could take all the enormity and raw power of the rock and roll that came before him and deliver it in a lullaby. Both that scope of vision and that intimacy, after all, are the elements that most obviously connect Lennon to Velghe’s mentor Alejandro Escovedo…” - Danny Alexander, Take Em As They Come.
Born in the midwest, John Velghe (pronounced Vel-jee) writes songs leaning towards personal narratives and accounts of people he’s met over 20 years of playing in bands and touring.
USA Today called Velghe “An earnest songwriter and frontman,” (Mike Snider) From a friend’s ex-wife in Austin to a four-year-old waitress in Lucas, Kansas to a transvestite railroad worker he met on the banks of Lake Superior in Duluth, Minnesota; Velghe populates his songs with real characters who’ve informed personal allegories about escape, transformation and fear.
Tim Finn, Music Editor of the Kansas City Star says Velghe’s latest album, Don’t Let Me Stay (Lakeshore Records, Beverly Hills, CA) “…is a gem of a pop record, rich in melodies and harmonies, embroidered tastefully with strings, guitars, horns, keyboards, the occasional mandolin. It rocks hard and sways gently. It is softly lit in some places, bright and brash in others.” (Kansas City Star, March 2012)
In a live performance Velghe and his band, the Prodigal Sons impress. The band — ranging from a full-on seven-piece, complete with horn section, guitars, bass and drums to an acoustic duo -- move shows from intimate gatherings to a fervor where fans like those at 2012 SXSW witness Velghe closing the showcase from atop the bass drum. One night audiences will find the band performing the Stooges classic “I Wanna Be Your Dog” as a tender-hearted duet with legendary singer-songwriter Alejandro Escovedo, the next the song is drenched in sweat and blood in all it’s raucous punk bombast.
As an independent musician Velghe has written, performed and toured the country in several bands including The Daybirds, Saint Jude, and famous fm. His songs have been released in North America and Europe. As a composer he has scored feature-length documentaries and short films.
He has produced and recorded projects for artists across all musical genres including singer/songwriter Krystle Warren, The Depth and the Whisper, and hip hop artist Blydell (Lone Rider).