Born in North Tonawanda, New York, John was raised from a young age in Marietta, Ohio; where he began playing guitar and writing songs at age 11 in 1974. He cut his musical teeth on the great Singer/Songwriters of the 1960's & 1970's. From those early days, Walsh continually refined his skills and now has over four decades of musicianship and songwriting experience under his belt.
His special talent for lyrical depth coupled with an oft-times off-the-beaten-path style of chord progression and song structure renders unique, listenable and memorable songs. His songs have been described as "intensely personal," "he sang what I wanted to say..." and, "the lyrics read like a painting..." Walsh is also an accomplished guitarist and vocalist blessed with a very listenable tonal range.
Over the years, Walsh has written scores of songs and has performed both as a soloist and in a variety of bands all over the United States. John has had the opportunity to play on the same stage with notables such as Jason Isbell, Lucy Kaplansky, Tim O'Brien, Dennis DeYoung, Amanda Shires, Larry Groce, Todd Burge and Larkin Poe. He has released nine albums (as a soloist, with The Fields of Gettysburg ensemble, and with George's Attic and The Fossils).
After graduating from Salem College (Salem, WV) in 1986, John became an officer in the U.S. Air Force. He and his wife, Darlene, married in 1987 and spent the next ten years living west of the Mississippi, mostly while John served in the USAF. They have lived in California, Wyoming, Texas, Nevada and Iowa. John also served a short tour in Saudi Arabia during Operation Southern Watch in 1995. After separating from the USAF in 1996, the Walsh’s ultimately settled back in the Mid-Ohio Valley at Vienna, West Virginia. John and Darlene have lived in Vienna, West Virginia, since 1996; and have two adult daughters, Emily and Caroline.
John became immediately active in the local music scene after relocating to Vienna. In addition to playing live regularly, Walsh has recorded his music extensively. He served as a board member of the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame; and, on the Colony Theater Hippodrome Restoration board (now the Peoples Bank Theatre in Marietta, Ohio). Walsh was instrumental in the development and opening of The Adelphia Music Hall, now a premier live music venue in Marietta.
In 2013, John released The Fields of Gettysburg to coincide with the sesquicentennial anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. John’s all original song cycle brought real historical characters to life, enabling the listener to get to know people of the day on a personal level. The record, co-produced by Parkersburg singer/songwriter, Todd Burge, brought together an impressive ensemble of musicians, including Mountain Stage’s Larry Groce and Michael Lipton, two-time Grammy winner Tim O’Brien, Jessica Baldwin, Colton Pack and Justin Arthur. Met with wide critical acclaim, The Fields of Gettysburg was featured on NPR’s Mountain Stage and at The Gettysburg National Park’s Museum Gift Store. The album is currently available at Tamarack’s “The Best of West Virginia.”
Writing and performing music is John’s passion. His acoustic sets are a blend of Walsh original music, the classic singer/songwriter songs of the 1960s & 1970s, as well as new Americana. John’s show provides an easy and inviting vibe that promises an enjoyable, relaxing musical experience.