John Isaac Sheldon, a master guitarist, and transformational songwriter is celebrating 50+ years of writing, composing and performing music. His constantly evolving cannabis-inspired art layers music, sound, and storytelling, taking listeners on journeys through life’s elemental
forces, from the earth’s molten center, through the atmosphere, into space, and back. John combines his mastery with a wide range of guitar styles—including folk, classical, rock and blues—with real-time voices for a unique world of music and feeling. He was Van Morrison’s lead guitarist at age 17, and his songs “September Grass” and “Bittersweet” were featured on James Taylor’s platinum albums “October Road” and “The Best of James Taylor.” Taylor calls him “an amazing songwriter” and “a phenomenon,” and Jimi Hendrix called him “a great player.”
John has fronted his own bands and written hundreds of songs for film and theater as well as two popular autobiographical musical monologues, “The Red Guitar” and “Journey to Center of the Earth,” inspired by life-altering experiences with ayahuasca in the Amazon. He says plant medicine journeys have given him a deeper connection between sound and light. “Now, when I play, I see the notes as lines and dots of light,” he says. “Through the use of real-time sound on sound, I organize these elements into patterns, sort of like
weaving a tapestry.” When he finishes a piece, John will often hit the erase button. “To me, the temporary nature of the music only adds to its beauty and mystery,” he says.
John wrote “Wolf 06” as a memorial to the iconic Yellowstone alpha female shot and killed in 2012 and last year’s “The Same Water” in support of Standing Rock, where he delivered a winterized mobile hospital tent last Thanksgiving. Huffington Post says John has “an uncanny gift for conjuring the wild spirit,” and National Public Radio calls him “one of the great guitarists of our time.” Last summer, the Edinburgh Herald described his sold-out performance at the Edinburgh Fringe as “brilliantly observed, beautifully told!”