Profile of the performer Jon Gomm:
Jon Gomm is an acoustic singer-songwriter with an incredible virtuoso guitar style, where he uses one acoustic guitar to create drum sounds, basslines and sparkling melodies all at the same time, and combining styles from blues and jazz to rock and pop. The emphasis is still on the soulful vocals and songwriting however, and his original material is influenced by everything from Robert Johnson to Radiohead.
Jon first laid his hands on a guitar at the age of two (actually it was a ukulele - his parents couldn’t find a guitar small enough). He started taking classical guitar lessons, wrote his first song at the age of six, and at twelve he was accompanying his father, a music critic, to blues gigs in his hometown of Blackpool. Touring musicians would often stay at the Gomm household on the understanding Jon would get a guitar lesson, meaning he had one-to-one instruction from such legends as Walter Trout, Bob Brozman, Sherman Robertson and Norman Beaker (Jack Bruce band).
On leaving school Jon turned down a place at Oxford University to attend The Guitar Institute in London. While there he paid his way through college playing jazz in café-bars, recording as a session guitarist, and even playing Country & Western in working mens clubs for line-dancers.
Eventually he heard the call of the north and moved to Leeds, where he is now based, to study on the Jazz degree course at the music college there. He decided to try his hand at performing solo, and discovered all kinds of new sounds he could make with an acoustic guitar – hitting the surface of it to make snare drum, bass drum and bongo sounds, re-tuning the strings to get bass sounds, and teasing high harmonics from the guitar for synthesizer-like effects. He worked all these techniques into his own songs, and put his years of singing blues into use.
Nowadays he tours Europe, playing at festivals from Rome to Athens, has a huge cult following and is regarded by those in the know as one of the world’s most talented and innovative acoustic guitarists. Even with only one CD so far released he is already cited as an influence by many other performers. His videos are watched thousands of times within days of appearing on Youtube, and his home-recorded CD “Hypertension” has sold over ten thousand copies with no industry backing.