Oklahoma's John Moreland is a rootsy, heartfelt singer/songwriter who grew out of punk in his teens to become a lauded Americana and alt-country artist. Born in Longview, Texas in 1985, Moreland grew up in Oklahoma in a working-class family of strict Southern Baptists. As a child, he was first introduced to music by listening to his father play Neil Young and Creedence Clearwater Revival songs at home on the guitar. Around age ten, Moreland began playing guitar himself, and by his teens was playing in various local punk and metalcore bands, including Thirty Called Arson.
After rediscovering country and roots rock in his twenties, he began writing and performing with his group John Moreland & the Black Gold Band. In 2008 he released his earthy, electric guitar-steeped debut, Endless Oklahoma Sky. Three years later he returned with his second effort with the Black Gold Band, Things I Can't Control, as well as two albums recorded as John Moreland & the Dust Bowl Souls, Everything the Hard Way and Earthbound Blues.
Deciding to move in a self-produced direction, Moreland recorded his 2013 album, In the Throes, largely on his own. The album, which showcased his transition to an even more intimate acoustic sound, developed a grassroots following. He garnered even further attention after several songs off In the Throes, including "Spells" and "Heaven," were used in the acclaimed FX television biker drama Sons of Anarchy. In 2015 Moreland released his sixth full-length album, High on Tulsa Heat. Recorded at his parents' home in Bixby, Oklahoma, the album included the single "Cherokee." In a somewhat unexpected move, Moreland signed with esteemed U.K. label 4AD in early 2017 and released his Tchad Blake-mixed fourth solo LP Big Bad Luv.
~ Matt Collar