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John Allaire

72 dpi | 300 dpi

John Allaire

72 dpi | 300

John Allaire

72 dpi | 300

Photo Credits: Sean Sisk



We have recveived quite a few emails asking for pictures and info on The Town Cryers. So we've ressurected some old posters, pictures and info from the old official site. This site will open in a new window.

The Town Cryers (1985-1992)




John Allaire awards

"...The 12-song collection [Ghosts of the Royal Motel] is perfect barroom cool. He’s got one of those rough ‘n’ tumble voices that lures you in right with the opener, “Angels,” a lyric about everyday angels that features a verse by prominent guest vocalist Amanda Rheaume. A great storyteller, Allaire has some standout lines in “Bourbon.” ..."
        - Canadian Musician Magazine

"If he goes on like this for a few more years, no shit, he's on his way to being the next Canadian music legend"
"You can punch any track at random on this disc and end up with a gem."
         - Barry Hammond - Penguin Eggs

"... reminds me of the classic Neil Young albums and Buffalo Tom. Varying from pure country to rockers, from pleasant good feeling folk to the adventures of Wilco ... We knew that John Allaire is a great talent, but to prove that in such a convincing and and mindblowing way, no…….. we never saw this coming."
          - Rootstime Radio, Belgium

"... add one part Strummer, one part Westerberg, sprinkle with rootsy guitars and a Canadian accent, eh ... infectious North Americana" - CBC Radio

John Allaire is an experienced, award-winning singer/songwriter with a gift for weaving captivating musical stories. Drawing on his experiences and surroundings John’s musical repertoire includes songs with sincere, intelligent lyrics that are introspective and deeply personal, as well as tunes that are light-hearted and humourous. 

Starting his professional music career in 1984, John has been in a number of bands, including the award-winning "The Town Cryers", a band that reached the number one spot on seven radio stations in Canada with their first release in 1987 called "All's Well.”  Allaire toured the country with the Cryers while releasing their 1989 CD, "Surprise Surprise," which included a supporting video for Allaire's song "Never Bin Hurt B-4." The video won honours as top independent video in Canada in 1989. The CD also had the dubious pleasure of being the first release in Canada by an independent band on the emerging CD format.  The Town Cryers parted ways in 1992, but not before recording a whopping 18-track CD called "Stanley's Cup.”

In 1995, John founded the alt/punk band The Mercy Miners, playing with signed recording artists including Econoline Crush and Nada Surf. The Mercy Miners released a 10-song CD called Knuckle Sandwich in 1997.

In 2003, John released his first solo effort called Crime and Punishment; a 12-song collection that attracted particular attention on the east coast of Canada and throughout the USA.  John’s sophomore solo release "Thank You Waitress!" (2005) continues to be a source of fan requests at live shows, particularly the title track.
John's 2007 release "Ghosts of the Royal Motel" garnered some of his best reviews with phrases like "Canada's next music legend", "A new Neil Young" and "Perfect barroom cool." The video for the single "Bourbon" was played on national and international music television programming.

John's 2009 release, "Up Hill ... Both Ways" has been selling very well in both the CD and vinyl formats. Early reviews in a US entertainment paper said, "He has the lyrical sense of Dylan, the chops of Neil Young and his backing group reminds me of The Band...".  The American Songwriter Association awarded its “Best Lyrics” honours to John for his heartfelt song “Magnets”.

John suffered a heart attack in October 2010 after a game of recreational hockey, but quickly bounced back and released an album in 2011 called "Heart of Steel" -  a reflective collection of songs about seizing opportunities and living life to its fullest.

No stranger to performing, John plays an average of 120 plus shows each year in addition to regularly recording and releasing his own brand of guitar-driven alt-country/roots/folk.  Each show is different from the last, with changing arrangements (acoustic and electric accompaniment), material choices, and of course John’s quick wit and banter to draw in the audience.   Whether playing solo or accompanied by the ‘Campistas’, John delivers a unique musical experience that does not easily fit into one genre, but is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. 

Over his 25 plus years of playing music, John has had the honour of sharing the stage with talented acts such as: The Black Crowes, Steve Earle, Snoop Dogg, City and Colour, Drive-By Truckers, Alejandro Escovedo, Alanis Morrisette, Blue Rodeo, David Lindley, Tragically Hip, Donovan, AWOLNATION, Lynn Miles, Hoodoo Gurus, BoDeans, Dr. and the Medics, Tom Wilson, The Church, VSpyVspy, Nada Surf, Econoline Crush, Weddings Parties Anything, Tom Cochrane, Grapes of Wrath, Nils, and many more...

John is a dedicated supporter of other musicians and has been hosting someone new every Saturday afternoon at ‘The Allaire Show’ since 2010 (at Quinn’s on Bank Street in Ottawa, ON).  The Allaire Show features John sharing the stage with local and up-and-coming talent as well as more experienced and established musicians, some who’ve come from as far away as Pittsburgh and Vancouver.

- American Songwriter Assoc. "Best Lyrics" Award 2009 for "Magnets" (Nashville, TN)

- Toronto Independent Music Awards "Best Live Act" (2009)

- CBC Telefest top independent music video in Ontario (1989)

- Top independent video in Canada 1989 as selected by MuchMusic

- Canadian College and University Radio Assoc. top album of the month - "All's Well" (1989)

- PROCAN (now SOCAN) independent songwriter award for "Cry at Night" (1987)

Who are the Campistas? John's band of studio and live musicians regularly includes Breeze Smith (drums), Jeff Tanguay (bass), Tony Dunn (keyboards, sax) along with a suite of special guests such as Amanda Rheaume, Tara Holloway, Tyler Kealey, Anders Drerup and Elmer Ferrar.


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