Influences: Ben Harper, Leonard Cohen, Billy Block, Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, Ellie Waterston, Thomas Moore


Jon Dakota writes all kinds of songs, Americana, country, blues, folk, love, satirical, but is most recognized for his beautifully crafted story songs, often with multiple intersecting orbits of meaning.

He has been described as an idiosyncratic troubadour in the genres of Prine, Guthrie, Williams, Kristofferson and early Dylan.

His tunes are delivered passionately with a voice that ranges from smooth to gravelly, accompanied by his skillful finger picking guitar style and killer blues harp.

He is a songwriter who knows his craft and can totally engage the listener with his mesmerizing stories, moving love songs and rocking blues.

Jon’s Story

My formal music education ended in the first year of trumpet lessons when I threw my trumpet on the floor. When I was 12, I found a plywood Stella guitar in our basement, which had the resonance of a livestock water tank, but could be dropped repeatedly without damage. I fell in love with this marginally musical instrument, learned to the first positions for E, A and B7 from Alfred’s Chord Chart, and launched my career.

In high school I was dyslexic, couldn’t learn, and got miserable grades, however was successful in art and music. I formed a rock & roll bank which performed for several years and made a record with RCA’s private label division. The band split up after high school.

Then I took a 30-year vacation from music: Went to college. Became disenchanted. Worked on a freighter. Hitchhiked 10,000 miles. Raised pigs. Worked construction. Built cabinets. Got framed for dealing drugs. Got exonerated. Drove a taxi. Built three restaurants and a manufacturing company. Went bankrupt. Went crazy. Recovered. Got married and divorced twice. Had four kids. Made some money. And went back to my first love, music. But I never stopped writing songs.

I write songs based on my observations, reflections, thoughts and feelings about myself and others, our life experiences and dilemmas and the beauty and mystery of the universe.

I pay attention to all kinds of people that I know or don’t know or learn about and write about what’s meaningful for them in life and about their good times and hard times. They all have a story and a song I want to listen to, sometimes happy, sometimes sad, sometimes uplifting, sometimes depressing, sometimes transcendent, sometimes edifying, sometimes tragic, sometimes bittersweet.

And from time to time I have something important to say that needs to be said and I want to say it in a song, simply, clearly, engagingly and powerfully, both emotionally and intellectually.

Since resuming my career I have played in venues in Colorado, California, Nashville, Texas, New York City, Boston, England and others. My goal is to write some great songs, play out, get more distribution, enjoy the journey and see where the path leads!

The Path

Jon Dakota I
Was Dysfunctionally Raised
Acting Out
Delinquent Child
With Petty Crime
Until The Day
I Finally Said
Adios Then
A Dyslexic Sculptor
In A Rock n Roll Band
A Construction Worker
And A Freighter Deckhand
A Hitchhiking Traveler
A Lonely Farmhand
A Taxi Driver
And A Union Man
A Builder A Baker
And A Cabinet Maker
A Lover of Life
A Lover You Know
A Musician An Artist
And A Fellow Traveler Oh
My Dream Came True
As a Father of Four
Another Dream Died
I’m Married No More
Accepting Compassionate
Curious Kind
Sometimes Reflective
If You Don’t Mind
Enthusiastic Engaging
And a Testament To
The Power of Hope
But I Don’t Have a Clue
I’m Uncertain and Sure
Than I’ll Always Revere
Beauty and Love
With Wonder and Awe
Of All the Above
In this Crazy Place
All Only With
With Only God’s Grace
Poem by Jon Dakota
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