Named "Nashville's indie pop artist of the year 2016"
Years before becoming one of the most active performers in downtown Nashville, John Salaway was raised on the sounds of his parents' vinyl collection. He listened to everything: the classic pop of the Beatles, the heavy metal stomp of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, the progressive intricate musicianship of Yes and Rush, and the rock & roll swagger of the Rolling Stones and AC/DC. Later, the Florida native picked up his first instruments as a child, learning drums, electric guitar and piano before he was a freshman in high school.
That sort of variety — the multi-instrumentalist listening to multiple styles of music — has left its mark on Salaway's own music, which nods to the past while still pushing forward. A frequent face at world-class venues like BB King's Blues Club in Nashville, he writes melody-driven, wide-ranging songs, using his inspirations as a jumping off point for something new. He also records most of all those songs completely alone, a nod the one-man show he often performs live.
Salaway's debut album, The Song in the Air, was named 2013's best independent pop/rock album, with critics and fans (including Denny Laine, who helped form the Moody Blues before joining Paul McCartney's Wings in 1971) praising the album for its Beatles-worthy hooks. With 2016's Travel Down the Road of Life though, Salaway swirls up a heavier, grungier sound, working with guitarists like Stuart Mathis (the Wallflowers, Lucinda Williams) and Steve Allen (the Long Players) to create a sound that mixes melody with rock & roll muscle.