John Herald
Biography, Articles, Reviews

Photo by Holly Wilmeth. Click for hi-res version

Photos by Holly Wilmeth.
Click for hi-res version
Born and raised in Greenwich Village, John Herald well remembers his first music. It was the distinctive sound of Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly, happening live at parties to which John's poet father took him. And when John began playing guitar, it was usually in a lower Manhatten picking session or cafe society jam with artists like Bob Dylan, Rory Block, Jorma Kaukonen or Ramblin' Jack Elliot.

John Herald became known as lead singer and guitarist in the Greenbriar Boys, the first touring professional bluegrass group in the Northeast. The Greenbriar's recordings of John's classics "Alligator Man" and "Stewball" sound fresh and brilliant today. John's career continued strongly as a singer and session guitarist, recording with Bonnie Raitt, Doc Watson, Bette Midler, Ian and Syvia, and others.

You've probably heard John Herald's songs, perhaps without even realizing it. From Linda Ronstadt's recording of his "High Muddy Water" to Maria Muldaur's cut of "Jon the Generator", John Herald tunes can be found on a diverse collection of albums. Artists such as Peter, Paul, and Mary, Joan Baez, and the Woodstock Mountain Review, all have included John Herald's songs in their repertoires. John's songwriting is evident in movies too, such as "The Champ" starring Jon Voight which featured the Greenbriar Boy's single "Stewball" which Peter, Paul, and Mary had a hit with, and even in national television commercials. John Herald classics include "(Just another) Bluegrass Boy", "Passenger Pigeons", "Still Got it Bad", and "Let Me Fall into Your Hair".

John Herald lives in Woodstock, New York. His concern with today's world is reflected in some of his latest songs which are exciting new and old audiences. You may see him as a solo performer or working with a bluegrass or country band. He occasionally plays as a member of the Woodstock Mountain Review, and regardless of the setting, a performance by John Herald is long remembered.


Roll on, John
July 2005, by Brian Hollander, Woodstock Times
Bluegrass Pioneer Still Rolling On
January, 2001, by Lynne Ames, New York Times
John Herald and Friends
April 2000, by Kurt Henry,
John Herald Interviewed...
March 2000, by Francis Macdonald, Shoeshine Records
Individually Yours
October, 1996, by Irv Yarg, Woodstock Times
Just This Side of Legend
November, 1990, by Gary Alexander, Woodstock Times


"Not only is Herald posssessed of a strikingly clean tenor voice, he also is an immensely charismatic performer. Tight as a drum playing-- this is high energy music."
-- Washington Post
"Herald adds a novel, personal twist to everything he touchs. Great stuff."
-- Nashville Banner
"An uncommonly expressive singer, his singing covers the spectrum from the hilarious to the plaintive-- the way he makes you shed a tear for Martha, the last of the passenger pigeons, is a tour-de-force of the highest order."
-- L.A. Times
"Herald's powerful voice is one of the best in city or country. his leather lung tenor is a thing of wonder."
-- New York Times
"The result was great as I'm sure you could tell from the audience's enthusiastic response. You are always a pleasure to work with and to listen to."
-- Lincoln Center
"He's the country Stevie Wonder."
-- Bob Dylan
"You can be sure that John Herald's talents aren't trendy. They're solid and their individual tone is unmistakable."
-- Woodstock Times
"I've always been a sucker for his voice. God, I think he's great!"
-- Linda Ronstadt

Notable Songs

Year Recorded By / For Song Label
1983-85 Commercial "Come back to Jamaica" (melody used) Stewball (listen) NBC, ABC, CBS and independent television stations
1978 Woodstock Mountain Review Warm Rain,
Rounder Records
1978 Movie "The Champ" starring Jon Voight Stewball (listen) CBS Motion Pictures
1975 Maria Muldaur Jon the Generator (listen) Warner Bros. Records
1973 John Herald Brother Sam,
Ramblin Jack,
Pretty Eyes,
Passenger Pigeons (listen)
Paramount Records
1969 Linda Ronstadt High Muddy Water Capital Records


Websurf your way to these friends of John

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