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Music for the Inside of Your Body...♪♪♪

John O'Kennedy

JohnOKennedy 01Weissenborn Lap Guitar, Mandolin


CD: Music for the Inside of Your Body
Akadak Sessions

John O'Kennedy made up his mind when he saw the Beatles play on the Ed Sullivan show. He was only seven, but he knew then he wanted to be a musician. "I got my first nylon string guitar at eight and painted knobs on it so it would look more like John Lennon's", he remembers.

The first song he ever learned was "Green River" by Creedence Clearwater's John Fogerty. In an "only in LA" twist of fate, John met the legendary rocker at Gelson's market later in life and wound up jamming with him for several hours at his studio in North Hollywood. "I'm really lucky", he says.

John wound up learning to play guitar, as well as bottleneck, mandolin, lap steel, dobro, ukelele, and banjo, and picked up music theory as well, along the way. Among his influences were David Lindley, Mark Knopfler, Jerry Donohue, and Ry Cooder.

He spent several years recording and producing trailers for the Disney Studios. Then, in the late 90's, the business changed and John moved on. "I didn't want to deal with predatory licensing policies anymore."

John found a home at Westwood Music as "utility teacher", a good fit since he knows his way around a variety of stringed instruments, including the Weissenborn, a rare Hawaiian style guitar. It was at Westwood Music that John met Dan Carlson.

"I'm an accompaniist", says John. "When a song is well-written, my job is really easy. Dan's very musical. Not a lot of people can do what he does."

John played the Weisssenborn on the Waldo Bliss song "Spinnin", which will be on the CD, "Just For A Moment", released in early 2013. He calls the Waldo Bliss session "very listenable, even to a civilian".

Besides his work at Westwood Music, John is working with a number of independent singer-songwriters, including Clive Kennedy and Whitney Quinn. "I have a pretty cool Rolodex, and it's fun to find the player to fit the project."

John can be reached at Westwood Music at 310.478.4251.