The John Henry of popular folklore, and immortalized in dozens of traditional folk songs, was a giant of a man who labored laying railway tracks and digging tunnels. He challenged the first steam powered drilling machine to a race to determine what was stronger, man or machine. His superhuman effort won him the race, after which he immediately died of exhaustion. We picked the The John Henrys for our name because the story is such an inspiration, says vocalist/ guitarist Rey Sabatin Jr, whose First Nations and Acadian heritage, along with his day job as a luthier, are reflected in the band's Cajun influenced yet precise musical arrangements. Rey, along with Steve Tatone (keyboards) Doug Gouthro (Guitar) Daryl Quinlan (Bass), and Geoff Ward (Drums) have been creating music and working together since 2003, writing, arranging and rehearsing so many songs that they have trouble deciding what to play in a live set. Their self-titled debut album, went all the way to #1 on the influential college radio roots charts.
Their music emerges from rich traditions, but the John Henrys landscape is their own. They straddle the divide between sweet country and 60's R&B, and they do it in their own distinct way. --CBC Radio 3