Toby Wainwright Johns is a musician and poet, currently based in and around the Welsh borders. His style is captivating; A strange blend of primal, earthy, and human with sometimes more than a hint of haunting. Maybe something which lies within us all…
Toby’s recent mini album “PRESSED FLOWERS”, a six track journey, which along the way encounters elements of early British folk, tango, and gypsy music throughout Europe, to name but a few. This combined with what can only be described as poetry. Toby’s use of language uses words for more than just their meaning. Often the use of sound plays an important role. Two words. One sound. Two meanings. Both of which are relevant to the meaning of the lyric as a whole. This clever poetic twist is a trademark of Toby’s songs.Toby Wainwright Johns’ style is undoubtably rural, his inspiration from that which is beyond the control of man. Yet, containing a strong grounding in that which is essentially human.
Toby Wainwright Johns started gigging at the age of 14 with his band Redshift. For whom he was the sole songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist. Alongside his sister Saffron (now an artist living in Bulgaria) on bass, and Jon Stacey/Matt Jockel on drums. Redshift disappeared in 1999. Toby took up the steel string acoustic and began a painstaking 5 years composing what was to be his first solo release. “THE CREATURES WITH BEAUTIFUL EYES”. Recorded in a cellar by friend and sound engineer Norris (now working at ToyBox studios, Bristol). Released 2005. Only a few copies of this recording are left and are only available from Toby himself at gigs, or contacting him directly.
From here he gained more confidence as a songwriter. “HALOES & SUNDOGS” ep. Released 2006 on the Avocado music productions label marked a breakthrough for Toby. This recording was a learning curve that taught him many things about the complexities and possibilities of both songwriting and recording. Armed with this and good feedback from Haloes & Sundogs, always moving forward he began work on “PRESSED FLOWERS”. 2008 Avocado music productions. An album recorded on his nylon stringed classical guitar which he now uses as part of his sound.
Although live, Toby generally plays alone. For this studio recording he wrote parts for violin, double bass and saxophone. He also worked closely with Jeremy Creighton Herbert, Mikey Kirkpatrick, and percussionist Manu Song.
Since its release Toby has gigged extensively, recorded, again with Norris, at ToyBox studios in Bristol. This is rumoured to be a two track 7” on vinyl. He has also begun work on his first full length album. Again, this will be released on Avocado Music Productions.