You really can't help but fall for John Boy's Courage. First comes the acoustic guitar, simply strummed, then joined by gently pulsating drums and bass. The words begin -- poetic, thoughtful, pointed -- delivered with strength and passion. When the lead guitar hooks you, there's no turning back. John Boy's Courage is the musical persona of singer-songwriter Todd Sarvies, and can be represented through a variety of arrangements onstage: solo, duo, trio, even full-on rock band. John Boy's Courage has, at it's heart, emotionally honest adult alternative pop-rock songs; the name pays homage to the strength we all must summon in living day-to-day. The aim of John Boy's Courage is simple: To feel music, not just manufacture noise without ample time or broken strings. To make one word mean more than the next. To tell a new story, a new song. For Todd, music is a means of channeling his inner poet. All the normal thoughts and feelings and observations of most became lyrics for Todd, who observes and interprets and believes. "Basically," he says, "I sing what I'm passionate about." Now might be the perfect place to comment on that singing, as Todd's voice -- yearning, full, and slightly unpolished, just like life -- is one you won't soon forget. Shifting from a breathy whisper to a full-on yell, his range and power are remarkable. And that's not to discount the man's guitar prowess. "I can sit down and write a poem with some chords behind it," Todd says humbly, downplaying the talent of his unique style: creative tunings and capos, lots of them. "The generic music that is mass-produced baffles me," he admits almost sheepishly -- but really, listeners, aren't we all in agreement here? Music, to be meaningful, has got to be honest, original, heartfelt. Only then can we give ourselves completely. Take, for example, John Boy's Courage's debut album The Fall Precaution. The songs are chapters, the album a story: about falling down, hitting bottom and then getting back up. In the end, though, you're better for it -- stronger, more courageous and focused. And you realize suddenly that here is where you should have been all along; here is where you belong. As each of the songs means something to him personally, Todd is hesitant to pinpoint favorites. "'Still' is a song that strikes me," he says finally. "It's simply about watching someone sleep and how intimate that can be, being unconscious and vulnerable next to someone you love. "'Puppets' is another one. It's about surrendering, maybe hitting the 'reset' button and how great that feels in the long run. There are times in our lives when we are completely broken before we start fresh on something new." Like I said, you really can't help but fall for John Boy's Courage. And falling never sounded so good.
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