John Rose




My first EP, Beside Myself, was released in 2015. It is an exploration of how people cope when faced with tragedy. Listen or purchase via Bandcamp to the left, or on Spotify and Apple Music.

Check out my former band’s self-titled album from 2016. Listen and purchase below or on Spotify and Apple Music. It is an eclectic mix of rock, jazz, and funk.



Who Am I?


Dearest visitor;

I’ve always struggled to write descriptions of who I am as a songwriter and musician. Do I write about where I’ve played? Do I mention how long I’ve been in the biz? Do I write a bio in the third person? I’m not very good at ‘pumping my own tires’ so I’ll just share a bit about what inspires me to make music.

I write songs about the struggles of trying to make bank and find love; the day-to-day grind of staying afloat in an often unforgiving world. I write about the places we go, and the limits we push, when life gets hairy. My first EP, Beside Myself, explores how people are able to make the most of dire situations and the lengths that we go to put food on the table. You can find that EP on this website along with an album by my former band The Groove Commute.

My songs, sometimes cryptic or metaphoric, are always about work - what we do to keep ourselves alive. I grew up in a place that was rural and industrial, beginning my working life in the flat fields and rusty factories of s/w Ontario. My experiences, and those of my relatives and ancestors - farmers and farm-hands, truck drivers, auto workers, clerks and secretaries, welders, construction workers, and carnies - form the foundation of who I am and how I approach songwriting.

I’m fascinated and suspicious of our changing world and the state of the post-industrial economy. Wise elders tell me that a lucrative post-war labour market in North America allowed workers the luxuries of a comfortable wage and a robust social safety net for those who needed it. Young, forward-thinkers tell me we are currently in an age of austerity and precarity that provides few guarantees for us. From what I’ve seen, work has always been precarious; it’s always at risk of being taken away. Having grown up in a  blue-collar place, I am compelled to tell stories about people who bust their asses everyday at jobs they could lose, through no fault of their own, any day. I am compelled to write about the struggles of working people.

Everything I write, whether a love song or a lament on our current state of affairs, is a song of solidarity. I write with hope that someone will relate, so we don’t have to struggle alone.

Stay tuned for my forthcoming album in 2018-2019. Feel free to subscribe to my mailing list at the bottom of the site.






All shows are either solo or with my band The Groove Commute


Upcoming Shows

Stay tuned for upcoming shows.


Recent Shows

June 12, 2018. Kingston, ON. Balzac's. For The Beans. Solo.

May 5, 2018. The Royal. Kingston, ON. Homegrown Music Festival. Solo.

April 19, 2018. The Mansion. Kingston, ON. with The Groove Commute and Venus Syndrome.

March 24, 2018. Grad Club. Kingston, ON. Lights Out, presented by Mill St. Brewery. Solo.

August 22, 2017. Musikki. With Basement Revolver. Solo.

August 12, 2017. Upper Ottawa River Paddle Festival. Pembroke, ON with The Groove Commute.

July 23, 2017. RCHA. Kingston, ON. Solo and with The Groove Commute.

July 20, 2017. Private Event. Next Church. Kingston, ON. Solo.

May 20, 2017. Palmer River Fest. Palmer Rapids, ON with The Groove Commute.

May 6, 2017. Public House. Kingston, ON. Homegrown Music Festival. Solo.

February 3, 2017. Grad Club. Kingston, ON with The Groove Commute.

December 10, 2016. The Mansion. Kingston, ON with The Groove Commute.

October 1, 2016. Qpop Festival. The Underground. Queen's University in Kingston, ON. Solo.

August 24, 2016. Summer BBQ Party. Grad Club in Kingston, ON. Solo.

July 29, 2016. The Groove Commute Album Release Show. Grad Club in Kingston, ON.

July 1, 2016. BLUMartini in Kingston, ON with The Groove Commute.