John’s passion for music started when he was in high school and his band instructor needed someone to play bass guitar. John showed the initiative and discovered that he had a natural ability for music. Taking advantage of this opportunity, he developed his skills quickly and started playing and singing professionally soon after graduating from high school, and has been doing so every since.
Toward the end of 1992, while still playing his base guitar, a local band had an opening for a drummer. Although John had very little experience with the drums, he once again used his natural ability and became one of the top singing drummers in the area. During this time John was introduced to the 1998 "song writer of the year": "Kostas", who is known for writing songs such as "Timber I’m Falling in Love", "I Ain’t That Lonely Yet", "Blame It On Your Heart" and many others.
John invited Kostas to his home for an old-time "jam session" where they took turns playing songs that they had written. John and Kostas hit it off and throughout the next few years performed together. This gave John the opportunity to once again play bass guitar and sing.
John has won many contests and awards and is a two time winner of the Country Music Showdown. Not limiting himself to performing on stage he was also devoting time to writing and recording his own material. John Westbrooks’ CDs can now be found all over the world.
John has become one of the top Western entertainers in the country. He has been seen performing on the same shows with Bill Monroe, Merle Haggard, Michael Martin Murphy, The Oak Ridge Boys, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Lee, just to name a few. John has been called the entertainers entertainer after seeing him perform you walk away knowing you've been entertained by one of the best.
Society needs innovators if it is to grow and remain vital. Society needs preservationists if it is to matter whether or not that society grows and remains vital. Preservationists stand as society's only protection against the tyranny of whims,fashion and fads. True preservationists recognize the timelessness of quality. They can sail against the wind and, more importantly, keep sailing whether the wind blows or not.
John Westbrook is a true preservationist. He writes first rate songs, but he also preserves an entire genre of American music, western music, that has faded from the current landscape. I have always been drawn to historic, rural music, composed and performed by not just a person, but by a people. Much of this music evolved into being repositories of timeless truths. The songs were honed as they evolved. The retelling of the best of the stories by the best of the story tellers produced the music that the Carter Family recorded. As Jeanette Carter said of her father, had he not saved and collected these songs they would have blown away like leaves in the wind.
Westbrook's performances appeal to the part of me that wants to be educated but there is still a part of me that does not mind being entertained. He appeals to that part too. He has a powerful voice, but more importantly he has a clean, clear distinct voice. He is a first rate instrumentalist, but it is the voice that serves him best as a preservationist. His voice jumps cleanly from 1943 to 2013 with no modifications to serve as a tipped hat toward the banality of what passes for lyrics today.
There are a hand full of people in this country that have discovered something so good and meaningful that they work to preserve that thing for future generations. They are not all musicians. Brislawn, Burris, Lockhart, Ives, Norush, all preservationists--all dedicated to preserving nearly extinct horses who carry with them nearly extinct beauty and nearly extinct ability.
A.P. Carter and I would make sense to each other. I strongly suspect that John Westbrook and Vickie Ives would make sense to each other too.