John Coster is one of America's most eloquent songwriters and a longtime contributor to the revival of traditional music. He is a distinctive singer and guitarist and a true pioneer among Celtic harmonica players. His earliest performing experiences included a tour across Canada in an old time music and magic show featuring Walt Koken of the legendary Highwoods Band and Ricky Jay the magician. During time spent In Canada, he was influenced greatly by Cape Breton's fiddlers and the guitar playing of John Allen Cameron, the "Godfather of Canadian Celtic music". As a songwriter and bandleader, he has recorded seven albums and regularly performed with some some of America's best folk and roots rock musicians, including veterans who've worked with Dylan, Leonard Cohen, the Allman Brothers and Crosby Stills and Nash. John's music blends an edgy but refined song writing style with deep roots in traditional music.
John is currently performing solo and with Jim Matus, master of the laoutar, an eight stringed deeply resonant instrument similar to a mandocello. The two achieve a rich powerful sound, often blending Jim's laoutar with John's 12 string guitar and harmonicas. This enables them to create rich textures for John's songs and explore traditional music with an instrumental combination not heard before. The video below of Old Stones and Broken Bones was taken at the first gig John did with Jim.
“We want to thank you for the excellent show you put on at our recent house concert! The room was full and the enthusiastic and fully-engaged audience certainly got their money’s worth. The synergy with your accompanist Jim Matus on the loutar was amazing, especially considering it was your first gig playing together. We look forward to hosting you again! Jim and Kate Emerson Lower Falls House Concerts Greenfield, MA ”
“A songwriter of unusual eloquence and sensitivity who could become a national figure.”
— Boston Globe