John Courage

This Saturday night is going to be a big one for Sonoma County singer/songwriter/guitarist/producer John Palmer. In addition to the 15th anniversary of his stage moniker John Courage AND his 35th birthday, he and his band are dropping a video for the first single off their upcoming self-titled record, entitled “The Valley.” That’s a lot of miles in the rear view, so the group is celebrating by playing a show with their friends at the Mystic Theatre in Petaluma.

For the uninitiated, John Courage is an institution carrying the banner for a time when rock and roll was a lifestyle. It’s a simple life, one devoted to craft, tone, and the open road. Palmer — a towering presence with his evolving hair always adding a few inches — spoke to The Bay Bridged about his new album:

“I recorded it all on 8-track tape, so all the songs, including ‘The Valley’ are only eight tracks. The album represents my favorite kind of music to play in guitar, and in 15 years< of performing under this moniker, I finally feel like I am making music that sounds like what originally got me hooked on guitar — classic rock and roll. The songs have a reflective quality lyrically, and the lyrics to 'The Valley' are about being locked into a city life and dreaming of a time when I lived out in the middle of nowhere growing cannabis. It ends up coming full circle and the last verse realizes that you can create the life you want."

The video takes a subjective approach to visualizing this theme. “We storyboarded a concept of selling ‘dreams’ in a bag, much like a drug dealer. The story line will continue in the next couple of singles, so folks can expect another video or two in the coming months, with more twists and turns revealed.”

Check out the video, directed by Anthony Jimenez, below, and see them tomorrow night in Petaluma.

John Courage, the Coffis Brothers
The Mystic Theatre
September 1, 2018
7:30pm, $14 (21+)