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John Wesley Harding


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John Wesley Harding (b. 22 October 1965) is a folk/pop singer-songwriter who has called his style of music “folk noir” and “gangsta folk”.

He was born Wesley Stace in Hastings, East Sussex, England. His given name, Wesley, comes from John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, who preached one of his last sermons in the town where Harding was born.

His stage name may be seen as an almost inevitable nickname for a folk-pop musician, in that his first name overlaps with the Bob Dylan album (and song) “John Wesley Harding”. The American gunfighting historical figure John Wesley Hardin was largely forgotten before 1965, when Johnny Cash wrote and recorded the song “Hardin Wouldn’t Run”.

His education included the boarding schools St. Andrews School (Pangbourne, Berkshire); Milbourne Lodge (Claygate, Surrey); The King’s School (Canterbury, Kent); and university at Jesus College, Cambridge. He left Cambridge with a First in English Literature, but left before completing his Ph.d. in Social and Political Science.

Musical influences include Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Ray Davies, and Phil Ochs. He has been frequently compared to Elvis Costello probably fueled, in part, by the fact that two members of his early band The Good Liars (Pete and Bruce Thomas) had been members of The Attractions. Harding was chosen by Bruce Springsteen as his first opening act in 20 years for his solo shows at the Berkeley Community Theatre in 1995. Harding


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  • JamieKnits

    I saw JWH live and it was one of the funnest shows I've ever seen.

    20 Jul 2011 Reply
  • filtrum

    Great songwriter, but I prefer his acoustic folk albums, the other recordings do sound a lot like Elvis Costello :)

    2 Nov 2010 Reply
  • aryanrocksworld


    11 Jan 2010 Reply
  • pari90

    show was great

    11 Jan 2010 Reply
  • MrDury

    Could imagine so - pity he doesn´t seem to tour the rest of Europe for us not living in GB but of course he´s not so well known (pity though) so could explain that....

    11 Nov 2009 Reply
  • scatteredsmile

    you all must see him on tour this year! The show is incredible.

    27 May 2009 Reply
  • trackaghost

    I've uploaded some new JWH photos, please vote!

    13 Apr 2009 Reply
  • lorey_luv

    just love his voice ! ! !

    5 Aug 2007 Reply
  • cruel_sausage

    gangsta folk;DDDD

    4 Nov 2006 Reply

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